So I’ve been on a bit of a writing hiatus but now I’m back! I can’t think of a better way to return than writing about Soul Mates!
(insert dramatic music here)
Our culture is saturated with the idea of finding love. From the time we are old enough to watch Disney movies, read books, go on first dates, have girl/boyfriends, we begin to be surrounded by the notion of finding a soul mate.
While the idea sounds good in theory, in reality it’s kind of silly…let’s be honest.
I’ve been reading Gary Thomas’ book, The Sacred Search. It’s been the best dating book I’ve ever read about Christian Dating and what the search should look like for those of us in the not yet married phase. (you should totally read it…trust me)
In chapter five, he dives into the idea of a soul mate and what we should focus on as followers of Jesus. What I found most interesting was the actual origin of the soul mate. If you haven’t heard this before…buckle your safety belt…
The Origin of the Soul Mate
Over two thousand years ago, a Greek philosopher, Plato, invented the idea of soul mates (are you surprised as me it wasn’t Disney??) The story goes a little like this:
Once upon a time, giant, round, androgynous humans roamed the earth. These giant beings banded together and became so powerful that Zeus, Greek god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian gods, saw them as a threat to overthrow the gods. In order to deal with this accordingly, Zeus took the super humans and cut each of them in half to make them weaker, thus creating male and female, and a creature who was weak without their other half (a.k.a. soul mate).
This is obviously a SUPER brief synopsis of his ideology. If you’re interested in reading more, the philosophy comes from Plato’s Symposium.
Here’s the faulty thing about that story…
It makes us weaker without our “other half.”
Under this school of thought, without a significant other we are weaker; an incomplete person.
When I think of God and the account of Creation in Genesis, it’s comforting knowing God didn’t cut super-humans in half to make them weaker out of fear.
He created Eve for Adam to fulfill a longing that only He could satisfy.
That, my friend, gives us a reason to have hope in our singleness.
That, my dear friend, is enough to give you a reason not to get discouraged in the sacred search.
I’m going to make a bold statement that I think stands true, and I’m finding to be true in my own life.
When you discard wisdom from the equation and expect to find a “soul mate” by chance, you may be missing the opportunity to meet some amazing people right in front of you.
If you are blinded by the search for “the one”, you may miss the forest for the trees.
Plato’s philosophy replaces seeking wisdom with a “follow your heart” mentality, and in the Christian worldview, we know that God himself said ; “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9)
If you are seeking God and seeking wisdom, then the next step is phenomenally easy…find someone who will walk along side of you and do the same thing.
Thomas mentions replacing the search for a SOUL mate and searching for a SOLE mate. (and no…that’s not a gruesome spelling error.)
Gary Thomas defines a Sole Mate as :
“someone who walks out with us (the sole of a shoe!) the biblical command to seek first the kingdom of God.”
As simple as it seems, can you think of any greater piece of dating advice?
Attraction and compatibility play an important part in our relationships but if you’re dating someone you cannot walk out the command to Seek first the Kingdom of God, then the relationship will be complicated.
My desire, and I hope you share it as well, is to find someone who longs to be more like Jesus every day. Someone who knows the importance of seeking the Kingdom.
If you are seeking first the Kingdom of God while you are single, then you are forming a lifelong habit that will not be easily broken in your sacred search. You’re forming a habit that will carry over into your marriage, too. (BONUS!)
This principle applies to every decision we’ll make in our lives.
The world’s philosophy is “Follow your heart.”
God’s philosophy is “Seek me. Seek wisdom. Seek insight.”
If we can do these things, then perhaps our dating lives would be a little less broken. Perhaps we would begin to see dating relationships through the lens of Christ.
Then we can date in a way that is holy and presentable before God.
I know I’ve opened a flood gate here.
What are your thoughts on Christian dating and is there anything that stood out to you in this article? I would love to hear from you in the comments section!
We don’t have to share the same exact views, I just want to start a conversation that will lead to healthier dating relationships.
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