The other day I ran across an article about an online dating service that promises to “find God’s match for you.” Of course, that raises the question of whether God has just one match for you, one “soul-mate” whom you’re intended to be with forever.

There is no doubt that God arranged the circumstances of our lives (Acts 17:24-28). The case of marriage is an interesting one, though, because it seems to involve a combination of God’s sovereignty and my personal choices. However, I’ve really no doubt that God knows if we’ll get married and to whom, and I’ve no doubt that in some sense He arranges it all.

But the question of “soul-mates” is another matter entirely. I find the concept troublesome for a couple of reasons.

First, there’s simply no guarantee you or any person will get married. The Scripture says that some people aren’t meant to marry (Matthew 19:12; 1 Corinthians 7). So if everybody has a soul-mate who completes them, what does that say about single people? Are they incomplete? Do they somehow bear less of God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27)? Of course not.

Second, I think the concept of one perfect soul-mate creates unrealistic expectations. What if I marry a person who has emotional problems, who has a “past,” or who is less than ideal? What if I’m less than ideal? Does that mean I’m not qualified to be somebody’s soul-mate? After all, I can’t complete another person if I’m messed up myself. What if problems emerge 5, 10, or 20 years after we get married? Are we no longer soul-mates? When my partner doesn’t seem to be my soul-mate, won’t I be tempted to abandon ship and find my true match?

The Bible doesn’t command us to go find our soul-mates. It does command us to love the mates we already have (Ephesians 5:21-33). I’m not saying we should forego discernment in our choice of marriage partners. Instead, I’m saying that we can’t so accurately discern God’s hidden intentions about whether somebody is our secret soul-mate.

Finally, the idea that an online dating service promising to “God’s match” for you is not only silly and ridiculous. It’s offensive. An online dating service can be useful to connect people. It can even tell you whether you’re likely to get along with another person. But it can’t tell you God’s will. In the South we have a word for claims like that: hogwash. (Well, there are other words, but I can’t print them here). To set people up with the expectation that you’re acting as God’s matchmaker is false advertising at the highest level.

OK, there’s my two cents. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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