By Heather Riggleman, Crosswalk.com
“You complete me.”
This quote is one of the most well-known quotes from the 1990’s box office hit Jerry McGuire. It also happens to be a favorite romantic film of millions.
Jerry says the words that melt Dorthy’s heart. But then the lights go up, the credits roll, and we find ourselves in the real world thinking we will never be complete, happy or whole until we find our soulmate:
The only one we will ever be happy with. The ONE that was made for us since the beginning of time.
It’s a romantic notion we encounter at a young age through fairy tale stories where the characters like Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming lived “Happily Ever After.” But a quick search in the Bible reveals there is no “Happily Ever After.”
The idea that God designed a specific spouse for each person as a soulmate or perfect fit and apart from you can never be happy is not biblical. God does not have “the one” as your perfect spouse created from the beginning of time.
The problem with this kind of thinking is that it makes us think we won’t be complete until we find our soulmate. This makes us believe we are half persons who need to scour the earth in search of our perfect mate so we can become one.
God did not make us half of a person. God created us whole. In 1st Thessalonians 5:23-24, God tells us specifically, we were made holy, whole, and put together.
“May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!” (The Message).
What Is a Soulmate? Where Does This Idea Even Come From?
The concept of soulmates stems from Greek Mythology and the famous philosopher, Plato.
In his writing, the Symposium, he taught that men and women were made in one body and were separated by the gods. The Greek myth defined humans as having two faces, four arms, four legs and possessed incredible strength. But the Greek god Zeus feared humans had too much power and strength. He elected to slice every human being in half--thus sentencing us to roam the earth our entire lives in search of our missing half--our soulmate.
Paul warns us in Colossians 2:8 and 9 about hollow and deceptive philosophy.
Does God Give Us Soulmates?
Nowhere in the Bible is there a scripture that describes God creating someone with the sole intent of being a good match for someone else. We were created for so much more than that!
But, this isn’t to say that God is not particular about who he has us marry. We know that:
1) God cares about us deeply enough to know all the hairs on our head (Luke 12:7),
2) Carries out his will as he pleases (Psalm 135:6), and
3) Works for our good through all things (Romans 8:28).
So, it’s a pretty safe to say that God is intimately involved in who we spend the rest of our life with.
All the intimacy, love, and commitment that people want out of a soulmate can be found within a godly marriage—but not because everything is perfect and easy and you go riding off into the sunset. But because of an obedience to God’s Word.
Ephesians 5:22-33, and Colossians 3:18-21 are great starting points to understanding what a godly marriage should look like. For more scriptures, check out 7 Inspiring Scriptures to Base Your Marriage On.
It is possible to “find the one your soul loves” as Song of Solomon 3:4 reminds us—but not in an idolatrous-Jerry-McGuire kind of way. Instead, it’s in a healthy, godly way.
What Are the Dangers of Believing in Soulmates?
The term soulmates are used in Christian and non-Christian circles alike. It can be a polarizing term especially depending on how the term is defined.
73% of Americans believe in soulmates, with 74% of men compared to 71% of women believing in this concept. These statistics are a sign of the times rather than a sign of what God intended for marriage.
The idea of a soulmate puts us in danger of mistaking passion for love and big feelings for commitment.
Marriage isn’t based on attraction, passion, and big feelings. Love starts with a promise and promises are easy to keep with everything feels new, fresh and full.
But what happens when you realize your partner has flaws? What happens when your marriage falls off the pedestal it was placed? Can you and your spouse pick up the pieces?
You can if you both are striving to create a marriage where God completes each of you and is at the center.
So, how do you know if your spouse or the person you’re dating is “the one”? Here are things to look for to understand if the person you’re with is the person God has picked out for you.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/thanaphiphat
1. Actions Speak Louder than Words
Maya Angelou said it best, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
If the person you’re dating is true to his word and follows through in what he says, he is demonstrating that he is trustworthy and reliable. With your significant other, actions can speak loudly about how much your partner values you.
He or she behaves toward you in ways that show how he or she truly feels about you. It also reflects his heart for God. Real men say what they mean and act the same way. Real men, good men, decent men, will always demonstrate who they are by their consistent actions.
He doesn’t say one thing and then does the opposite. A man of God is full of integrity and values integrity.
2. The Relationship Glorifies God
Not only does he love God with all his soul, mind, and strength. He seeks God as he is pursuing you.
We all know the saying, “He’s not that into you.”
Instead, he pursues you. He wants to know your heart, what is on your mind. He wants to know your thoughts or opinions. He values what you say. He has the same morals, values, and leads a godly lifestyle in which he puts God first.
Now listen carefully: he encourages you to pursue Jesus while he pursues Jesus too because God won’t send you someone that corrupts your character, pushes you to compromise your values or lead you astray.
3. You Become a Part of Each Other’s Life
The day to day includes each other but you are not the center of his universe (that’s God’s position). Before he makes plans for work, friends, or anything else, he ensures your needs are met and he spends time with you.
Whenever he has news to share, you’re the one he runs to. Nothing is too strange or too taboo to talk about.
He says his most intimate thoughts and feelings with you. He can’t imagine doing life with anyone else because he is your best friend. He prays for you and wants to be with you daily.
However, you both are okay with having to be apart when it comes to business trips or other trips that may arise. You both look forward to emails, texts and phone calls.
When it comes to family and friends, you both find a way to incorporate time with everyone. He truly enjoys introducing you to his circle and you can’t wait to have him join yours.
Your family and friends cherish your relationship and support the goal of you two growing together.
4. There Is Trust
Trust is the necessary glue and the foundation of every marriage. At its most basic, trust lets us feel secure because we believe our partner has our back and will be loyal through thick and thin.
This is because trust is also built on faith. There is an element of faith operating with trust, because we can never truly know what our partner might do or say before the fact.
Having faith in your partner—meaning you believe they will do right by you before they do it—is considered to be a strong indicator of a trusting relationship. Without trust, intimacy is nearly impossible.
When an issue or conflict arises his actions, words, and intentions are honest and filled with integrity.
But what if you’re not so sure…? What if something doesn't seem quite right, but you can't put your finger on it?
Here are 3 red flags you shouldn't ignore:
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1. His Words Don’t Match His Actions
This is the opposite of what we should expect to understand, sense and feel in a relationship based on God’s goodness for us. Whatever he says or does is the opposite of what he said. It seems to be filled with ulterior motives and you have the urge to overthink the smallest details of what he said or did.
2. The Relationship Pushes You to Compromise
The person you’re dating will never push you to compromise your values. Relationships are precarious, man-on-a-wire exercise with Jesus helping you both balance, trust and build each other up. But if the person you’re dating asks you to cut ties with your friends, or encourages you to ghost your parents, skip work, or pushes the boundaries you set, he is definitely not the one for you.
3. God Answers Your Prayer to Show You That He’s Not the One
That’s right. We get on our knees and we pray. We put the potential of this relationship in God’s hands. As we pray, he opens our eyes to the behavior and heart of the person we think is the one. When they reveal their true character by what they say or what they do or lack of, God is directing your steps. It may be surprising, it may hurt but God is a God of action and protection.
Marriage does not make us complete nor does our spouse. While Plato says we must find our other halves to be complete, the Bible says we are complete in Christ. While the world pushes to believe in love at first sight, the Bible reminds us love is a commitment that endures the test of time.
Related Resource: Listen to our new, FREE podcast on marriage: Team Us. The best marriages have a teamwork mentality. Find practical, realistic ideas for strengthening your marriage. Listen to an episode here, and then head over to LifeAudio.com to check out all of our episodes:
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Heather Riggleman is an award-winning journalist and a regular contributor for Crosswalk. She calls Nebraska home with her three kids and a husband of 22 years. She believes Jazzercise, Jesus, and tacos can fix anything and not necessarily in that order! She is author of I Call Him By Name Bible Study, the Bold Truths Prayer Journal, Mama Needs a Time Out, and a contributor to several books. You can find her at www.heatherriggleman.com or on Facebook.