What about Soulmates? And What about Smoking?

Question from a reader:

My first question is, does a soulmate have to be married to you? For example, I love my girlfriend very much, and I consider her my soulmate even though we don’t live together. Am I wrong in thinking that? My second question is, I’m not exactly a smoker or a chain-smoker; however, I do smoke two cigars a year on special occasions: Christmas and New Year’s. Can I still get into Heaven?

Answer from Doreen Button, EPM staff:

Thanks for your questions.

First, since the concept of a soulmate is not discussed in the Bible but is a construct of modern Western culture, I can’t answer whether your girlfriend is yours or not. Many cultures for millennia have arranged marriages for their sons and daughters, some of which were, no doubt, very happy marriages and some, no doubt, not so much. The choice to become emotionally close to someone in our culture seems to be a very personal decision. From a biblical perspective, we are to love people, and to love God even more. If you’re doing that in a biblical way (staying sexually pure in your relationship with your girlfriend, and treating her in a way that honors God and puts her welfare above yours) then you’re on the right track.

Second, smoking is not addressed in the Bible either. However, Scriptures are clear that our adoration and focus belong solely to God. Anyone caught up in any addiction (caffeine, tobacco, porn, alcohol, etc.) is living outside God’s will, in disobedience, and will not find healing until they repent and return their full attention to God. (This is sometimes very difficult and is usually best done in a community of support, prayer, and wise counsel.)

On the other hand, enjoying a cigar twice a year doesn’t sound like addiction to me, and if you can smoke it to the glory of God and with a clear conscience (keep in mind the principle behind Romans 14:23, which says, “But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning”), again, you’re on the right track.

The Bible is clear that it’s not what we do or don’t do that gets us into Heaven. Salvation only comes from trusting in Jesus’ work on our behalf. See How Can We Know That We'll Go to Heaven?

“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17, NLT).

God bless you as you continue to seek God’s best.

Doreen is part of the Eternal Perspective Ministries staff, and helps Randy with editing and answering reader questions. She is a certified biblical counselor.