Going to the salon is always an interesting experience. First, you are always privy to seeing people at their less-than best. After all, everyone there is expecting to leave looking better, right?
There are also the tidbits of conversations you hear from other chairs. The random, and often sad, renditions of life’s greatest and worst events. I imagine that there is some level of similarity in barbershops as well.
Recently, I sat in the chair of my favorite stylist. It was an early Monday morning appointment, and strangely, the salon was empty. It was just me and my stylist. It didn’t take but a few minutes in her chair for me to realize that something was off. At first, I thought she was angry with me. Then, I thought she might just be angry at my hair. But then I realized, it was a much deeper issue, and she was struggling.
In order to save my scalp I said, “STOP!” She paused, hands in mid-air. I spun the chair around. “Something isn’t right with you today. Your soul is in troubled! How can I pray for you?”
And the tears came. Lots and lots of tears. I quickly realized there were several issues that had been piling up. But the one we were able to deal with quickly and effectively were her soul ties.
She explained that she loves, literally LOVES, her clients. She uses her chair to encourage and speak the Word over her clients as much as she can. However, they share so much with her that each day she is leaving with the weight of their situations bearing down on her. Then, at home she has all the other issues of home life to deal with as well. The combination of it all was becoming too much and she felt like she was choking.
I think there are so many of us that do the same thing. We get lost in the details because of the weight of the details. However, there is a simple and effective way to pray that makes it all much more manageable. So, I taught her about soul ties.
Ironically, you will not find the phrase “soul ties” in the Bible. You will only find evidence of them. Jonathan’s soul was “knit to the soul of David.” That phrase is the closest wording we have to “soul ties” and is actually in 1 Samuel 18:1-4:
“Now when 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 and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.”
Technically, soul ties is modern terminology for a spiritual situation. Many, as did my stylist, think that soul ties are merely formed in sexual relationships. And, yes, they are most certainly formed in any intimate relationship—Samson’s soul tie with Delilah was his downfall. But the terminology should be examined more closely. A soul tie is found in the soul. The soul is comprised of the mind, will and emotion.
Therefore, any relationship in which you exercise logic, free choice and/or emotion develops soul ties. Some ties are stronger than others—like in sexual relationships. However, there are very strong ties with family members, business colleagues and any other person that invokes strong emotion in you.
We also experience soul ties in the church. In my stylist’s case, her clients had invoked compassion which is rooted in emotional connection.
How do we know if we have soul ties? Consider these questions:
Do you desire to change the nature or boundaries of a relationship, but there is some inexplainable guilt or fear that keeps you from doing so?
Are you stressed and/or losing sleep because you are plagued by words said or situations you’ve experienced with someone?
Do you think of a significant other from your past when you are intimate with your partner?
Are you experiencing indescribable emotions towards someone (love, anger, guilt, etc.)?
Have you experienced extreme emotions with someone—highs and lows (including trauma)?
Do you make unwise decisions about relationships despite the fact that you know it’s unwise?
If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions you have a soul tie. This is not an exhaustive list. It is merely a list designed to provoke thought about your relationships from a different perspective.
There are also good soul ties (like Jonathan and David) and bad soul ties (like Samson and Delilah). I’ve heard people say they believed all soul ties were bad. I would disagree. I’ve heard others say that they didn’t want to break soul ties because they thought doing so would sever the relationship completely (like in a marriage or family or business partnership). There is a way to address this as well.
If left unaddressed, soul ties can begin to affect our lives in very serious ways. They will affect our ability to mentally process, our rest, our peace and our effectiveness as Christians in a dark world that needs our light! If ignored, soul ties can actually bind us and minimize our joy potential.
The key issue is maintenance. Maintenance? Sounds like a strange word to use when addressing a situation that is so strongly rooted in the mind and emotions, but think about it. Our spirit is the engine that drives us, but the soul is the transmission. The soul (our mind, will and emotion) will determine how slow, fast or smooth we go—and every transmission needs maintenance.
I asked the Lord once how to break the soul ties that were hindering me without severing the soul ties that were healthy. It’s been 10 years since I asked him to help me with that and I have been praying the following prayer ever since. It has helped me tremendously. I pray this over my family, our ministry staff and my closest relationships. It has helped me gain clarity in many situations, and it most recently helped my stylist!
I pray: “Lord, I break any unhealthy soul ties I have with ___________ in the name of Jesus. And, I ask that you would bless any healthy soul ties I have with ___________ in the name of Jesus. Lord, use the healthy soul ties to bring glory and honor to Your name!”
It’s simple, but it works. Lastly, I always coach others to pray this out loud. Otherwise, the enemy won’t know and we want the enemy to know when he has no hold on us!
Charli Caraway is the Executive Director of Active-Faith. She is a writer, editor, speaker, leader, life coach and change agent. She is a modern-day Jael and a fervent prayer warrior for the Kingdom of God. Affectionately known as “Dr. Charli”, you will always find her empowering people. Dr. Charli and her husband live in East Texas. They have five adult children, 2 granddaughters, and two spoiled dogs. They love to travel, go camping, and indulge in back-road exploration.