Soul Mates
Rachel Olsen

"People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall." Proverbs 10:9 (NLT)

Earlier this spring a friend contacted me needing to share something going on in her life. She is a Christian who suddenly found herself in desperate need of clarity and support. She was falling into an emotional affair.

A former boyfriend contacted her out of the blue. At first it was a fun blast from the past to hear his voice and find out what he was up to. But it didn't take long before he confessed he had been thinking about her, missing her. She is single and has been at peace with that …until his words stirred up feelings of loneliness and longings for affection. He is married with children.

He told her his marriage wasn't doing well, and hinted that he longed to be with her again. Sure enough, feelings of attraction bubbled to the surface of her heart. My friend said she and this man had not reconnected face-to-face, but they were reconnecting voice-to-voice, mind-to-mind, and heart-to-heart with the computer or phone.

Have you ever had the feeling someone else is really meant to be your soul mate? That "soul mate" notion can cause a lot of damage, because once someone pledges themselves to another in marriage before God, they essentially become soul mates. "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together" (Mark 10:7b-9, NLT).

Christians may be more likely to engage in emotional affairs, thinking that it doesn't really count as sin if there is no skin. "The defining characteristic of an affair is not whether there is sex involved, but the concealment that surrounds it and the fact that someone is being betrayed," says Dr. Jill Hubbard in her book The Secrets Women Keep.

Years ago I witnessed a woman begin an emotional affair with a man she "had more in common with" than her husband. Never mind the fact that she had her school-aged children in common with her husband. She was eventually confronted by members of her church, but did not end the relationship. She is divorced today.

Listen, we have to be honest with ourselves and with God. Jesus said we can commit adultery in our minds (Matthew 5:28); we can also commit an affair in our hearts. Plus, an emotional affair is often just the beginning stages of a physical one.

My friend struggling with this is single, but the man she's falling for is not. This isn't just a "married women's issue." We all have to guard our hearts. The Bible says they are the wellspring of our lives.

If you are in some type of affair now, I urge you to end it. Stop feeding that addiction. Run quickly from sexual immorality. Change your phone number, your email address and your daily routine if necessary to avoid him. Thankfully, my friend stopped speaking with her temptation.

If you are not entangled in this presently, guard yourself from falling into the trap. Be alert to slippery slopes. Don't go trolling the internet to check on past loves. Beware confiding anything too personal, especially your marriage woes, to members of the opposite sex - find a female friend or counselor to talk to instead. Have an accountability partner periodically ask you how you're doing in this area. And if you are married, invest in your marriage.

Finally, let's turn our attention to the One who is Love (1 John 4:8) and who knows our hearts better than anyone else can. Let's draw near to Christ who is truly our souls' mate. We can safely satisfy our hearts in His.

Dear Lord, strengthen my friends to do what is right. And help me keep pure - mind, heart, body and soul. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Your Soul’s Mate – the One you were made for?

Confessions of an Adulterous Woman: Lies that got me there, Truths that brought me back by Lyndell Hetrick Holtz

Torn Asunder: Recovering From an Extramartial Affair by Dave Carder

For more on the topic of emotional affairs, visit Rachel’s blog today

Application Steps:
Read Jesus' words to a woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11.

Invest in your marriage – the Love Dare is a helpful resource for this.

Reflections:
Am I guarding my heart?

What is the current intimacy level in my marriage? In my relationship with God?

Power Verses:
Psalm 51:10, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (NIV)

Hebrews 10:22, "Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water." (NLT)

© 2009 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been there. Only through God's grace and mercy am I still married. 22 years this week! This affair happened years 10-11 of my marriage. Emotional affair that went quickly to a physical one. I am in ministry now! 4 beautiful blessings from God, a husband that not only forgave, but loves me more. I am sold out to what God can do - I didn't want Him, He just wouldn't let me go! As my 10 year old says, "GOD ROCKS!"

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This speaks to me. Thank you for the encouragement to recognize my husband as my soulmate. Most of the time, I just don't see it. My husband is talking to me more whereas before he used to talk to everyone else but me. I was always the last to know anything. He is a good man but we have lived very separate lives. This seems to be changing now. I pray that it continues. God will continue His work in me (as long as I let Him, of course). That is all that I desire. Praising God for His patience with us.

Blogger Rachel Olsen said...

God does rock indeed. And His power to restore a marriage is unmatched.

Be sure and check out my blog today for some eye opening research on WHY MEN CHEAT!

www.RachelOlsen@blogspot.com

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! I had to confront this very issue this morning at work. Amazing how God confirms that I did the right thing. Thank you for allowing God to speak through you today directly to me!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here we go again,this stupid thought that women can't have male friends-- well I do!

Blogger Rachel Olsen said...

Not interested in arguging with you, anonymous, but I do want to be clear that no where have I said that women cannot be friends with men. I have male friends myself.

What I maintain is that it's wise to take care in just how personal and close we become with male friends if one of us is married - especially if the friend is a former flame, or someone you are attacted to.

God offers us freedom, and tells us to manage it with wisdom.

Blogger Melissa said...

Nicely written Rachel!!!Based on the prayer requests that call in and are sent via internet to the Proverbs 31 Office (where I am the prayer coodinator), this is our #1 request for prayer! There is a very fine line between friendship and then slipping unintentionally into an affair of any kind. So many women are lonely and hurting, even if they are married, and when someone comes along who says all the right things Satan can use those feelings to fool them. The books you recommended are fabulous.

Thanks girl! Love ya!

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Very powerful and important devotion Rachel. So glad you were willing to tread on the enemy's territory. I pray that many, many marriages and hearts will be restored and protected through this very eye-opening message.

Praying for each woman who reads it and who has posted here and on your blog - sharing so openly their own painful regrets.

Praying protection for you, too.

Hugs,
Renee

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for being obedient to GOD. GOD Bless. I had to share this same information with my married daughter--who saw no wrong in confiding with a male and her husband as she states was not paying her any attention.
Thanks again for being obedient to GOD.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really needed to read this today! Not because I have or cheated on my husband. But it can erase the thoughts of me having another soul mate out there.
Your marriage can be so bad sometimes and when you're not getting the love and affection that you so long for. Or everything in the marriage seems to be so terrible, that satan will put thoughts and allusions in your mind to leave your relationship in your mind or in your thoughts or even physically to somewhere else as he tried to do Jesus in the wilderness.
My husband is not at all affectionate to me, he is nothing like I would want him to be. When I met him, the Lord told me that he was my husband, and I fell in love with him spiritually so I didn't know anything about him naturally. I only got to know him in 6 months, and found out that I was in TROUBLE! The thought of cheating on him didn't go into my mind, because If I cheated on him, I would have been cheating on the Lord. But the thought of him dieing so that I could get married again kept going into my thoughts. I would daydream and night dream about being with someone other than him, that I just knew was my "soul mate". The worst part about it was not that he didn't know how to love, because I could see him love others but not me. Just on last night, I was crying out to the Lord about it. I get sick very often, and had to go to the ER on last night. I was so hurt because I wanted my husband to comfort me while he was just STANDING there, while I am moaning and groaning. He didn't hold my hand or anything. Instead, satan was telling me constantly that he was just mad because he couldn't get home at 9:30 to hurry up and call his daughter's mother.(who calls every day) about his daughter who was sick( as always, supposely)He gets home, and run to the phone, and don't help me to the room, fix my food or anything. I just cried and cried to the Lord, and told him that it is so hard dealing with rejection from my husband. Well, this morning, I woke up and he gave me a card. The card didn't have to my wife, it had we on it, so I had something to say about it in my mind and just realized as the woman said that it's going to get better, and that I just have to continue to invest i my marriage because if I believe what I see(smile) it shall come to past. Oh, I write a lot, so bare with me. I'm the one who is always writing these long comments. I can't help it, it's the writer in me. To the one who commented about it being stupid to say that we can't have male friends.
The Lord told us to be wise as a serpent but harmless as a dove. We must watch as well as pray.
We must receive wisdom not reject it. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. He is very tricky. Look what he did to Adam and Eve! Peter thought that he was ready to die for Jesus. But Jesus knew that he wasn't ready or strong enough at that point and time, that's why he denied him. It didn't mean that Peter didn't love him and didn't want to die for him. He just wasn't ready. Sometimes we may think that we can handle temptation but really we can't. That's why the Lord doesn't lead us to temptation. The bible says, to stay away from all APPEARANCES of evil. Also, don't let your good be evil spoken of. So you must be careful in all areas, even a woman and a man being friendly to each other. If there is a gap that satan can go in, trust me, he's going. I love you and I pray that you will get the understanding that Rachel is saying in love.

Blogger Cindy said...

This is just so poignent in today's society. I have friends who encourage me to join social networking sites because I'll "be amazed at who I might find from the past." This is the very reason I won't join them! Why would I as a married woman with three children need to reconnect with my high school sweetheart? Thank you for this post, and I hope it speaks to women who need encouragement to continue to work "for" and not "against" their marriage.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Part 1 of 3) Rachel, Thank you for this devotional. I only wish I would have had it 4 months ago, BUT your devotional has brought me great strength and wisdom when I first read it, and as I read it daily. Here is my story: I am a married woman of 17yrs, a mother of 3 children and a Christian for 9yrs. I met my husband at the age of 13, found myself pregnant at 14 (I invented teen pregnancy) & had our son at 15, we got married when I was 20, and my husband 22. This year in March I had just come back from a wonderful weekend of being at a Woman’s Retreat with my church. I'm on fire for the Lord, and rejoicing as I had invited my friend from work to come with me, & she accepted the Lord as her Savior. I was on cloud 9, I just kept saying how good the Lord was...then, and a BIG then, Satan stepped in. Only three days after the retreat I get a text message on my phone. Is says "Hi". Not knowing who it was, I said "Hi. Who's this?" It was my ex-boyfriend/fiancé of the past, 18 years past. When my husband and I weren't together in my teen yrs, I met a boy in high school. We dated for two years. We were engaged to be married, the plans were in the works, the invitations were out, my wedding dress was being altered. BUT, we had a fall out that stopped our wedding plans and relationship all together. Six months later, I went for the rebound relationship, and I found myself married to my husband now. All these years went by, & as I was married I kept judging my husband to this other man, wondering if my life would have been better? The text messages went to emails, to phone calls, than to a lunch. It didn't take long to bring back those romantic feelings for the both of us. Did I mention he is married (a second time), and has a child. Of course he shared his troublesome life stating none of the other woman compared to me, & how he...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Part 2 of 3)...he turned to drugs and drinking to replace the emptiness he felt from losing me so long ago and that we should be together. My heart hurt for him & I was also flattered, he said the right things, listened to my grieving heart of life's disappointments & joys & both of us started wondering why we weren't together. God showed me many doors of how I should walk away from this emotional affair & Satan kept lying to me as to why I should stay. But I just kept telling myself it was just a friendly phone call. I was lying to myself. We both were, and we knew that if we had not lived in separate states, it would no longer just be an emotional affair. I had prided myself on how a good Christian wife I was, how I submitted to my husband, how I shared the Word with others, how I taught Sunday school, paid my tithe, supported the missionaries, and how I spent Sunday afternoons at the local convalescent hospital. BUT Satan, knew my weakness, and before I knew it, I was tempted like never before, I said and did things I never thought I was capable of, and I not only hurt myself, but I broke my husband’s heart. All these years I kept holding out on my husband not giving him or the Lord my whole heart, thinking the grass would be greener on the other side, when it was your words about the "soul mate" that struck me like lightening. My husband was my soul mate, God always knew that, BUT for the first time in my life, I realized it. All this time, my marriage had suffered, because I kept thinking my life belonged to another man, but the truth was, my husband is one of the greatest blessings and gifts that the Lord has given me. I didn’t know it than, but I know it now. As mutual agreement, we called off the emotional affair, and I...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Part 3 of 3)...took your word, I changed my phone number, and confessed my sins before the Lord, my husband, and the other man. I praise the Lord that it never became physical, and that this other man does live in another state. It is hard for me, and perhaps all of us to allow the Lord to have control of our lives, God knew my husband was my soul mate, my chosen one, back 17 years ago, and 17+ years from now. I never thought I was capable of falling, but I did, I fell hard and fast. It didn’t take me long to lie to my family and to do things in secret. My wounds are very fresh, BUT the Lord is so forgiving & so has & is my husband. I hope my story can encourage others to know that God only wants the best for His daughters, if we would just trust in the Lord, & stop listening to the lies we tell ourselves, & the whispers & shouts that Satan tells us. I also realized that my judgment towards woman who had affairs was cruel and harsh, until one day I became one of them, if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. Please pray for me as I try to let go of the fairy tale endings that have been and still are in my head, as I face the reality of today. Pray that my faith and walk with God can be strengthened and stronger than ever, as I come before my Lord and family in humbleness. Pray that my marriage will be full of abundant love, grace, and forgiveness always. I will always be thankful for your words of encouragement that the Lord tells you to speak, I pray that Proverbs 31 Ministries continues to grow and touch woman across the world with the Word of truth, wisdom & Jesus’ love. “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue,” Proverbs 31:26 Your Loving Sister, "M" in California

Anonymous mike@ahamoment.com said...

Ok kind of a “mystical” vibe on you here but love really can move in mysterious ways. And sometimes you can find it in the most unexpected places.
Leah sent us a story awhile back about finding her soulmate way back in the 7th grade, and not realizing it until years later. You can watch her video at the link below.
I hope you find it as inspiring as I do. Thanks and have a great day.
http://www.ahamoment.com/vote/leah

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