Soul mates. It’s a concept almost everyone recognizes. We want to meet and marry our soul mate—the person created specifically to match up with us, meet our needs, and make us happy forever.
Karen Evans is my soul mate. We dated for four years and now we’ve been married for forty years. What you may not know is that, a week before we got married, Karen told me our wedding was off.
She didn’t want to marry me because of how wild and immoral I was. And I can’t blame her: I was an extremely good sinner. I had no conscience. The day Karen decided not to marry me was the day I truly repented and gave my life to Jesus.
That set me on the right track, but I can’t say the first few years of our marriage were easy. In fact, we nearly divorced. We may have been each other’s soul mates, but we entered marriage with misplaced expectations.
The first myth is that my soul mate will be just like me. We won’t even have to talk. We’ll just look at each other and giggle because we know what the other is thinking. Obviously that’s not true. Compatibility is based on character and values, not sameness.
On many occasions a couple will put their best feet forward when dating. They fake it. Then they get married and discover how truly different they are from each other. A healthy marriage starts when two people realize they may be soul mates, but understand they can still be very different.
A second myth is that two soul mates will never have problems. This idea sets a couple up for serious disappointment. You will always have big issues that you have to work through.
If you enter marriage thinking you’ll never have conflict, then your very first fight will make you question your marriage. That leads to trouble. A good marriage takes work. Soul mates are made in the trenches when two committed believers come together, roll up their sleeves, and fight for their relationship.
A third myth is that your soul mate will always make you happy. Karen makes me happy, but she’s not the basis of my happiness. The basis of my happiness is Jesus Christ.
Even your soul mate will not be able to meet all your needs. They’ll meet some of them, but not all. Only God can meet every single one of your needs.
Remember: Your soul is where your will and emotions lie. That’s where we make our choices, and the truth is that we create soul mates by the choices we make.
We can choose empathy—understanding and entering into another person’s feelings. Put yourself in their shoes. Empathy resurrects dead relationships.
We can choose generosity. Give to each other. Give kindness. Give attention. Give communication and affection, even when the emotions aren’t there.
And we can choose priority. Marriage only works when we put it first—before our children, work, and church. Before everything but our relationship with Christ.
I believe you can find and marry your soul mate. But your marriage will struggle until you recognize the myths related to soul mates and begin to make choices that ensure your relationship will flourish.