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The Difference Between Soul Mates and One Flesh

February 29, 2012 3 comments

The modern concept of soulmates.

Lately, I have been all confused about the truthfulness and falseness in the term “soul mate”. In singleness, I learned not to “single anyone out” in public or in my mind. I learned that a guy could be, “someone else’s future husband” and to treat him as such. That advice was helpful for me at the time. Also, I’d occassionally hear married people say, “How did I know my wife was the one? I married her! Then I knew.” What does that imply? I think it implies that a soul mate exists in marriage, because of marriage -not because of the person.

The term “soul mate” is relatively new. Back in the day, people did not expect to meet and marry “the one”. A soul mate is someone who is considered the person you are made to be with and who you will be incomplete without. This person has the ideal body, personality, job, and goals. This person is so together that they will not seek to change you or themselves. Rather, you will live in harmony and have complete freedom to continue living for your own dreams too. However, that kind of person does not exist. There is no perfect someone who can complete you, who wont change you when married. The Soul Mate Marriage is a self-focused marriage, one that is supposed to be good for the individuals and not for the unit. Therefore, when strain and tension occurs in this marriage the assumption is that you married the wrong person and should end it to search again for “the one”.

According to the Bible, oneness is meant to represent the union of Chrsit and his church. Throughout the Old and New Testament marriage is symbolic to the covenant between a faithful God and his (normally) unfaithful people. By God’s design, marriage is meant to change you – you’re suppose to grow and sanctify your spouse too! God has definitely uniquely designed each person. We  all have specific details about us that other people don’t have (check out Romans 12 as an example).  Also, God is completely sovereign – meaning He controls the good, bad, and the ugly. This implies that nothing is random and nothing happens by chance or coincidence. God has planned your marriage with your intended even before you did. And yet, that marriage will never complete you or give you everlasting security that a Soul Mate supposedly can. In fact, most married people will Amen to the statement, “You marry a stranger!” – because marriage changes you to the point of not even knowing who you married. In the One Flesh Marriage your unity is no longer based on compatibility, romance, and common interests. It’s based on a covenant with God and a promise to your spouse, “til death do us part.” The marriage represents a faithful God to His unfaithful people. Two becoming one requires active love and selflessness for the rest of one’s life – especially when it’s hard.

Both the Soul Mate Marriage and the One Flesh Marriage hold to a sense of fate or destiny. However, the Soul Mate Marriage rejects the idea of unhappiness and sacrifice, because it is consumed with the notion of a perfect somebody. While, the One Flesh Marriage embraces discord as a means to serving one another all the more within the covenant because the covenant (not the person) is the reason they are soul mates.

Prioritizing What’s Eternal

February 24, 2012 Leave a comment

I’m stepping into a new season of my life…marriage. It is an extremely joyful time, but adjustment is hard. I’ve had a hard time balancing everything that seems important. I haven’t felt like I’m doing too much, but rather I’m not doing anything very effectively. How do I prepare for a marriage, plan a wedding, graduate from college, disciple women, help lead a movement, and take joy in my schedule? I’m sure everyone could spout out a list of different things that seem pressing and important. Where is my time and energy going? Where should it go?

Last weekend I went to visit my fiancé. I stayed at a friend’s house and I saw on her kitchen counter a framed list. It was a Priority List. Wow, how simple. So, that morning I read my Bible and made my own priority list. Before I began, I asked the question, “What are the things that will have the most eternal impact?” Here is what I discovered…

1. Personal Worship of God and Devotion to God – Psalm 16:2 & Psalm 27:4

I want to live out of an “overflow”. I want my worship to fuel my service and duties. This looks like me protecting time in the Word and prayer every day. I want to enjoy God through fellowship (going deep with Christians) and sharing the gospel (because evangelism is going to nourish my soul Prov. 11:25). Attending church and worshiping through songs, tithing, and the teaching. And I want to trust God with a weekly Sabbath. For, “in Your presence there is fullness of joy”.

2. Marriage – Ephesians 5:31-32

Once married, Danny and I will be each other’s number one ministry. And the Bible tells me to do my husband good all the days of my life (Prov. 31:12)…and the days of my life began a long time ago! So, practically this looks like us talking daily, regular weekend visits, thoroughly completely the premarital counseling homework, reading “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller, reading blogs for budgeting, cooking, and other topics to help a marriage, doing well in my classes so I can transfer and graduate, being proactive in moving, and praying for my fiancé.

3. Discipleship – Matthew 28:19-20

Most fundamentally, this means that Kaitlyn, Emily, and Amiee have all of my time and attention when my first two priorities are not compromised. Also, this means that I am seeking to follow Laura and seeking out the other two women that I’m in a discipleship group with. So this means, one-on-one time with them, preparing for discipleship group, praying for them and with them, and giving them as much of my life as possible until I graduate because I believe they will reproduce their life and further God’s Kingdom. Within discipleship is evangelism – sharing the gospel in front and with my disciples is necessary for discipleship. After these things (if able), attending the Campus Outreach meetings, retreats, and other large events (however, always recruiting to them!).

Everything else comes after this!!!

These were my top three, most eternally rewarding priorities. If I aim to do well with these, I believe I’ve done my best. So far, it has been useful. I don’t feel guilty for not spending much time with tons of people, or missing an event, or not getting an A…because frankly, this is what it would look like for me to steward my time and energy well. As much as I want to do everything – and everything well – I can’t and in Christ that’s okay.

*If anyone wants to make their own priority list here’s some simple principles…

1. Focus on the eternal (God, God’s Word, and Souls of people)

2. Recognize the difference between urgent and important.

3. Know your personal limits and the season of life that you are in.

4. Schedule your time or someone else will do it for you.

5. Use your priority list when making your weekly schedule.

As Tim Keller has said, “Just do your best and relax.”