According to the modern self-help movement, a “soul tie” is a unique connection that a person makes with someone else, often as the result of having sex with them. The word “soul” in the phrase “soul tie” is meant to describe the inner person. “Tie” refers to a deep connection, bond, or attachment that a person feels about someone else. Are soul ties biblical?
Soul ties aren’t illustrated, defined, or taught in the Bible. The concept is rooted in secular self-help trends and popular psychology. Furthermore, as conventionally understood, the idea of soul ties undermines the Bible’s teaching about the soul as well as healthy and holy relationships.
Why is the concept of soul ties unbiblical? What does it say about “souls” and “ties” that don’t align with Scripture? How does the concept misidentify the problem? Is the concept of soulmates biblical? What does the Bible teach about souls? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.
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The concept of soul ties isn’t biblical
The trendy teaching of “soul ties” in popular culture doesn’t align with the biblical meaning of “soul,” reflects unsound theology with the concept of “ties,” and misidentifies the real problem.
The term “soul ties” changes the meaning of the word “soul”
Merely incorporating the word “soul” into a definition or explanation doesn’t make a concept biblical. The idea of “soul ties” doesn’t accurately reflect what the Bible teaches about the nature, ability, or function of the human soul (more below).
The relational context of the concept also normalizes sexual experiences that the Bible teaches are unhealthy and unholy. There is no redeemable aspect of the concept of soul ties for Christians.
In the self-help movement and in pop psychology, the word “soul” often just refers to a feeling that a person has, even though advocates will use words like “spiritual” and “mystical” in an attempt to deepen the meaning.
Like merely using the word “soul,” just employing the word “spiritual” doesn’t alone make a concept biblical. In order to be biblical, the definitions, explanations, and applications of a concept must align with the teachings of the Old and New Testaments.
Using the vocabulary of the Bible isn’t the same as accurately reflecting its definitions and explanations.
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The term “soul ties” misidentify the root of the problem
According to the concept of “soul ties,” the problem is that a person can’t move beyond the emotional aftermath of an experience they had with another person, often in the form of sexual intercourse. A person is basically infatuated as they can’t stop thinking about the other person or the experience they had with them.
The feelings described as “ties” could simply be a longing to spend more time and have more experiences with another person. However, according to Scripture, they may just be feelings of abandonment, loneliness, loss, and even guilt and shame.
The Bible’s teaching leads one to discern that the root of the problem isn’t merely emotional baggage, but that a person has engaged in unhealthy and unholy intimacy. The Bible teaches that sexual intercourse is for marriage and experiencing outside that union is disobedience to God.
The Bible teaches that two people become one flesh when they get married. Genesis 2:24-25 reads, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” (ESV)
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Is the concept of soulmates biblical?
Whether or not “soulmates” is a biblical concept depends on how it’s being used. An example of the common understanding of the concept of soulmates is found in the Cambridge Dictionary: “someone, usually your romantic or sexual partner, who you have a special relationship with, and who you know and love very much.”
The informal use of the term “soulmates” isn’t necessarily unbiblical. Many people use the term “soulmate” to describe a meaningful relationship. The phrase commonly appears on greeting cards and on decorations, like picture frames.
In some cases, a person may use the phrase soulmate as a synonym for the Bible’s teaching that a husband and wife are “one flesh.” Matthew 19:6 reads, “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (ESV).
Using the phrase in an informal way doesn’t necessarily violate the Bible’s teachings, but there are more accurate (and perhaps wiser) ways to describe the same concept.
What Genesis teaches, and Jesus reiterates, is that a man and woman are “one” after they marry. “One” describes not only a physical union but a deeply spiritual connection (as the Bible defines it) as well.
When is the term “soulmates” unbiblical? When the term “soulmates” is purposefully used to describe a theological or spiritual concept that the Bible doesn’t endorse, then it’s by definition unbiblical. It’s not simply the phrase, but what a person means by it, that is important.
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What is a soul according to the Bible?
In the Bible, a “soul” is “the immaterial aspect of human nature, which also includes a material aspect or body. Commonly, the soul is considered to be the mind/reason, feelings, will, motivations, purpose, and the capacity for relationships with God and others.”  Key Bible verses about the soul include:
- Matthew 10:28, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
- Ecclesiastes 12:7, “And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”
- Ezekiel 18:4, “Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.”
- Genesis 2:7, “Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”
- Matthew 22:37, “And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'”
- Matthew 16:26, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
- Psalm 23:3, “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Also see How To Study the Bible to learn more.
 The Baker Compact Dictionary of Theological Terms, p. 197.
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