Our culture has an obsession with soulmates. Whether you believe in them or not they are incredibly polarizing. There seem to be an abundance of posts and articles written from one side or the other. Singles or Marrieds. Pros and Cons. I’m not going to list several of the ones I’ve read but I am going to contribute to this conversation in a different way.
I gave up on the idea of a Disney Prince soulmate a long time ago. And I’m truly fine with it. I don’t believe another human being has the responsibility or the ability to fulfill me. I don’t expect a man to come riding in on a white horse to rescue me. I have no unrealistic expectations of the sacrifice and time and tears that go into making a marriage work. What else would you expect when two incredibly broken people attempt to lay down their lives for each other?
But here’s where I think we’ve made these lines a little too harsh.
Desiring a spouse isn’t wrong. Praying for a man or woman to be in your life and be the person you share your moments with is not living in a fairy tale. Hoping to meet someone special who makes you laugh and challenges you and points you towards the heart of Christ is not holding an unmeetable standard for another human. And to be honest I’m a little tired of the shaming that happens with all of these “my husband isn’t my soulmate” articles.
Because while I don’t believe there is one specific person created to complete me, I do believe there are people out there who have a great match of strengths for my weaknesses and vice versa. For example, I know I am not very good at staying organized, remembering when to pay bills, and meal planning. So someone who does these things well will complement my lack. But where I am strong is remembering names and faces, birthdays and conversations, and inviting people into a story. I love to love. But I’m also terrible at confrontation so I need someone in my life to help me learn that in a healthy way.
We were created to represent different aspects of God the Father. We do this in community, friendships, family, and relationships. So I’m just going to go ahead and say it – it’s okay to seek someone who is strong where you are weak and who makes you better for the Kingdom with them than apart from them.
Is this in someway completion? Sure. Is it an expectation that I’m somehow made whole? Not at all. I don’t want to bring half a person into a relationship. I want to bring an entire person into a relationship.
Here’s the thing – the older I get and the longer I stay single, the less starry-eyed I am walking into a relationship. I’m more secure in who I am and the things I desire in a spouse. I know who I am and where to find my identity. I’m not looking for completion. I’m looking for a partner. A companion.
Maybe we haven’t communicated this very clearly. I’m sorry if we (as single people) have failed to use the right words to describe our desire to be married and our longing. A longing not for a soulmate but for someone who does life with you. Who you know is always in your corner, who will be at weddings and funerals, who will disappoint you but also surprise you in the most unexpected ways. Someone you share small insignificant moments with. Sunrises and sunsets. Spilled milk and leaky faucets. Midnight diaper changes and burnt toast. The person you get to look over at, smile, and deeply know there is someone to help shoulder the load of this journey.
Unfortunately, this longing for a companion often gets mistaken as a quest for someone to make all of our dreams come true. Our lives are meant to be lived with another. Unless you’ve walked it, you don’t know what it is like to come home to an empty house after an awful week and be alone. To walk through death and loss and financial hardship and unfulfilled longings and big decisions and crappy weeks by yourself.
So to long for that companion and to wrestle with the ache and to desire a spouse, I would argue, actually turns our hearts more into Papa’s intention for us.
And that, my friends, is why I believe soulmates exist.
steady is the hand that’s come to terms
with the lessons it has had to learn
I’ve seen the things that I must do
but Lord, this road is meant for two
so I am waiting here for you