Thursday, October 6, 2011

Soul Mates, Schmole Mates

There is a long running joke between Monkey Toes and I about the term "Soul Mates."  A few years ago I told him that the term actually kind of bugged me.  I mean, I get the idea behind it, but it sounds just a little bit over the top for me.  Now if you are a soul mate to someone, please don't take my views personally.  If you are happy and in love and that is a term you enjoy using, by all means don't let my simple mindedness offend you nor stop you from using it! 

In 1996 when the movie Jerry McGuire came out, so many people coined the phrase, "You complete me."  In the movie, in was a romantic notion, leaving some to consider if their significant other really "completed" them.  It may also have left many single people wondering if they would ever find their missing piece.  Hollywood struck once again in planting the inadequacy seed among throngs of people.  1996 happened to be the time in my life when I was making it on my own.  I didn't have a significant other, nor an active dating life.  What I did have was a full time job, my own apartment, a loving family and amazing friends.  I never felt like I needed anything to complete me.  With my faith and life as it was, I was whole. 

I don't quite recall how the whole soul mate topic ever came up between Monkey Toes and I, but once I shared my views with him, he in turn (in his usual joking, a bit dramatic and unceasingly teasing way) has never let me forget it.  He'll make comments like, "I believed in soul mates until you crushed my dreams of me being yours!" or, "You would understand me better if we were soul mates."  Blah, blah, blah.  Please don't mistake me for a pessimist.  I like romance as much as the next.  I love my husband very much and daily I thank God for him.  I believe that it was God's hand that directed us towards one another and I don't want to imagine my life without him.  Monkey has enhanced my life. 

From a faith standpoint, our marriage is much more than just a promise to love one another forever.  It is a covenant, which goes beyond any verbal commitment I could ever make on my own.  Blessed Pope John Paul II wrote:
There is a special love required for marriage.  It is different from the love between friends, or between parent and child, or between us and God.  It is called marital love and is characterized by a man and a woman who give themselves to one another in faithfulness, permanence, and openness to the begetting and raising of children.  (Apostolic exhortation, "The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World."
 In addition, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church.  It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life.  (cf. Council of Trent:  DS 1799)
 Monkey Toes is more than my best friend.  He is more than the father to our children.  He is more than all the other qualities that make him unique.  And, he is more than my soul mate.  He is my spouse.  That to me encompasses more than any coined phrase ever could.

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