I recently read an article that has been circulating around Facebook for quite some time now - which you can read here - titled "My husband is not my soul mate". At first I took offense to the title, assuming that this was a young female who really did not understand the context of marriage. Since then, I've read and reread her article many times, and what I have pulled away from it, is that in fact, her husband is her soul mate - she just doesn't realize it yet.
Let me try and break down my thinking -
In her article, she mentions that during the evangelical era of the 80s/90s, she (like so many others) kissed dating goodbye and began writing letters to her future husband (as I suspect so many young girls did). I blame this book for much of that thinking. I also blame this movement for placing some high expectations without realistic solutions on the young dating scene. And I blame a whole bunch of youth pastors (in which I am included) for perpetuating unrealistic expectations of love, dating and waiting without giving our young women and men clear Biblical scriptures to fall upon. Yes, I blame myself.
I simply wanted my students to understand that God has a specific purpose for each and everyone, that He has a specific person created to love them much the way that Christ loved the church (Eph 5:25), I wanted them to understand that when waiting for this amazing earthly love that God would sustain them with the strength they would need to not fall into other earthly dating traps but now, as I reread her article, I realize that maybe we did more damage then we did good. All those purity pledges might have helped for a moment, but did they really paint a picture of a healthy, spiritually based marriage?
I have often wondered about those marriages that seem to be more of companionship then soul mate material. When we (my husband and I ) hear of married couples who vacation separately, or go for a yearly "girls" weekend, or couples who keep their financials separate and "split" the bills in half - we become eye brow raisers. For me, it makes me feel as if they aren't 100% neck deep into the marriage. When they don't tell their spouse everything but turn to outside spectators to share their deepest dreams and fears, then I have to wonder "what exactly do they talk to their spouse about". And before I get deluged with tons of hate mail because I may have offended someone with my musings, let me just say that if this is your marriage, and if this works for you, then that's great. For you. Kudos and applause goes your way.
However, I argue, that if you are married to your soul mate, the one the God intended for you to be with, the one that God created and molded and sent specifically to you for you, then the above examples of marriage simply won't work. Unlike the author of the article, "My husband is not my soul mate", I believe that God did create one specific person for you to be married to until your last breath. I do believe that He does have a plan for us (Jer 29:11) and that this pertains to our lives here, and not just about the people of Israel back in the day. And while a husband may not be a biblical promise, and marriage may not be in every one's path, I do believe that God has given us free will and knows the choices we will make before we even make them.
I do agree with our author about choosing to love our spouse every single morning, but I believe it goes deeper then that choice. When we abandon this new age style of marriage (living separately but in marriage), then that choice is more akin to the choice of breathing daily. We don't think about waking up and choosing to breath, it is simply that we do. Much is the same for marriage; we don't wake up consciously reminding ourselves to love our spouse, it is that we simply do. We simply cannot imagine not loving him/her, not sharing every moment of the day with him/her, and we often find ourselves crying because of their sadness/pain, laughing because of their joy or happiness, feeling pride because of their accomplishments - in short, they simply become an extension of ourselves.
After 24 years of marriage, I can see clearly why God created my husband specifically for me. And my husband would probably tell you that I was created specifically for him. We hurt when we are apart, we rejoice when we are together. We even say that we want to be those old people who die within seconds of one another because we cannot bear the thought of spending any time without the other. And after 24 years of marriage, the pressure is still one me; it is still on to make this a marriage that is honoring of Christ, to embrace the joyous marriage He has helped to mold, to rely on Him for strength when we are weak, to look to Christ for answers of how to serve Him, to rely on Him for fulfillment of our hearts in an earthly, materialistic world and to do all of this with my Soul Mate.
So I encourage my young female students and adults, to continue to pray for God's guidance in falling in love, to seek His strength when dating and for discernment in making life changing decisions.