By Amanda Idleman, Crosswalk.com
The idea of finding your soulmate is deeply ingrained in our American culture. Just think of every Disney princess movie where we see the young girl waiting patiently for her soulmate and prince charming to sweep in for that happily ever after! When we buy into this idea of the need to find our 'perfect match" in order to realize our desired happy life, we can become very disillusioned when we find out that staying married to one person for a lifetime takes a lot of hard work.
Marriage is a covenant created by God, a commitment to God and your spouse for a lifetime. Even if you have the kindest, most compatible spouse out there, you are still married to a sinful human who will disappoint you. The narrative that says who you marry and not how you invest in your marriage is what leads to happiness leads to the belief that if we get married and later find the match isn't as ideal as we once thought, we can feel justified in abandoning your union to continue the search for that truly perfect soulmate.
The phrase "a match made in Heaven" is part of our culture's obsession with the idea of finding a soulmate. The expression leads us to believe that God ordained one perfect person for you to find and marry. God does bless our marriages when we invite him into our lives, but the idea that we need to find our perfect match can cause us to question our choice of partner when marriage gets hard.
Did I really find that perfect Heaven-made match, or am I missing out on someone better? Would my spouse be happier with someone else? This type of thinking makes it hard to stay committed when the going gets tough in our homes. For much of the world and most of human history, marriage matches were made by families, and the couple had little input in who their spouse would be. Even when that is not the case, there are many cases where one spouse is abusive, and it is not at all what God intends for that couple. God honors our choices, designed marriage to grow us up in our character, and helps us keep the covenant of marriage.
Where Did the Phrase "Match Made in Heaven" Come From?
This phrase is based on the belief that divine forces have a hand in making two compatible people meet and pair up. No one knows the exact origin of this phrase. It is often used when a couple appears to be extremely compatible. The couple may share the same hobbies and skills and appear never to experience conflict in their relationship.
What Is a Match Made in Heaven?
A 'match made in heaven' refers to a couple that is perfectly suited for one another. The meaning of the phrase is a combination of two people that is perfect in every way, two people so well suited to each other that their marriage is sure to be happy and successful, a marriage that is happy and successful because the partners are very compatible, two people who are perfect for each other.
Some examples of ways people may use the phrase would be the following:
- The couple is a match made in heaven. They love doing things together and cannot bear to be away from each other.
- I hope they get married soon! They really are a match made in heaven.
- Our friends are not only supportive of one another, but they also have similar interests. They are truly a match made in heaven.
- Looking back on many years of marriage, the couple realized that they are truly a match made in heaven!
Does the Bible Say Anything about "Matches Made in Heaven"?
The phrase "a match made in Heaven" does not come from the Bible. The idea that God has some say in the person we choose to marry does have Biblical precedent. God gives us some principles that should guide our choices and prayers when selecting a partner to share our lives with.
In Genesis 24, we read about how Isaac, the son of Abraham, found a wife. In this story, Abraham lays out some guidelines for what he is looking for when it comes to a wife for his son. She has to be willing to live in the land that God had led Abraham's family to. She had to worship the one true God. She could not be one that would distract or convince Isaac to follow the path that God had laid out for his life. Before the search began, some non-negotiables were set out on what a life partner should be committed to.
In the New Testament, we see this idea reiterated. In 2 Corinthians 6:14, it says, "Do not be yoked with unbelievers. For what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?" The advice Paul gives the new believers is to find a spouse that shares their faith. This common ground is so helpful in building a marriage that can stand the test of time.
The Bible acknowledges that our choice of who to marry is an important one! Proverbs 18:22 says, "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." God advises us to choose our partners well. That's why growing your marriage on the strong foundations of shared convictions is helpful to keep your home intact.
When approaching marriage, it's important to have principles that guide your dating choices. Your future spouse should share your faith and be able to support your God-given calling. If you are married to someone who does not share your faith, pray that God will change their hearts and give you the strength to love each other well. Whenever you find yourself in a relationship where abuse is a part of the dynamic, it's important to reach out to find safety and healing. God never desires you to stay in a relationship where your partner is abusing you.
My husband and I have been married for almost 15 years. When we met, I probably thought we had a lot in common, and I credit God for bringing us together. Yet, I now know that every day our marriage perseveres not because of our shared interests (which actually now are not that many) but our shared commitment to the Lord. When God is our guide, a choice we make to love someone well becomes a chance for God to show us his strength through our weakness daily. I am not strong enough to make my marriage work by my own strength. Even the ways we get along well can become reasons for conflict and frustration over time!
God designed marriage to give us community; it is a tool that often leads to happiness, but it is also a place that God refines us. He shows us that love is a choice. He chose to come down to Earth to show us his great love for us rather than abandon us with no hope of sin's consequences. We choose to love the person we committed to when we got married. God gives us the strength to walk out that choice every day.
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Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.