Soul Mate or Sole Mate?

Some not so good statistics:
An overwhelming majority (94%) of never-married singles agree that “when you marry you want your spouse to be your soul mate, first and foremost.”

· Less than half (42%) of single young adults believe that it is important to find a spouse who shares their own religion.

I just read a great article by True U, a sub-organization by Focus on the Family called “Soul Mate or Sole Mate?”

It had a lot of great advice for dating and things to consider. The main point is that there is not ONE soul mate that if you find this person everything will turn out perfect. Relationships require work. And that we should not base relationships on infatuated emotions but on wisdom.
Here is a paragraph that sticks out to me:
“The real danger in this line of thinking is that many people mistake a storm of emotion as the identifying mark of their soul mate. How else can you identify “destiny”? Such individuals marry on an infatuation binge without seriously considering character, compatibility, life goals, family desires, spiritual health, and other important concerns. Then when the music fades and the relationship requires work, one or both partners suddenly discover that they were “mistaken”: this person must not be their soul mate after all! Otherwise, it wouldn’t be so much work. Next they panic. Their soul mate must still be out there! Such people can’t get to divorce court fast enough, lest someone steal their “one true soul mate” meant only for them. When we get married for trivial reasons, we tend to seek divorce for trivial reasons.”

The Bible, especially 1 Corinthians chapter Seven, makes it clear that marriage is a choice and you do not find anything about “one destined partner.”

The real question is by what criteria and standards do you use to see if someone is worth marrying and spending the rest of your life together with. “Love is not an emotion; it’s a policy and a commitment that we choose to keep.” Emotions are not a great standard. You should use wisdom, Biblical criteria on the person’s character, things like compatibility and similar life goals and most important spiritual walks/maturity need to be evaluated.

“[A] Christian should not consider any marital union that would not feed this primary relationship with God.”

It is a great article and the sources for statistics are very interesting reads too. Check them out:

The State of Our Unions 2001 (Piscataway, NJ: The National Marriage Project, 2001), pp. 6, 8. For more information, see “The State of Our Unions: 2001.”

Thomas, Gary. Soul Mate or Sole Mate? Focus on the Family.

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