Ten years ago I met a guy and we had a child together. A few years after my daughter was born I became born again but the father did not and he still makes a mockery of God. I decided to break off with him since we never married. Since we broke up he is always trying to hang around and get me to have sex with him and recently I gave in to him. I know a relationship with him will not work but the problem is that he can be very controlling and insecure and I find it difficult to deal with him at times.
– BG from Unknown City
What do I do if I’m in love with a married man who loves me too? He doesn’t want to leave his family. We have tried to separate with each other and we always come back. What shall I do?
– C from Cincinnati, Ohio
What is a soul tie? (Part 1)
I’m putting these two questions together because in my opinion the underlying problem in both cases is the same: SOUL TIES. What is that you might ask? It’s a highly underestimated and little understood problem affecting multitudes of people who have hangovers from bad relationships. It often explains why it is so difficult to move on and why people recycle negative relationships even years down the road.
To understand it we need to first understand a little bit about the soul. The soul is generally regarded as that part of us that holds the life principle. Though it is not visible, it is attached to and part of our physical body. Normally, the soul is the seat of our emotions, our will and our moral actions. Peter knew that most temptation dwells in the soul realm so he advised: “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul.” (1 Peter 2:11)
Sharing your soul with another person (through sexual union) creates a tie. The deepest soul tie is forged when two people become one flesh. Often that tie is a hard knot to untangle. Even though we can’t see it, a commingling of the souls occurs. “’And the two shall become one flesh; consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh.’” (Mark 10:8)
Think about the fact that your body shares all its resources freely with itself. Blood circulates throughout your body and as long as the blood is healthy it provides health to every organ. But what if blood from someone with a disease gets into your bloodstream? You may end up with that disease.
When souls mingle spiritual disease may be spread. Why is it that a sexual molester often recounts being molested in their past? Was something of that sickness imparted during the mingling of the souls? If yes, that makes it very important to be careful whose soul you mingle with and only do so within marriage according to God’s plan.
What if the other person’s soul is not particularly unhealthy? Is it okay then? Not really. Besides moral considerations, disconnecting from anyone with whom you have become one flesh is much more difficult than it would have been if you hadn’t joined. The bonds are tighter (soul ties) and may cause you to feel inexplicably drawn back to a toxic relationship. That is no doubt why the one reader says “we always come back” and the other reader gave in to sex even though “I know a relationship with him will not work.”
Breaking soul ties (Part 2)
Soul ties can be broken and should be broken. They represent an unholy union preventing the soul from enjoying the freedom that Jesus came to give us. But even while giving a straightforward procedure for severing them I’m not saying it’s always easy. In fact it can be very difficult and require courage and perseverance. The end result will make it worthwhile. Remember that God is on your side and wants you to be free.
The first step is to acknowledge your sin and repent of it. In the case of a long term relationship or multiple partners try to the extent possible to be specific. “Lord, I am sorry for going to bed with Jack after I got drunk at that party for his birthday. That was sin. I’m repenting of that right now.” The best idea is to do this out loud and even better if you can confess in the presence of another trusted Christian. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
Next, verbally break the tie and anything that might have infiltrated in with it. “By the power of the blood of Jesus, I break any unholy tie that exists between Jack and I. I release our souls from each other. I reject any effect of our union that continues to bind us together. In Jesus name I am free now from Jack and he is free from me.”
Now rededicate your life, your body and your soul to the Lord. “Lord I belong to you. I need your grace to not sin like this again. I receive the power through your Holy Spirit to live victoriously from here on in.”
The final step is to move forward on that confession even if your emotions try to tell you for a time that it’s still there. Your emotions—your soul, may be slower to accept the message but put your foot down. Who’s in charge, YOU or your soul? You are! If necessary, go back and repeat the steps until your soul stops protesting. Finally, the feelings will fade and the freedom will be sweet.
Do you have any soul ties? Don’t keep living with them. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
Note: In the interest of brevity I did not address soul ties created without permission such as a victim of rape might receive. For these cases, the ties can still be broken and forgiveness will usually weigh into the equation. That’s for another day.