Many of us have heard, or have been part of, beautiful love stories that make us believe in the existence of “the one”. We say, the way everything lines up to bring these two together, and/or the things they have in common make it obvious: they must be soul mates.
But God gives us free will. If soul mates—as in two people who were destined to be together— really existed, are we really free to choose our spouse? If you say you were meant to marry someone from all eternity, where is the free will in that?
On the other hand, God knows who we are going to marry. In his perfect will, he gives us the free will to choose. He may give us certain graces to help us make the right choice if we ask, but ultimately it is up to us.
Also, just because your story is not as beautiful as the romantic ones you hear, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t God’s will. God is creative, and offers boundless possibilities for love.
So if you’re looking to get married, you have options. The Lord is inviting you to make a choice. Once you do, the real soulmate relationship begins, because through marriage you will choose to give your lives to each other every day.
Understanding that the concept of soul mates is not what the culture says it is ought to be liberating. If there is no such thing as “the one”, you have no need to be anxious about a relationship with someone who might have been “the one”; and it frees you up to consider a relationship with someone who you may not at first have thought was “the one”.
God’s will is much more wild than our minds can understand. For some, their love story may seem like one of soul mates. But real soul mates don’t have to rely on the coincidences of life to make their story romantic, because they become each other’s soul mates through the sacrifices they make for each other within their marriage.
Meet Fr. Mark-Mary
Father Mark-Mary was ordained as a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal (CFR) in 2018 and lives at a friary in the Bronx.
The mission of the CFRs is to wholeheartedly embrace Jesus through fidelity to the Church and her Sacraments. Paired with their commitment to prayer, contemplation, and study of Sacred Scripture, the CFRs serve those around them, especially the poor, in the footsteps of Christ.
Discover beautiful music from the CFRs and Fr. Mark-Mary’s book Habits for Holiness: Small Steps for Spiritual Progress, both available from Ascension.