Have you ever thought about who you’ll spend the rest of your adult life with? Ever thought about THE ONE? – Your soul mate – Your Mr. or Mrs. right as some put it; at any point in time? You know… if you’re still lost, I’m talking about your future husband or wife!
Well, I have, a couple of times… or everyday, if you are hooked on honesty. But on the real though, everybody must have at least thought about it one time in their life. “Am I ever gonna find her?” “Is he the one?” “God, are we soul mates?” “Like really… she’s supposed to be my lost rib?” …stuff like that. The same question can be posed in a billion ways but the subject remains the same. People who are either married or dating might wonder if they are with the right person- THE ONE. Single people like me (shouts to the club. Ps. I’m selling t-shirts) on the other hand might wonder if they are ever going to find or be found by their soul mate.
The mystery of “the one” – is a concept that treats each individual as needing a last puzzle piece to fit perfectly. A man’s lost rib fashioned and customized into his eternal Eve by God; just for him. A woman’s ultimate man – the prince charming out of whom she was made by God. But truly, not everyone believes this. Some people just want to find a good life partner. And by good, they mean one who meets their tall list of specifications. They carry a mental blueprint of how he or she is supposed to be physiologically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, financially… I mean, all the lly’s. The culture in which we live carries these concepts and philosophies. But is it real? Are we all really created for this one perfect fit for us, and destined by God to meet them eventually? Or do we all need a checklist by which we measure every person that comes our way?
Growing up, we pick up a lot of things. We learn the language, culture, ideologies and philosophies of our nurturing environment. Like it or not, the world around us shapes our worldviews during our formative years. Consciously or subconsciously we have learnt things that we never question because it’s all we’ve ever known and therefore assume them to be true.
I’ve always been the type to ask a lot of questions. When I was about 8 years old, I asked my mum how women get pregnant. She lied. She wasn’t ready for “the talk”. I had the shock of my life when she told me women had to drink some specially prepared milk and boom… baby bump! As silly as it sounds, I still believed it because obviously she’d been around longer than me. She had to be right. As I grew up, formal education helped in answering some of life’s basic questions but it was and still is handicapped in giving meaningful answers to questions such as the subject of this blog post.
Today, answers and explanations to questions and real life concepts I wrestle with are possible because I changed the way I read the world and everything around me. I’ve had a change of worldview. I see life through a biblical worldview now. It has become the lens through which I reason and understand the world. I literally filter everything through it in my sincere quest to erase the sacred-secular divide in my own life; a very big discussion for another day.
So the plaguing questions of destined soul mates and finding the one are no different. God has all the answers.
Do we have a Missing Rib?
It’s obvious where this concept originates. It comes from the Genesis account of how the first woman was created. After God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, he took one of his ribs and made Eve. Apart from Adam and Eve who were ‘hand-made’ by God, all men are born. It is also important to note that there is no confirmation of ribs missing in all children born since creation. This in because man continues to have the genetic information for a complete set of ribs. A practical example is how amputees can produce healthy offspring. Even Adam who had a rib deficit, never referred to his wife as his ‘missing rib’. He didn’t go in search of her because she was never lost. She was presented to him by God.
I have a complete set of ribs. It really wouldn’t make a lick of sense if I went in search of a rib mate. It is logically incoherent and definitely inconsistent with scripture. The rib fable is surely an argument no one should use.
What about Soul Mates?
“Soul mates” would be a nice touch to a fairy tale rather than reality. This kind of thinking screams Hollywood! It’s actually beautiful to think of everyone as having a soul mate. It makes people feel happy and fulfilled in some weird way but it ends there. It’s not reality.
A “soul mate” is not a Christian idea. In fact, it is quite old. Ever heard of Plato? Well, Plato (428 – 347 B.C.) is an ancient Greek philosopher. He taught that men and women were made in one body, but were separated by the gods. Each man and woman therefore scours the earth for their perfect spouse, so the two can again become one. Modern phrases like “my other half”, “my better half’, “my significant other” could possibly stem from this philosophy. Nobody will burn in hell for using these phrases or for being of this school of thought but it’s just not scriptural and therefore not God’s opinion on the matter. (email me when you find evidence to the contrary)
Thinking like this means we will see ourselves as incomplete halves who search for the “other half” that completes us. And if this is reality, we can never live for Christ. But the bubble bursting truth is that believers are already complete in Christ. So yes, there’s no such thing as soul mates. It’s only in Greek mythology class.
Does God destine someone special for us and us alone?
God is all-knowing. That includes knowing who each and every person will end up marrying. It doesn’t take too much to believe that God has a special spouse divinely designed for us. In other words, He has made one perfect human for every one of us. Doesn’t that sound good? Well, it does, but not every good sounding thing is scriptural.
What then is the right way? What is scriptural and real?
He who finds a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord. (Pro 18:22)
You see how it doesn’t say “he who receives a wife from Lord”? Besides Adam, no other person has woken up to see their perfect spouse next to them. Abraham took a wife (Gen 25:1). Judah took a wife (Gen 38:2) …Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife (Ruth 4:13). This is a common language in the bible. The Bible shows us men going out and finding their wives. No one sat still while God dropped the perfect person into their life. There is no record of such a situation in the bible, Old or New Testament.
Under special circumstances God told Joseph and Hosea whom to marry. In the case of Joseph, he was told to marry Mary, to whom he was already betrothed. This was pivotal to God’s redemption plan. For Hosea, God told him to marry one of the prostitutes for the purpose of communicating a prophesy to Israel. Nevertheless, Hosea out of his own free will chose Gomer. He did so because God never specified who. The choice was still his to make even in such a situation.
Evidently, the biblical pattern is people looking for a spouse and choosing one based on godly wisdom, inner witnessing and good common sense knowing that the union will be favoured and blessed. God gives us options and allows us to choose. He does not choose for anyone. The only stipulation is the very important command of being equally yoked with believers (2 Cor 6:14; 1 Cor 7:39); a very well-meaning one like every other thing God tells His children to do.
Let’s reason this from a logical standpoint. Assume God has a spouse (Kwaku) prepared for Akosua. But for some reason Akosua ends up marrying Kwamena who was actually meant to marry Mansah. When they give birth, they’d have the wrong children. And guess what, their children will never find “the one” because they shouldn’t exist in the first place. You see how it all crumbles?
You can also think about this last analogy I came across. Consider the Apostle Paul. He said that he could have married, but chose not to (1 Cor 9:5,12; 1 Cor 7:1-8). If God had a wife prepared for Paul, then he would be stepping outside the will of God by choosing to remain single. However, if it was God’s will for Paul to remain single, then Paul had no right, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to claim that he could have taken a wife if he wanted to. So the fact remains as this – God gave Paul the liberty to choose whether or not tie the knot with any woman; one that would have been his choice.
In summary, this is what my worldview teaches; We are not wanderers on this earth in search of rib mates. Neither are we halves who need a soul mate to make us complete. Also, finding a spouse is not predetermined but rather post-determined. Love is not expressed until a freely-willed choice is made. Just like I’ve said before, Jesus didn’t have to love us, He chose to do so. And lastly, while everything outside it believes in finding the one, my worldview focuses on being the one!