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Soul Mate, Part 1

  • December 21st, 2009 by Pastor Darryl Curtis   |  0 Comments

            In my sermon of 12/20/2009, I related the contents of a discussion that I had with a female college student. During the discussion, I used the term “soul mate” a couple of times. The quote reads as follows: 

            “Well”, I inquired, “since you came to college to date [young men], do you have any idea as to how many young men you plan to date during your collegiate career?”

            “I’m dating him”, she responded, “and I don’t really plan to date anyone else right now.”

            I asked, “Does he feel the same way? Are you the only one that he plans to date?”

            “I hope so”, she said.

            “I hope so, too”, I responded, “but I’m not very confident of that. Few people that I know married the first person that they dated. To me, it doesn’t sound very likely that a person could find their soul mate in a random sample of people on their first try. I would bet that if you asked your girlfriends, most of them have had more than one boyfriend.”

            “Yeah”, she said, “there is a lot of drama in the dorm.”

            “I’m glad you agree”, I responded, “and that’s why the Bible says that you should maintain your virginity until you actually find and marry your soul mate.”

            In our discussion period, I was asked to explain that which the Bible says about a “soul mate”. I explained that the word “soul mate” was a secular term, not a Biblical one. The dictionary definition of a soul mate is one of two persons compatible with each other in disposition, point of view, or sensitivity. The colloquial definition of a soul mate is a person that God made especially for us; someone who is compatible with us in every way and with whom we will fit as effortlessly as a hand fits in a glove.

            The colloquial definition of soul mate is a fantasy. I don’t see anything in the Scripture that indicates that, other the first woman created in the Garden, God made any one man or woman specifically for any other man or woman. God’s admonition to the man and the woman in Genesis 1:28 indicates that we have dominion, and it is our job to select someone with whom we can multiply and fill the earth.

            I have searched the Scripture looking for a list of objective criteria for selecting a spouse, and I have only found one characteristic. 2Corinthians 6:14-15 tells us:
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?                       

           Christians need to marry other Christians because both spouses need to have a common set of values to use to solve problems. If spouses have different religions, they may have different values, and may not be able to come to a point of agreement.

            I know a Christian young man that wanted to marry a Jewish girl.

    I asked him, “How are you going to celebrate Christmas with your spouse? Christmas is the birth of our Savior. She doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Savior, so how are you going to reconcile that difference?”

            “It’s not a big problem”, he replied, “she can just celebrate with her original family and I can celebrate with mine.’

            “I see”, I responded, “So which of you is going to take the children with you to the celebration?”

            “We don’t have any children”, he replied.

            “Well, not today”, I retorted, “but are you going to have a vasectomy before you get married?

            “Of course not”, he replied.

            “Then go back to my question”, I said, “How will you celebrate the holidays after you have children? Christmas or Hanukkah? Is Christ the Savior, or is He a prophet, or is He just a man? Will you teach your children that Jesus died for their sins or not? Will your children be baptized or will they have a bar mitzvah? Or will they have both, which means that they will believe in neither?

            “Well”, the young man replied, “neither of us is that religious, but we love each other, and we’ll have to resolve that problem when we get to it.”

            “The reason that you’re not religious today is because you want her”, I said, “and you are willing to sacrifice your religion to get that which you want right now. But once you have a child with her, you may very well find that it is too late to resolve this problem. She’s going to want to raise your children Jewish, and you’re going to want to raise them Christian. If you don’t think so, ask your parents, particularly your mother, if she really wants Jewish grandchildren. Unless you plan to move to a deserted island with no telephone or internet, you and your girl are going to have in-law problems in addition to religious problems within your marriage.”

             I don’t know if I was able to get through to the young man, because getting caught up in the emotion of interpersonal relationships sometimes causes us to suspend our good sense. The objective truth of the Scripture tells me that if I was selecting a mate today, I would not be yoked, or joined, with anyone with whom I did not agree on important issues like religion.

            There is no such thing as a soul mate, because people’s personalities are shaped by environment as much as heredity, but there are people of the opposite sex with whom we have values in common. The key to marrying the right person is in the selection process. It is often fatal to a marriage to put off discussing and resolving issues until after you have made the marital commitment, as you may find, after the fact, that there is no common ground between you and the person that you married. Thus the issue cannot be resolved after marriage any more than it could have been before the marriage, as is generally the case with the religious issue.

            There is no such thing as a soul mate, but if you want a good marital relationship, it is of utmost importance that you and your intended discuss religion, finances, the desire for children and the way that they are to be raised, headship and love, as described in Ephesians 5:22-33, and your expectations for a marital relationship in terms of affection and intimacy. Make sure that their values in these areas are as close to yours as possible before you select them for marriage. Don’t count on being able to resolve these issues after you marry. A wise man once said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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