Where is My Soul Mate?
by Vicki Nunn
(Extracted from Issue One: June 2015)
I detest the suggestion that we each have a “soul-mate,” as if God in His infinite wisdom decided that in all of the billions of people in the world, that only one person should suit me. So what happens if I somehow walked by and missed them? … Whoops! Too bad!
According to the movies, it’s my responsibility to somehow track them down if I’m going to live ‘happily ever-after.’ If that’s true, then isn’t it about time then that someone developed a special tracking device to make it easier to find my elusive ‘soul-mate?’ Perhaps they could adapt a metal detector into a ‘soul-mate’ detector.
In response to the topic’s question, “Where is my soul-mate,” the answer is:
there’s no such thing – the idea of a ‘soul-mate’ was made-up.
Perhaps we can blame Hollywood for that silly idea.
The concept of a ‘soul-mate’ suggests that there is a perfect ‘someone’ out there for each of us, when that’s not even remotely possible. Just as none of us are perfect, so no potential partner can be a perfect person or suit us perfectly. In fact, there may be several people with whom we come in contact, that suit each of us well, but no human being can complete us as we are encouraged to believe.
If God has a person in mind for us, then He’ll provide them – we don’t have to do the chasing. But what usually happens is that we look at every new unattached person of the opposite sex and think, “I wonder if that’s them?” Instead, if we’re continually working on our relationship with God we should resist actively looking and instead rely on the Holy Spirit’s prompting to recognise “Hey, look over there! There’s Jesus in that potential partner.”
In all honesty, in my case, I don’t know if God wants me to marry, but I’m sure that I could find someone if I was desperate enough. But I’m not willing to settle for just anyone, especially when I’m not even sure if marriage is part of God’s plan for me.
That concept was tough for me to come to terms with: that perhaps God didn’t want me to marry until later in life, or maybe not at all.
For many people, the idea of being alone is not acceptable, and they utterly believe society’s ideology that to be whole or worthwhile a person must have a partner. Sometimes they rush into relationships and marriage simply because they’re not willing to accept God’s will or to wait for His timing, and they usually live to regret their decision. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone who has ‘settled’ who has ended up with a happy marriage.
Wouldn’t it be better to be on our own and happy, then be with somebody and feel miserable? Besides our life doesn’t begin the moment we get married. Our life is already here, so we’ve to get off our bum now and live it!
I remember feeling quite frustrated in my twenties when well-meaning relatives and friends repeatedly asked me about my love-life. At one point I said to my mother, “Right now I don’t have a boyfriend Mum, and if that changes, I’ll let you know. Meantime, could you please stop asking.”
I’m sure people meant well, but asking those questions just made me feel like a failure and continually reminded me of my alone-ness. It also made me conscious of society’s attitude towards people on their own, as if we are somehow lacking some important quality.
Another thing I came to loathe were the well-meaning responses about my lack of a love-life, such as:
- ‘I’m sure God has someone special in mind for you;’ or
- ‘Just be patient and when you least expect it, he’ll suddenly appear.’
Sometimes there were suggestions that I was simply being too picky and that my basic requirements for a partner were too unreasonable. I’ve since come to understand that just because we’re not attracted to someone, that doesn’t mean our standards are unrealistic nor that we’re incapable of having a healthy, loving relationship.
And if that wasn’t enough, there were also reminders about my childlessness and that ‘it was a shame, because I’d make such a great mother.’ Ouch!
Advice givers would have us believe that everything is black and white and that singleness is a ‘problem’ that is easy to solve. The reality is much more complex, so we have the right to ignore those who mean well, because they don’t often know what they’re talking about.
As I grew in my Christian walk, I began to focus less on myself and my own desire for a husband and a family, which then freed me up to concentrate more on God’s purpose for my life.
When I allowed God to take control of my life’s direction, He provided compensations in ways that I could never have imagined:
- My loneliness and desire for children began to ease;
- I gained a sense of peace and purposefulness;
- I developed new skills and grew in areas that I would probably never had the opportunity to do so if I’d married; and
- My confidence and my contentment grew.
Having lived as a single man His entire life, Jesus shows us that marriage is not essential to the wholeness of a person. A Christian disciple might be called upon to forget parents, partners and possessions for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
Ultimately, if we are truly God’s children then we have to consider what we are going to say when we finally face God in heaven:
“God, my focus was on finding a partner and satisfying my own desires;” or
“God, although I struggled with my singleness, I tried to obey your calling on my life.”
There’s a phrase that I heard when I was younger, that I admit, scared the heck out of me when I first read about it:
“The gift of singleness”
It suggested that singleness was something wonderful from God; something that God intentionally gave to certain Christians. I questioned such a radical idea: How could singleness be a gift? Wasn’t it more of a curse? Didn’t I deserve to be loved? Was I being punished? Did that mean that I was to remain single for the rest of my life?
Those are very good questions. This topic was carried over into the spring 2015 edition of SPAG where I shared more about it, and the possibility that it may not be quite as awful or as scary as you think. [End]
© Vicki Nunn, SPAG Magazine
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