I remember growing up and watching the Dating Game. Three bachelors/bachelorettes and some selective questions in which they determine which one they will go on a date with. Like the popular songster show, The Voice, you don’t get to see who you are listening to and that made it half the fun.
Sometimes we are better off not knowing what someone looks like, but then how do we know it’s really that someone? With new shows like Catfish, I am amazed anyone trusts talking with someone they can’t really see or hear. It never ceases to perplex me as to why someone pretends to be someone they aren’t to get even, or because they are lonely or bored. The heartbreak of severed relationships is hard enough today without all the complications. Virtual reality shows pop up almost daily from cooking to celebrities and a sneak peek into people’s lives as if we don’t have any of our own.
Before you critique. I watch many of the Next Food Network Star programs and Catfish, Restaurant Stakeouts and Mystery Diners and if they are true at all, it’s a sad state that we have so many people looking out for themselves but not for one another.
I thought that’s what most people were looking for…someone that made them feel like they mattered.
According to studies I’m seeing out there, 2 out of 3 people believe in a soul mate, but are we really willing to wait for them? There was a clip form a movie called, Timer. which asks this same question? In the movie, there’s a watch attached to you that tells you when you will meet your soul mate and even alarms when you first look into their eyes. What if the watch told you that you missed your mate? Now what? And so, I pose a question. If God told you the one you are with isn’t your soul mate, what do you do? And if he tells you that your soul mate is a close friend of yours and you’re both married? Yikes, scary territory. It might make us rethink our views on why people divorce, perhaps or why we accept the jokes comedians tell about men and women, wives and husbands and why we all identify so with the humor when on the inside, we know a truth no one talks about. Possibly?
In Hebrew, a bashert is the concept of a soul mate. This is supposed to be some divinely created being that is your counterpart in every way. They are like you in so many ways that seeing one is like viewing the mirror image of the other. I’ve heard the belief that the moment you bond in marriage, you become bashert. I’m not saying that isn’t true, but I think it’s a little more challenging than that.
Based on the divorce statistics today, the religious sector is divorcing at a higher rate than those who don’t claim to be religious. Open any tabloid or watch any television reality show and you will witness the sad state of getting the perfect dress, the perfect couple, who are blindly in love and within weeks or months, they can’t stand to look at or be in the same room with the one they married or ‘hooked up ‘ with just a short time ago.
One question I’ve asked a few young people and some older married couples that claim a religious background is, “Did you ask God before you got married, if this was the one?”; “Did He answer?”. I attended many types of churches and taught in some of them, sang in many of them, and observed in all of them that many young couples entering into marriage talk about how they prayed for God to send them their mate. Parents speak of years of praying for the prospective mates for their children, but none tell me the aftermath. “So when a prospective mate shows up and seems to fit all the criteria they were praying for, did they go to God and ask confirmation?” The repeated answer is, “No, I never thought about it like that”.
I was a homeschooler for 14 years, and we were always praying for our children and their spiritual and eventual walk with their mate in life.
When I inquired of newly engaged couples as to why they were getting married they answered that they felt it was about time. Wow, now that sounds romantic. I definitely want a guy to tell me he asked me to marry him because it was about time. Really? Others told me they did ask God and prayed with their prospective mate, but when I asked their mate, separately, the answer was different. They hadn’t prayed about that and had not received an answer. Some said they got a feeling…hmm. What feeling?
So for those of us who believe in soul mates being possible? Other than a list of all the person’s attributes, did you go a step further and ask if this is the ONE?! Did God answer?
Does it not say what God has joined together let no man put asunder, in regard to the holiest of unions? But does anybody really ask God? Do we assume because we fall in love with the one we marry that God approves. I’m not saying He doesn’t but perhaps, it isn’t His best for you if He doesn’t answer or are we afraid of the answer?
Well, today I will help my 22 year-old son fill out divorce papers to begin the process of separating. Personally, I’ve been here before and my heart breaks for him. He still loves her and doesn’t see how it can mean so much to one person and nothing to another. He keeps asking, “Mom, how do you stop loving someone you’ve known for 15 years?” I don’t have answers for that really. Time will teach him what real love is, I pray.
So let me end by asking you to entertain a few thoughts. If a marriage lasts a long time, does that make it real love? Because you share someone’s last name, does that make them your true love? Are we perhaps guilty of treating a marriage license with artistic license and painting it how we want others to see it when behind the scenes, it’s not as pretty as we pretend it is? I am not an advocate of divorce, but I do believe if you love someone then we shouldn’t be afraid of the answers we might find if we look a little deeper in the heart. Some feel safe under the cover of a ring and a contract, but love is not about possession. Truly, can we love another enough to leave if they aren’t fulfilled within the relationship? Can we also stay if we realize that they are not the perfect mate we hoped for but we love them enough to not threaten their existence as they see it?
Love should be a measure of giving and receiving, but I have found it is usually a teeter totter of one giving and one taking. That’s what we call mutual gratification. Can we be honest and ask ourselves if we are really giving back because we want to keep the tally even or because we truly want to give love to the one who gives us love so unconditionally? I believe there are many couples out there who love from the love the Father has given them, but there are just as many who claim love like an adornment of rings, contracts and years and end up like the children’s story, The Emperor’s New Clothes–naked and ashamed. In the beginning, it was not this way. I hope to discuss this more in the next few weeks.
So ask some questions and tell me what you find; Inquiring minds want to know.