In marriage, the two become one, and this is more than merely joining our bodies and even our lives together. On some deep and mysterious level, we start to inhabit each other’s souls as well. A commingling takes place that leaves us forever changed. While remaining true to ourselves and our own unique quirks, who we are will now and forever be flavored by each other’s presence.
To be fair, this commingling is not limited to marriage. Parents, friends, coworkers and the like all have a way of leaving their imprint on our souls. And even casual relationships and strangers can touch us deeply – shaping who we become long after an encounter has passed.
On the one hand, this commingling is a blessing. We’re each image bearers of God – revealing in our own unique ways different aspects of his infinite glory. As such, commingling allows us to discover and embody more of God’s nature in our own lives.
For instance, perhaps we’re in a relationship with someone who embodies patience, joy, or kindness much better than we do, and their way of being soon becomes impressed onto our own hearts. We’re then able to integrate some of their qualities in our way of being that might not have come to us naturally otherwise.
On the other hand, we want to be careful who and what we expose our souls to, as many dark habits and traits can also get mixed in with ours. This is why, for example, bullying, relational contempt, and toxic work environments can all leave their mark on us for years to come. While we don’t necessarily choose these circumstances, we must be mindful of their potential impact to guard our hearts and pursue healing whenever necessary.
In the end, the commingling of souls is simply part of the human experience. Be grateful when this flavors your heart with more life and goodness, while guarding against its potential poisoning effects as well.