Tag Archives: commitment

Soul Mate or Sole Mate?

Entwined hearts

By Eds 07 (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

I don’t believe in soul mates.

It’s a popular notion in western culture that there is someone out there perfectly designed for you — a soul mate. This belief is actually rooted in Greek mythology.

According to the myth, the world was once populated by beings who were both male and female. As they became faster and stronger, the gods feared that these humans would challenge them and take over the world. Zeus had a great idea. He severed the beings into male and female counterparts. By doing so, he limited their power, doubled the number of humans available to worship the gods, and introduced a new way of reproduction. In the wake of Zeus’s actions, the humans now search long and hard to find their natural mate, the one who is their specific counterpart, their “soul mate.”

Of course, we no longer belief that Zeus was involved, but the concept of soul mates remains. Author Richard Bach said, “A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks.” There is the ever-popular love scene from the movie Jerry Maguire in which Tom Cruise’s character appeals to Rene Zelwegger’s by saying, “I love you. You complete me.”

I admit to being attracted to the notion of my “other half,” especially when we Christians talk about two becoming one. One divided makes one-half, right? And having my hubby say something along the lines of “you complete me” or “you’re my soul mate” can weaken my knees a little.

But I don’t really believe it.

I’m not sure others do at their core. In fact, Tom Cruise has been married three times, Renee Zelwegger married and divorced once, and Richard Bach was married three times — divorcing his wife whom he had described as his “soul mate” after 22 years of marriage. Despite what these people said in books or movie parts, they haven’t experienced it themselves. I can find plenty of other examples of people claiming to have found a soul mate only to break up years later.

Instead, I believe in Sole Mates.

Of course, you want to choose someone with whom you have a special connection and a shared direction in life. But if you want a really great marriage and wonderful intimacy within that marriage, you’d do far better to adopt the biblical notion of sole mate.

Throughout the Bible, marriages come about in various ways. Fathers gifted their daughters as wives to worthy men, parents arranged marriages, kings selected wives, and men and women fell in love. The Bible’s one direction in this regard is to marry within our faith.

After that, the focus is entirely on how you treat one another in marriage. Presumably, however you get your spouse, if you are both committed to God and His commands and to one another, you can have a great marriage. It isn’t about finding your soul mate, but about committing to your sole mate.

Lori Lowe of Marriage Gems recently reported on a long-term study by UCLA psychologists looking at commitment in marriage. Fewer marital problems and reduced divorced rates were associated with the type of commitment that says:

“I’m committed to this relationship, but it’s not going very well — I need to have some resolve, make some sacrifices and take the steps I need to take to keep this relationship moving forward.” In other words, the partner is willing to take active steps to maintain the relationship, even if sacrifices are needed. He or she says, “I’m committed to making this relationship work.”

This shouldn’t be surprising, since this is the very kind of commitment described by agape love in the New Testament. It goes beyond friendship love (philia), familial love (storge), and romantic love (eros). Those are all significant forms of love. But agape is a selfless, sacrificial love, committed to the well-being of the other. It says, “I value you, my sole mate, and our relationship above myself. I will seek out our good each and every day for the rest of my life.”

Indeed, if you take that attitude, your souls will feel closer. You will have a spiritual connection, as well as an emotional and practical one. Taking this approach to the bedroom, you will experience an intense physical connection as well, as your bodies become “one flesh.”

However you snagged your honey — whether it was a beautiful romance and engagement worthy of its own film depiction or you got knocked up in high school and married the dad in a shotgun wedding — God can mold this into a marriage worthy of heavenly applause. Your Father is rooting for you. He isn’t concerned that you missed your perfect soul mate and instead landed your sole mate. Don’t mistake God for Zeus. The LORD knows that if you do things His way, you can find joy and intimacy in your relationship.

Embrace your sole mate. Make sure he knows that he has your attention, your commitment, your whole self. Start tonight.

How Women Feel about Noncomittal Sex

Sex & the City scene

Sex & the City TV show

I watched the highly-touted Sex in the City just once.  In the episode I turned on, Carrie and her friends were wondering aloud what was wrong with the boyfriend Carrie had been dating because he had not yet attempted to sleep with her.  They came up with all kinds of theories to try to explain this unfathomable behavior.  How long had Carrie been dating this guy, you ask?  Two weeks.  Really? I thought, and turned the show off.

I have a beef with Hollywood:  TV shows and movies often completely misrepresent women.  It’s a secular myth that we ladies readily engage in and enjoy sex even if we have no idea where the relationship is going.

One night stand?  Sure, sailor, cozy up right over here and ship out in the morning; that wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am really hit the spot!

Sex on the third date?  Well, it’s about time you made a move because I’ve been wearing my black lace lingerie since Date #1 and hoping I could show it off and take it off!

Move in together?  Hey, no strings necessary, baby; let’s share rent and a bedroom and don’t bother with expensive rings, antiquated vows, or a silly piece of paper!

‘Til irreconcilable differences do us part?  Nobody stays married for a lifetime anymore, do they? We’re in this relationship until one of us is no longer happy!

The myth that women can open up to someone who may not marry, or remain married to them, is hogwash, baloney, hooey, and crap.  Women want — no, need — security if they are to relax and to give themselves completely to their marriage partner.  How can you feel free in the bedroom to give yourself fully to someone who may or may not be there tomorrow?  Wives need to know that their hubbies love ’em and will love ’em tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day.

That commitment shows itself with a man who doesn’t handle the goods until he’s properly made the purchase, so to speak.  In a man who doesn’t string out a dating relationship for six years while he figures out whether he’s willing to toss all of his eggs into one basket.  In a husband who doesn’t dangle the “D” word (divorce) in his wife’s face when things aren’t going well.  In a husband who reassures his wife continually that she is his one true love with whom he wants to grow old, wise, and wrinkly.

Maybe secular sexologists and fomenting feminists consider that traditional brainwashing, but it’s the way God made us.  Women crave a guy who is committed, day in and day out.  When we know that he can be counted on as a companion and provider for the rest of our lives, we can enjoy today more abundantly as God intended.  Secure relationship –> sexy wife.

In fact, I should start a trend.  I’ll start eying men, elbowing girlfriends, and saying, “Check that guy out.  He is so committed!  Oh yeah, baby!”

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife,

and they become one flesh.”

Genesis 2:24