We hear the word “soulmate” often in reference to relationships. But what happens when the butterflies of new love fade and the rose-colored glasses come off? What happens when you realize the person you married isn’t as perfect as you first thought? Or what happens when you go through a huge relationship crisis and the dreams you had for your marriage are shattered? You might ask yourself, “Did I marry the right person?” This is a great question, and I think in order to find an answer to it, we need to look at the question itself.
Is There One Right Person for Me?
Who is the right person? Some would say there isn’t one right person. However, I believe that God has a “best” for our lives. When we look at the story of creation, we see that God created Eve from Adam. The very first human-to-human relationship was incredibly intentional. It was not random. Eve was God’s best for Adam and indicates that God has a first choice for us. But what happens when we mess up “God’s best”? Or what happens when we choose to marry a person out of desperation, or even sin? I believe that God can take a not-so-good decision that we’ve made and make it into the best decision. Why? Because God honors covenant.
God Loves Marriage
God established a covenant with His people, Israel, in the book of Genesis (specifically Genesis 15, 17, 26:3, and 28:13). He promised to be faithful to them and to set their nation apart as His holy people. In exchange, Israel promised to consecrate themselves and serve only Him. Despite this promise, Israel was faithless, sinful, and unbelieving. They turned to other gods in place of the one true God. Despite Israel’s faithlessness, failures, and idolatry, God never broke His covenant with them. God uses marriage over and over again in the Bible as a metaphor of His unbroken dedication towards His people. And in the New Testament, He uses marriage to show the covenant between His son, Jesus (the groom), and His church (the bride). Marriage is important to God!
What If I Chose the Wrong Person?
Maybe the person you chose to marry wasn’t the optimal choice. Regardless of how your marriage began, I believe God can turn your partner into His best choice for you.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
While you may not start out as your partner’s soulmate, I believe that you can become their soulmate. As imperfectly matched as you and your spouse may be, you can become perfect for each other over time. The definition of marriage is “two people outserving one another in love.” As you and your partner serve one another, you will grow to be perfect for one another. If you embrace this definition of marriage, the fights and disagreements you faced in year one will become distant memories.
What if My Spouse is Not On Board?
This may all sound good theoretically, but what if your spouse is not on board with the idea of saving your marriage? What if the idea of you and your spouse outserving one another is a distant dream? What if your spouse is far from God, or you’re in the middle of a separation? What if your marriage is really awful? I want to preface my answers by saying that each marriage has its complexities. I don’t want to paint with broad strokes or encourage you to stay in a situation that is unsafe. However, I do want to encourage you to have faith for what seems impossible, even in your marriage. The same God who stopped a murderous hunter of Christians, Saul, in his tracks and turned him into the Apostle Paul, is capable of turning your spouse and your marriage a full 180 degrees. Your marriage is not beyond His touch.
The Marriage Bank Account
Marriage is like a bank account where you make deposits and withdrawals. If you’re broke relationally, the reason is similar to why you might be broke financially. If you make too many withdrawals and not enough deposits, you won’t have enough in the account to sustain it. You can’t continue to take and take and take from your relationship and expect success. You have to continually make deposits to have a healthy relationship. Going out of your way to serve one another is a way to make deposits. Marriage counseling makes deposits back into the relationship. Praying for your spouse makes deposits into your relationship account. All of these little things you do add up to create a surplus over time. Don’t give up too soon – keep making deposits. Keep praying. Keep serving. Keep loving. Keep calling out the good. Keep getting outside help. God is faithful. And he wants to use your marriage as a testimony to others of His saving power.
1 Corinthians 7:16 (ESV)
Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you?
How do I know what I’m writing here is true? I know because God did this exact thing with my marriage. Years ago, I was the one who was far away from God, ready to throw my entire relationship away. My wife had every biblically justifiable reason to leave me. But her prayers and the attitude she took towards me completely transformed the trajectory of our marriage. I am writing this today saying it IS possible. God can take what feels the furthest from ideal and turn it into His best.
Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the marriage series my wife and I have, where we answer some of your biggest questions on marriage..
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Thank you pastor