A popular idea in our culture is that each person has one “soul mate,” another human being who will complete us and make us happy and fulfilled. This idea is foreign to Scripture and does not originate in the Bible. The idea has origins in Pre-Christian paganism and Greek philosophy.
The source of the idea of a “soul mate” originates in Plato’s Symposium, a fictional account of a drinking party. The topic for discussion at this party had been “love” and what makes people fall in love. Among several speakers in the Symposium, one Aristophanes claims present-day humans are each half of an original whole. This original whole is comically described as round, eight-limbed, four-eared, and so on. According to the story, these original humans were one of three genders: All male, all female, or “androgynous” – half male and half female. These original wholes were subsequently cut in half by Zeus to curb their ambitions. Once separated, the halves desire nothing more than to be reunited. Thus, a man who looks for a woman to love is supposedly searching for the other half of an androgynous original. Likewise, homosexual males are searching for the other half of an original male whole and homosexual females are searching for the other half of an original female whole. Aristophanes summarizes this bizarre story and says, “Love is born into every human being; it calls back the halves of our original nature together; it tries to make one out of two and heal the wound of human nature.”
Another fallen human being can never complete us.
To expect another fallen human to “make us whole” is to commit an idolatrous act, placing a created being before the Creator. Only Jesus Christ can offer us genuine wholeness. Christ’s mission was to make provision for the redemption of men from sin. Colossians 1:22 says, “But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him.” God’s desire is to make us whole by making us holy. Likewise, when Christians are looking for a spouse, our primary goal should be to seek someone who shares a desire for holiness.
I have often been asked by students: “Is there only one person I’m supposed to marry? What if I marry the wrong person?” The Bible does not use this line of reasoning to talk about marriage. The Bible emphasizes choosing a fellow believer for a spouse (2 Corinthians 6:14 – 15), warns us not associate with hot-headed, angry people (Proverbs 22:249, and stresses that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime (Genesis 2:24 – 25; Malachi 2:14; Matthew 19:6). The Bible also acknowledges the spark of attraction and romance that occurs when a man and woman are attracted to each other (Song of Songs 1:15 – 17). In short, a Biblical romance is not an endless pursuit for a “soul mate,” but is a commitment to one person as your sole mate.