Ok... Valentine's Day is upon us. Either you love it or you hate it. My guess is, you love it if you are currently in a romantic relationship- you hope your significant other will spoil you and express his love to you in creative and meaningful ways; perhaps even a marriage proposal. If you hate V-Day, it's most likely because you aren't in a relationship, therefore annoyed of the fact that you cannot participate in the holiday and so have declared it stupid, even though you are secretly hoping that you will find that special someone, some day... some how.
Either way, why is it such a big deal? And, should it be a big deal?
According to an article on the National Geographic, the history of Valentine's day leads back to the 5th Century, A.D. The holiday was set to honor romance and an individual's sex drive and it was believed that one might find their soulmate on such a day.
Hmmmm.... Soulmate. This word sounds familiar.We hear it in songs and we crave it in movies. It's premise is based on the notion that there is only one perfect person for everyone and this person is worth searching for because their existence will complete and fulfill ours. This, my friends, is the leading factor behind why people spend so much money, effort and time on romance and matters of the heart- including Valentine's day.
But, is there really only one person in the whole world with whom you are destined to love? The question rises many discussions and equal confusion: "How will I know if I find him?", "What if I never find him?", "Does such a person even exist?" Contrary to popular belief, a soul-mate isn't what you might think.
The idea of a "soul mate" was first conjured by the late, great, Plato- a Grecian philosopher who taught that men and women were made in one body, but separated by the gods. In Plato’s Symposium, he tells the story of how Zeus split human beings in half, in efforts to keep them from attaining power. By separating these beings into two souls, they would wonder the world, "incomplete", and so spend their lives searching for their counter part instead of rising to power and taking over his throne. This creative ideology was so compelling to the culture that it became a mainstream form of thought and passed down throughout the centuries. This is why people talk about looking for their “second half” and equate falling in love with feelings of completion.
As time has gone on, so many of us, including those of us who claim faith in Christ, have assimilated ourselves into similar thinking: "Once I fall in love, I will be complete". Of course, we don't actually say these words out loud. Most often, we believe them subconsciously and express this belief externally in our choices and erratic dating behaviors. But, is the belief in Soul Mates real?
My answer is no, according to scripture. The very idea of a soul mate is in direct opposition of what the Bible says about the nature of our souls. According to scripture, each of us have been uniquely created by God (Ps. 139: 13-14). There is not another person walking around that fits our missing pieces, because we don't have any missing pieces. We have been created, in whole, by the God of the universe, who makes no mistakes or half-fashioned people. To say that we are not complete until we fall in love denies the Creator of our souls His rightful credit in what He created. You are not half a person. You are perfectly and wholly made, yet there is a dormant part in us all. A sleeping self that must be awaken, but a kiss just won't do.
Before I gave my life to Christ, I was searching too: in clubs, in books, in the mall, in the mirror. I thought finding love would solve my problems, and for a time, it did. But eventually, I soon learned that physical pleasures can never satisfy our souls. We become wanderers when we don't know where we're going or when we don' know who we are looking for. That longing in our hearts- that notion that we are not complete, well, it's not a man that can solve that issue. Only Christ's love can do that. He is the one who can awake our sleeping souls. He is the only One who can increase and fulfill our existence (Ephesians 3:20).
Once we go through the spirals of love and marriage, before long, that man will eventually let us down. He will say something stupid, or do something rude. He will forget your most important request and leave the clothes in the washing machine over night because the game was on. He'll make decisions that you won't always agree with and he'll have habits that rub you the wrong way. He is human, just like you. And deep down, we know we personally have the potential of disappointing people, as well; so it's unfair to expect the opposite from others.
A relationship (dating or marriage) cannot keep you happy all the time. "Brandon" cannot make you feel beautiful all the time. He will not make you feel special or smart or confident or sexy, all the time. Those needs come from simply accepting yourself, first, by understanding your value in Christ. Once this happens, and it must happen, then we are heading down the path of emotional health that is required to sustain and maintain a romantic relationship and, ultimately, marriage. Once this is achieved, the commitment to love becomes a daily choice- not a happenstance.
To love, as I've said in previous posts, is to choose to put the other first, just as Christ has done for us. When we live to pour into another person- to serve and not be served, well, that's when the euphoric experience of love takes place. Daily. Habitually. Intentionally. Sincerely. We grow, we learn, we mature, we become. And, although it would be lovely to find that imaginary man who reads minds, performs magic and has an ever expanding bank account, the lessons we should learn in the process of loving through choice would never be achieved.
Soulmates are a lovely idea, but it just isn't true. You are complete and you are loved, weather single or in a relationship. You don't need Valentine's Day to celebrate this fact, so my suggestion is to be content with where you are. If you are happily in love and enjoying the journey of marriage or dating, then count your blessings and cherish one another. If you are still single and waiting, then celebrate the love that others have for you and support your loved ones who are in relationships. Odds are, your time is coming, but, until then, you are free to be you and explore all the wonders and friendships that God has given you. You are always loved-completely, emphatically and eternally. A relationship is only an addition to that truth, not the fulfillment of it. So relax and rest in God's love for you! Celebrate life and all the beauty it holds, not just on V Day, but everyday... It never hurts, however, to do so over a box of chocolates and The NoteBook!
Blessings for your hearts!
Do you have some sweet gals in your life that you'd like to get a little something special for? V-Day isn't just for lovers... it's for friends, too! Head on over to the #BeTheShe Shop and pick some cute goodies for your favorite girls! xoxo