According to Plato’s book, The Symposium, soul mates are people who share a deep connection of love and appreciation. His definition had some truth in it, considering how everyone looks to love and be loved with at least the same measure that they love others. He explained that soul mates are two individuals whose souls are tied together through soul ties.
This was in line with Greek mythology, which asserted that humans were not distinctly male and female but a combination of the two to form one being. These mythical humans in Greek mythology were so powerful that Zeus, the king of the Greek gods, feared them. Hence, Zeus decided to split the mythical humans into two, dividing them into male and female forms. This division, Plato claims, makes humans feel incomplete until they are matched back with their original mythical human half. Hence, though unknowingly, some will make romantic statements like ‘my person,’ ‘the one for me’, ‘when I met her for the first time, it felt like I have known her all my life….’ etc.
This Greek mythology presents three main theological problems. Firstly, it denies that God made man and woman separately. Genesis 1:26-27 tells us that God made man from dust, and later when he saw that it was not good for man to be alone, he put him in a deep sleep and from his rib, he made a woman for him (Genesis 2:7, 21-23). So the first man and the woman had separate bodies and souls; at no point in creation were their souls connected. Secondly, this mythology tells us of the character of Zeus. He is a reactionary god who is afraid of his creatures. That is not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is all-powerful. None of his creations could ever overpower him (Psalm 113:4-5, Jeremiah 32:17). Therefore, no amount of human wisdom and power would thwart his plan and remove him from his throne.
Lastly, depending on the context, the word soul in the Bible means either the inner man or the entirety of a man. For example, when God created Adam from dust, at that point, he was dust, but when he breathed into him, he became a living soul (Genesis 2:7, Psalm 130:5, 103:4). Other translations will render Genesis 2:7 as a living creature or a living person. Other places like Joshua 23:14 relate the soul with the heart of man. There is no single use of the word soul in the Bible; it depends on the context. Based on the above, do soul mates exist as Plato and our culture define them, and are they biblical?
Passages that Allude to Soul Mates
The first passage people use to suggest that the Bible teaches about soul mates is the story of Jonathan and David in 1 Samuel 18:1. The verse shows how Jonathan became one in soul with David. Jonathan was a close friend to David, and the two were so close that the Bible describes it as their souls were knit together. The phrase ‘their souls were knit together’ was as common as the one we use today to describe two close friends as ‘joined at the hip’. David and Jonathan were, however, not soul mates but very close friends.
The other scripture used to suggest soul mates in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 6:16, which says that when one unites sexually with a prostitute, they become one flesh. Other translations render it as one body with the prostitute. Genesis 2:24 says that a man leaves his father’s house and unites with his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. The phrase ‘one flesh’ in this verse does not suggest a soul mate but an emotional and physical connection with someone else. This connection comes about because of the covenant they make before God and man, and the marriage covenant is consummated through sex (Genesis 2:24). That is why two people who fornicate have difficulty completely breaking up since they have shared bodies and emotions. The ‘flesh’ of the man and that of his fiancee before marriage are separate; once they marry, they become one before God and man even before they get intimate. That oneness in marriage is made from a covenant with God, but there is no mention of bringing two souls to be one in the Bible. The Bible does not teach about soul mates, but you might want to ask, hasn’t God created someone for everyone? Has he not predetermined the person you will marry?
God has Someone for Everyone
Predestination is the doctrine about how God planned out everything that happens in man’s life, even before the foundation of the world. Still, things will happen as he planned at the right time (God’s timing) (Isaiah 60:22). God’s plans are, however, not devoid of human choice. On the contrary, God has designed things so that his plans will work alongside human choices and plans. For instance, it is men who vote, and at the same time, God establishes all who are in power, whether by voting or other means (Romans 13:1, Proverbs 16:33).
Saying that God has someone for everyone in the sense of a spouse is misleading. The truth is, not everyone will get married, and while others will get married, there is a reality of losing their spouses and remarrying. Some of them will remain celibate for the glory and service of the Lord (Matthew 19:12). So for all who will get married, God has someone for you, yet that doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to choose a spouse by yourself. You will choose, and your choice will be the manifestation of God’s person for you. You are the one making the decision, but every decision is from the Lord (Proverbs 16:33). You are the one to make the steps, but God is the one who orders those steps (Proverbs 16:9). Whomever you choose to marry so long as both of you are believers, God will direct that marriage to honour and glorify his holy name. So be careful and don’t fall for the trap of ‘God told me to marry you‘.
Dangers of Believing in Soul Mates
People who believe in soul mates tend to jump from one relationship to another quickly. They reason that they are looking for ‘the one’. They cannot endure hardship in relationships because they think there shouldn’t be fights in a relationship, and for them, that is a sign of breaking up or divorcing that person because if you have your soul mate, you will never fight. Such a mindset goes against the Bible’s call to be patient and to bear with one another, especially those who are weak (Romans 15:1, Galatians 6:2).
Secondly, some people who believe in soul mates believe such connections are made when you have sex with another. If that is the case, and it happens that you fornicated, does that mean that your soul is tied to someone who probably, doesn’t believe in Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:16)? Does that mean they, too, should die when you die? What if when they die and go to hell because they don’t believe in Jesus as you do, will you, too, go to hell with them? When God made you, he made an individual soul, and nothing can determine the fate of that soul except God. God’s salvation is by faith, a gift from God to you as an individual (Ephesians 2:8). There is nothing like being saved on behalf of others. If there were a thing like that, I would have believed on behalf of all my family and friends.
Lastly, those who believe in soul mates say that once your soul is united to that of another, everything about them becomes yours, and everything about you becomes theirs. This means that if someone were struggling with a particular sin, you, too, would find yourself having that struggle. I have heard and believed in this teaching at some point. But one can never be further from the truth. Secondly, even if there was, upon believing, God brakes all the chains and gives us a new heart (soul) (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus’ blood not only cleanses but ransoms us from all evil that would otherwise destroy our relationship with God (1 Corinthians 7:23). No one can bring any charge against God’s elect, because christ died for our sake so that we are not judged by our actions but by his righteousness (Romans 8:33-39).
If there were ever soul mates, it would be souls tied to God’s soul. He is perfect in every way, and we are only safe in him. For if God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:28)? To those who are believers of Jesus, know that there is now no condemnation for those in him (Romans 8:1). You are free in Christ. You can start praying and looking for a godly spouse, and if you are married, and the one you have is not a godly spouse, yours is to be with them and show them that in Christ there is redemption (1 Corinthians 7:12-16). If you are an unbeliever, turn to Christ; he will make you whole and new. In him, all our sins are forgiven.