Soul Ties. They sound so deep and permanent, don’t they? For those who don’t know the term is often used when people speak about the lingering connection between people who have sex with one another. It’s from the church, used by church folks to dissuade the unmarried from engaging in sex outside of the confines of marriage.
A few years ago, I wrote about the reasons why they’re not a good rationale for holding on to a no-good man.
At the time, I spoke of the whole “soul tie” thing with kid gloves. Because it wasn’t the concept of soul ties I was discussing but more so the ways in which they’re used to rationalize our own foolishness.
But today, let’s just talk about soul ties in and of themselves. They came to mind when gospel singer Erica Campbell posted this quote on her Instagram page.
I think we can all agree with the quote itself. It was Erica’s accompanying caption that made me think though. I agree that sex can be a spiritual act but if I’m being honest, for quite a few people, men and women alike, it’s just not that deep. We’ve all known people who can lay down with someone and think nothing of them once they’ve gotten what they want. Then we know people who slept with someone one time and spend the next twenty years talking about them. I think it depends on the value you place on sex. I find it hard to believe that sex workers are spiritually connected to every trick who spends money on them. And the same can be said for the johns. It’s just an exchange, a way to meet a biological need.
Sex, maybe in its original conception, in the most ideal of circumstances is spiritual, used to build otherworldly connections. But if you don’t enter a sexual relationship within that context, I don’t know if that still applies. Even the Bible is full of plenty of stories of people using sex to satisfy their lusts, achieve some goal and even manipulation, the same way we use it today. And these Biblical characters oftentimes are able to go on about their lives. Erica says having sex with someone is giving them a part of yourselves that you can NEVER get back. And I just don’t know about that. It’s the same type of mystical language we use to talk about virginity in the church. I agree that your body is your temple and that you should be careful who you share it with. But no matter who may enter it, at the end of the day, it’s still yours. You are still autonomous over it. And if you decide to stop sharing it with a person, I don’t believe they’re forever walking around with an irreplaceable part of you. Furthermore, I believe your body, like your mind and your spirit, can be cleansed of everything, including spiritual energies.
Which brings me to the soul tie part. First, I should note that there is a difference between soul and spirit. Human beings are souls. And we possess spirits. Our spirit is the part of us that connects us to God. But the soul is the “essence of life,” the part of us that lives in and animates our bodies and minds in the physical world. It’s the piece of us that is extracted from our physical shells in the next. The soul and spirit are connected, closely. But they are different. So to suggest that sleeping with someone makes them forever a part of your person, your essence, your being seems a little extreme and unrealistic.
Furthermore, the phrase and concept of soul ties is not based on scripture. It appears nowhere in the Bible.
The Bible speaks of souls being united in friendship, issues warning about involving yourself with people who are ungodly (those who possess spirits that are different from ours) and of course speaks against fornication. But with fornication, it talks about bodies uniting. “Two become one flesh.” Not spirit or soul.
Soul ties are a man-made concept– likely used to influence people’s sexual decision making.
But y’all God specializes in uniqueness, diversity, and individuality down to the cellular level. The DNA in our saliva, blood, the oneness of our fingerprints, the differences in our physical features and personalities all speak to this. I can’t imagine that He would spend all of this time crafting and sculpting us only to allow our decisions to compromise that. I have a hard time believing that our decision to have sex with someone would somehow combine, morph or split God’s creation. As I hear in church “You’re not strong enough to ruin God’s plan for your life.”