Soul ties are a modern idea that claims that the souls of two people can be connected which then has a positive or negative effect on them spiritually and bonds them to each other. However, this concept is not found in The Bible.
The controversial topic of soul ties often comes up around Christians, especially those who have struggled to end unhealthy relationships. A clear understanding of what The Bible says about our souls and spiritual connections is helpful – after all, the truth is what sets us free.
What are Soul Ties?
Soul ties are deep emotional and spiritual connections that bind two souls together. Some teach that they are pathways that can carry spiritual messages to each other. Many believe that soul ties are formed after being physically intimate with someone. It is also taught that soul ties can form in friendships and even in business.
This concept is romantic for a couple who are married and love each other fiercely: “our souls are forever entwined!” For some people, perhaps in abusive relationships or with difficult past experiences, this concept is terrifying and leaves them feeling despairing and powerless. And for some, it is something to hide behind: “I can’t break up with him, our souls are tied!” Almost like a deeply held grudge.
Are Soul Ties Mentioned in The Bible?
There have been books written about soul ties. So surely there must be some truth to them, right? Since The Bible is the source of truth (John 17:17), let’s take a look at some of the key scriptures that are often used to support the idea of spiritual connections and soul ties.
As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.1 Samuel 18:1,3 (ESV)
This verse from scripture is often used to confirm the concept of a soul tie. In the context of the passage and the story of David and Jonathan, we understand that this emotional, poetic, language indicates a very deep friendship that the two men shared and a loyalty so strong that Jonathan made a covenant (a promise before God) to David and was prepared to give up his life for him (1 Sam 18:3). Since a covenant is the most serious promise one can make, the word picture of “soul-knitting” is an apt way to describe this commitment.
The decisions that Jonathan made were choices, not a result of a spiritual connection that swayed him, but the result of the love of a true friend. The soul, a person’s inner spiritual being, can love deeply.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.Genesis 2:24 (ESV)
This powerful directive in scripture surrounding marriage is another verse that some people use to cement the idea of soul ties. The union of a man and woman under the covenant of marriage is incredibly special, but there is no evidence in scripture that suggests their souls become attached or connected. The union described here is a physical, in the flesh, union. The oneness that describes marriage, describes unity of purpose, love, and physical intimacy.
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.Acts 4:32 (ESV)
This humbling and beautiful verse describes the believers who were a part of the early church planting movement. “One heart and soul” here refers to their unity of mind, faith and purpose. Their souls were all in agreement and their love for God led them to love their fellow believers in practical ways: “what’s mine is yours.”
One thing is made clear from these verses and others (Song of Solomon 3:1-4) – the soul is capable of loving deeply. But loving deeply can hurt badly and leave scars when relationships end or there is betrayal of some kind. While the idea of soul ties or spiritual bondage isn’t founded on the scriptures, The Bible has a lot to say about our souls, our innermost beings.
What Does The Bible Say About Our Souls?
Besides loving deeply, the soul is mentioned in other ways throughout the scriptures.
- The soul can bless other people (Gen 27:19)
- The soul can be drawn to other people (Gen 34:8)
- The soul can be distressed (Gen 42:21)
- The soul should avoid bad council (Gen 49:6)
- The soul should be guarded diligently and be reminded of the truth (Deut 4:9)
And most importantly of all,
- The soul is to love the LORD with all its might (Deut 6:5).
John 10:28 (ESV) I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
- The believer’s soul is safely in the hand of God.
Those who trust in Christ are spiritually secure. Their souls are in the hand of the Father. Yes, their souls may suffer from distress or be hurt at times, but there is no bondage in perfect love. Christian, the only tie your soul can know is to the one who knitted it together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).