You can become soul mates with your spouse. You can have the marriage of your dreams. I know it’s true because it has happened with Karen and me.
Karen and I dated for four years before we got married, but our relationship barely survived to our wedding day. And we almost divorced within a few years after that. Our marriage was unhealthy for several painful years.
But today, Karen is the love of my life and my best friend. She is my soul mate. Unfortunately, the concept of a soul mate in our current society is one that sets up many couples for failure. I want to expose three dangerous soul mate myths.
Myth One: My soul mate will be just like me. We dream of someone out there who is perfect for us and matches up with us like pieces of a puzzle. The online dating world fosters this myth. It promises people compatibility.
But even if you and your spouse seem to match up in every category, you’re still very different people. Compatibility is based on character and values—not sameness. The truth is that your perfect soul mate will be very different from you, and if you’re not prepared for these differences your marriage will see conflict.
Myth Two: My soul mate and I will never have big problems. This sets couples up for major disappointment. Every couple will have issues they have to work through in marriage. Pre-marital counseling and shared values minimize these conflicts, but big issues still exist.
Why is it so important to anticipate problems? If you are coasting through life thinking everything’s great and feeling positive about your marriage, what happens the first time a negative situation occurs? You’ll be devastated. The devil will whisper “you married the wrong person” into your ear.
The greatest marriages aren’t the ones where everything always goes right, but where two committed believers roll up their sleeves and fight through their adversity. Soul mates aren’t born. They’re made in the trenches of life.
Myth Three: My soul mate will always make me happy and meet my needs. No one person can always make me happy. The basis of my happiness—and your happiness—is God. Only God can meet our deepest needs.
Karen can make me happy quite often. But not all the time. When you put the responsibility for your happiness on a single person, you set up that person for failure.
The basis of my personal happiness is not Karen Evans. It is Jesus Christ.
How can you turn your spouse into your soul mate? First, you must choose empathy—understanding and entering into another person’s feelings. By putting yourself in their shoes, you become more sensitive.
Second, you must choose generosity. Give your spouse kindness, attention, communication. Invest in your spouse and your marriage will flourish.
Finally, choose to prioritize your spouse. Your marriage only works if comes first—above your work, children, church, or hobbies. Only your relationship with God should rank above your marriage in priority.
Don’t fall for the soul mate myths. Open up your soul to your spouse and begin the process of becoming each other’s soul mates.
Jimmy Evans // Marriage Today