What are Soul Ties and How Do I Get Free?

Have you moved on to a new relationship, but you’re still lusting after someone you broke up with a long time ago? Do you keep going back in your imagination to connections from the past? Have you blocked your ex and have no way of communicating with them? You may have a soul tie.  

What is a Soul Tie?

A soul tie is when your mind (intellect), will, and emotions become knit together with another person.  There is both a biological and biblical basis for soul ties.  Contrary to what you’ve probably heard, soul ties can occur in various relationships, not just romantic.  

Soul Ties in the Bible

We see soul ties between parent and child in the story of Joseph.  Joseph’s father, Jacob, had a soul tie to his son Benjamin.  

Genesis  44:30-31 (ESV)
“Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy’s life, as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol.”

In the story of David and Jonathan, the Bible says that they had a soul tie in their friendship.  

1 Samuel 18:1 (ESV)
As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

You can even have a soul tie to a leader – spiritual or otherwise.  We see that between Judah and their king David.  

2 Samuel 20:2 (ESV)
So all the men of Israel withdrew from David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah followed their king steadfastly from the Jordan to Jerusalem.

The soul tie we hear the most about is the one between a man and woman, established through the act of sexual intercourse or close emotional and intellectual bonding.  

Genesis 2:24 (ESV)
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Like a Dog Returns to Its Vomit

I want to start by saying that you can be free if you have an ungodly soul tie to someone.  You don’t have to live in the past.  Maybe you ended a relationship with a narcissist or a toxic person, but there was a sexual component. Perhaps you ended the relationship with the pastor who used or abused you, but there is a remaining spiritual connection.  If you know you’re in a toxic relationship, you need to get free, and you can get free. So often, though, despite our knowledge that we need freedom, we continue to return to that relationship repeatedly due to the tie that connects us with the person.  Why?

Proverbs 26:11 (ESV)
As a dog returns to its vomit,
    so fools repeat their folly.

The Bible says a dog returns to its vomit.  It is a vivid and distasteful depiction and evokes a reaction.  Why would a dog return to its vomit?  A dog’s sense of smell is so keen that it can still perceive the morsels of undigested food present in the vomit.  It can sense a little bit of good among the vomit, which compels it to return and consume something that is otherwise abhorrent. We often behave this way in relationships that have soul ties.  We keep going back because we see a little bit of good in the relationship.  That indicates that there’s a soul tie that needs to be broken.  

Satan’s Counterfeit

Soul ties are not always bad.  There are times when you establish a healthy intellectual and emotional connection with others.  These connections are necessary for us to form healthy attachments that foster security and feelings of well-being.  God has created soul ties so that husbands and wives, family members, and close friends can form secure connections with one another.  But whatever God creates, Satan counterfeits.  Wherever God places purpose, Satan places perversion.  Soul ties can take something God created that is necessary and pervert it into something designed to keep you in bondage.  If you keep accepting a counterfeit, there’s no room for God to replace it with the real thing.  

Colossians 2:2 (ESV)
that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,

God doesn’t want you to remove people from your life so you can miss out on relationships.   He wants to remove so that he can replace.  Everything God has is better than what he asks you to give up. He won’t take away a broken relationship without replacing it with a covenant-level relationship.  If you keep settling for counterfeits, you cannot accept the upgrade.  

Cutting the Ties

The scissors for cutting your soul ties are in your hands.  The scissors are the signs that the relationship is unhealthy and ungodly.   

Some signs of unhealthy soul ties are:

  • You know you’re being used.
  • Lack of trust.
  • The relationship has no benefits to you.  
  • There’s an obsessive element to the relationship.
  • You crave the approval of the person.
  • There’s emotional intimacy that’s not beneficial but you keep going back.  

Let’s take our spiritual scissors and cut the ties today if this describes you.  Pray with me:

I break and release every single soul tie now in the name of Jesus. I cut and sever myself from all romantic relationships, spiritually perverse relationships, and past relationships in the name of Jesus.  I renounce every connection that was not from God in the name of Jesus, and I declare that I am free by the blood of Jesus.  I thank you that every chain is broken, mental torment is ending, and obsession is ending.  Whom the Son has set free is free indeed, in the name of Jesus.  Amen.  


Check out our YouVersion plan “Rip Up the List: Renew Relationships” where Pastor Mike takes you on a 7-day journey through the seven phases of romantic relationships. Each day you will be challenged to rip up the list of failures and mistakes and pursue relationships that reflect God’s heart.

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