I don’t know that I believe in soul mates, and I don’t know that everyone is going to have some defining moment with God when He says to him or her, “You’re going to marry this person.” I believe some people CAN, in fact, I know they do because my husband had that moment when he met me – and that’s not me sounding like I’m so sure of myself and his devotion for me in a conceited way, but that’s literally the story he tells about how we met. My coming to that point of committing to him was not ever that defining though.
When I first met the man who would be my husband I had somewhat recently been in a relationship that, in its ending, the Lord had really showed me a lot about what to expect out of a potential husband, and what to strive for to be a potential wife. He showed me a lot about myself and what I needed and where those gifts and needs came from (Him). So I’m not going to sit here and say that I didn’t have a “list” of some sort of deal makers and breakers. I wanted a man with a heart for Christ, I wanted someone who shared (or at least supported) my passions and who’s passions I shared/supported in return, and I wanted someone who wasn’t out to change me, but wanted to see me grow, and vice versa. He had to love my daughter and I genuinely and tenderly as a man of God is to treat women, but a man who still wanted to lead me, and protect and provide for us. Imagine my surprise when my husband showed up in my life.
He plays guitar and writes music. I love music and I write. He loves Jesus, I love Jesus. We even go to the same church. He brought my daughter a surprise the first time he met her. He opened every door and sweetly asked for permission to sit with me at church. Our first few dates were the definition of him wooing me to himself. This man was really something.
And I do encourage everyone to know what their deal makers and breakers are. Your list shouldn’t be long though (be realistic, if you want someone athletic, realize they might be now, but they may not be athletic in 5 or 10 years). If you’re a believer, your first one should be what the Bible states it should be in 2 Corinthians (and a few other passages; dig in): he or she should also be a believer. Building any sort of relationship, let alone a marriage with someone of a different faith life, or without a faith life at all is a difficult thing and there would be no sanctification or growth for you that.
But once you’ve established that this person is genuine and they’re the real deal as far as being who they say they are and you’re receiving some sort of confirmation from God that this person is legit (and believe me, those confirmations are important)… then I think knowing this person is “the one” is your choice. Do you choose him or her to be “the one” you marry?
God created us to have free will to CHOOSE. He chose to create US and we are allowed to choose HIM as well. And if a husband and wife are to reflect Him and the Church (He who chose the Church and the Church who chooses Him) why would your spouse be an obligatory thing? Why would it be that you HAVE to marry this one and only person or you’ll never get married?
The problem I have with the term “soul mates” is that it’s often thought to be something pre-destined and fated and therefore, unchangeable, as if we’re almost obligated to be together with that one and only partner. And while I know that God has plans for our lives and He knows what our choices will be, they are still our choices. That’s why it is OUR will, it’s just that some of us choose to pursue God’s will over our own and some of us don’t (and I think that’s where people, myself in the past included, get confused with fated soul mates and following God’s will). But God won’t make you do it. He wants you to choose it.
When I met my husband, I wasn’t really sure it was what I wanted. I didn’t think a relationship made sense so soon. But God confirmed and assured me that He was up to something and I needed to stop with all of my rules and expectations for this new guy and whatever was starting between us. So I threw those expectations out the window and I let God lead – and almost two years later, I’m happily his wife, assured that God has directed me here and confirmed constantly that the Lord has appointed us each to do this life together.
But we chose it. We chose this life of following God’s will together. So honestly, though I do know that God knew we would be here together and He has lavishly blessed our marital union, I don’t feel like He forced me to marry my husband, nor my husband to marry me. It’s a choice we make each day when we wake up to be each other’s husband and wife. We weren’t soul mates who would have been wandering forever without each other for decades on end had we not come together. But we will be soul mates some day.
Love is something that is so fascinating because it can happen in an instant and it can be cultivated and grown over time, and I think that years and years of marriage will help my husband and I to come to love each other more greatly. I think the love we have for each other now will only increase and get better as we face life’s ups and downs together over the years. And I think sharing many years of life as one flesh in the sacred covenant of marriage will make us soul mates in the end. We’re only scratching the surface of what it means to have our souls mated with one another. We’re still figuring that out.
Before you can be someone’s soul mate, you have to choose them. Even Adam, in the beginning, made the choice to receive Eve in Genesis 2:22-23. God created her and brought her to Adam and he received her as a part of himself – he chose her. And likewise, I believe my husband and I chose each other and it’s through that choice of each other and the choice we both make daily to pursue Christ above all else that will tie our souls as mates as we are made one in the eyes of God.
So I mean, I’ve been asked that question a lot lately, in the past year or so: “How do you know he’s the one?”
And my answer is: because I choose him to be.
How do you know your spouse is “the one?”
PS: I learned something rather interesting a few days after I originally posted this, but that is that the idea of a “soul mate” or someone’s “other half” actually dates back to Greek mythology. There was a belief that people were all connected somehow and then separated by Zeus and therefore, we are all sort of walking around looking for the half that we were separated from. So if you’re seeking a Christian marriage/husband/wife, be aware that the idea that you have another half out there isn’t acutally a Christian or Biblical idea. It’s a myth.