I recently received a report revealing that my #1 viewed podcast series is “Breaking Soul Ties”. Based on the emails I receive and letters I read, many people are locked in relationships that they know they shouldn’t be in . . . but don’t know how to get out. I dedicated an entire chapter on this subject in my new book, Make Your Dreams Bigger than Your Memories, because it is a big reason why many people are not letting go of their past. Some people can never fully move on or may find themselves “stuck” because they have not severed relationships with particular people that God wants them to sever.
Perhaps you still dream about or long for someone that you were never able to release from your spirit, even though it’s been years. Perhaps you are currently in an unhealthy relationship you know you should get out of. Or you try to leave the situation but always end up returning to it. Maybe you have been in an intimate relationship with someone and although you know it’s wrong and you want to please God, you simply cannot resist the desire to stay involved with them. Perhaps you are tormented with thoughts about someone in your mind. You have soul ties.
Your soul is made up of your mind, your will and your emotions; it is your inner life. A soul tie is an emotional connection or a bond with another that unites you. Soul ties are not necessarily bad. After all, God created them. They can be good if it’s something that God wants for your life. As a matter of fact, in Matthew 18:19, Jesus says, “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them”. When two people come together in a good soul tie, the power of God intensifies.
In 1 Samuel 18:1, we read that “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David” (NKJV). Jonathan’s and David’s souls were tied together in a way that God blessed. Likewise, marriage represents a good soul tie between a husband and wife, because their souls are joined together as one flesh (see Mark 10:8).
As I headed out for my morning walk today, I saw my big dog, Chester Savoy Foy, tied to the gate. We are having some work done in our backyard and we didn’t want Chester to get loose, so we had to tie him up. I visually saw him tied to the gate. He wasn’t going anywhere. I was sure he wanted to. He desired to. He wished he could. But the fact is, that chain is pretty secure and it kept him bound.
Think about your own life. What’s keeping you bound? What are you tied to in your soul that you can’t get free from? Who are you still emotionally connected to because of wrong soul ties? You want to break free. You desire to. You wish you could, but you feel chained. These chains must be broken.
How are soul ties formed?
1. Close relationships.
When you spend a lot of time with someone, you are forming a bond. Through whatever you do together – eating, traveling, working, talking – the connection strengthens. You have soul ties with your coworkers, your family members, your children, your classmates. Jonathan and David are a perfect example of a God-designed soul tie. In this type of kinship, God’s power increases. The same is true for a wrong soul tie. In that instance, it opens an opportunity for Satan to work on your behalf, and his evil power is intensified.
2. Vows, commitments, promises.
Soul ties can be formed by the words of your mouth. Words have such power over your life! Think of what it really means when you say statements such as: “I will never stop loving you.” “You will always be the only one I love.” “I will never get you out of my heart.” “You’re the only one I will ever give my love to.” “Nobody will ever take your place in my life.” Can you just imagine how much power these words yield?
The Bible says that we can be “snared” by the words of our mouth: “You are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth” (Proverbs 6:2 NKJV). A snare means a trap, a hook or a plan. Your very own words could be keeping you trapped to a bad soul tie, which explains why you feel like something is pulling on you, preventing you from fully going forward.
3. Sexual relationships.
Soul ties are formed any time and every time there is intimacy in a relationship. You may have ended a physically intimate relationship months ago, but you still feel a pull toward that person. Why? Because of soul ties.
Soul ties prevent us from moving on to new relationships, even the ones God may be leading us into. This can even happen in situations of divorce. The divorce is over, a new marriage is pursued, but one spouse keeps being drawn back to his or her ex-husband or ex-wife. Their soul is still tied to the former spouse.
James 1:8 says, “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” A double-minded person is one with a divided soul. Do you feel unstable at times? Do you want to move on with your life but are struck in random moments of missing your ex-boyfriend? This is being double -minded and not something God wants you to experience. He wants you free from every sin of your past – even the ones you willfully gave into over and over but still think about.
There are certain things you can do to help you through this trying and uncomfortable process of breaking free from a relationship you feel God wants you to get free of:
A. Decide to please God more than anyone.
You have one life to live., and it matters to God. One day, you will stand before God and give an account of your life and what you were called to do during your time here on earth. You cannot live your life displeasing God in order to please someone else. All that will do is eventually bring you a life of deep regret.
You have to come to the place in your life where pleasing God is the most important thing to you. If He is prompting you to end a relationship that you’re tied to, then you need to end it. Allowing someone to have as much influence as God should have in your life opens the door for Satan to come into your life. He will make it so much harder for you to give up this soul tie. The right time to cut the strings is now. Today. Even this very minute.
B. Build yourself up in the Word.
You must have daily doses of God’s Word in order to develop the strength to sever an ungodly soul tie. You cannot do this on your own. Filling yourself with God’s Word can help you make the right decisions. It must be a part of your strategic plan to be free of your past.
The Bible is your greatest weapon against Satan. He does not want you to break your soul ties. He is desperately working to keep you locked into this situation. The devil will lie to you and convince you that you cannot live without him/her. He will remind you day and night of all the good times, the fun times, the laughter, and torment you into thinking you cannot live without this person. He is a liar.
God’s Word, the Truth, will override Satan’s lies. Just like anything else, you won’t see results overnight. You have to make studying the Word a habit. In my new book, I share simple steps to developing habits of spending time in the Word. You decide your habits, your habits will decide your future.
C. Wean Yourself from that person.
You literally have to wean yourself from that person to whom you have ungodly soul ties. To wean means to deprive. You have to deprive yourself of this wrong soul tie until you no longer miss him or her. And listen to this: there will come a day when you will no longer miss that person.
Psalm 131:2 says, “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child with his mother. Like a weaned child is my soul within me ceased from fretting.” I remember when I was trying to wean my daughter off of the pacifier. Every night, it had become a part of our nightly routine to give her a pacifier as I laid her in her crib for the night. An hour or two later, I would remove the pacifier, and her little mouth would still be moving as if the pacifier were still there! It was so cute!
However, when it was time to wean her from it, it was torture. It was unbearable for her and she screamed at the top of her lungs for that “thing” she was used to getting. It was unbearable for me as I could not do anything except let her cry. Oh, it broke my heart. I felt like a bad mom! Finally, what felt like an eternity of torturing my baby ended. She cried herself to sleep.
The next night, it didn’t get any easier! It was like starting over again. The same thing happened night after night. One night, however, the crying seemed to fade. It wasn’t as loud or as long as the previous nights. Eventually, of course, the crying completely stopped. The hours of crying turned into nights of silence. My baby, who is now 13, hasn’t missed her pacifier since!
When you first deny yourself of your wrong soul tie, rest assured that your spirit will throw a fit. Your emotions will scream and fight for the right to stay in bondage. But the more you deny yourself the thing that you are screaming for, the less you begin to desire it. Your flesh will eventually stop throwing temper tantrums and will start being subsided by the Spirit of God.
There are many ways to wean yourself off of an ungodly soul tie. The most obvious and important action to take is to cut all communication. Don’t call the person. Don’t answer their phone calls. Don’t hang out in places where you know they’ll be. Don’t be alone with them. Don’t email them. Delete their emails. You may have to take drastic measures to be free, but I promise you, it’s worth it. Doing this is being obedient to God and you will never regret submitting to your Heavenly Father. God always blesses obedience. Remember this: partial obedience is still disobedience. Disobedience opens the door for a curse to come on your life. Fully obey what you know God is telling you to do.
When you compromise, agony and anxiety become your companions. When you obey God, peace and joy become a part of your life. You can never have total peace when you’re in disobedience to God. The only way to obtain peace is to submit to Him and do whatever He wants you to do. Your feelings will lie to you. You have to shut them up and do what you know you’re supposed to do. As I mentioned earlier, I dedicated an entire chapter on this subject which includes more strategic steps to breaking free. In a very practical way, I show you how to remove reminders of your past from your house and how to break the power of those words that have been spoken.
My prayer is that you will do what you know in your heart God is telling you to do. Lean on Him like never before. When the soul ties are painful, rest assured, your pain won’t last forever. Joy comes in the morning. And when something ends, God always has a new beginning.