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Untangling Damaging Soul Ties PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 12 November 2011 10:04
Untangling Damaging Soul Ties

Copyright © 1992-2005 Pastor Chris Simpson

New Wine Christian Fellowship


Let’s start by considering the definition of a soul tie:

“A soul tie is the joining or knitting together of the bonds of a relationship. Godly soul ties occur
when like-minded believers are together in the Lord: friends, marriage partners, believers to
pastors, etc. Relationships that lack ‘God-centeredness’ can result in ungodly soul ties between
friends, parents and children, siblings, marriage partners, former romantic or sexual partners,
domineering authorities, etc. An unhealthy attachment with another can bring about a psychic
control that can adversely affect the life, e.g. a mother who refuses to relinquish her hold on her
children (tied to her apron strings), a person who refuses to release to the Lord the memory of an
old romantic flame (withdrawing into nostalgia in times of loneliness), a person who holds a grudge
or a judgment against another, someone who uses spiritual forces to control others (witchcraft),

For two people to bond to the point of a soul tie often takes time, particularly in the area of friendships.

Man’s soul consists of his mind, emotions, and will. A soul tie involves the joining of minds, ideas and
views, as well as emotional unions in the feeling realm. Soul ties can range from being laid back and fairly
loose to quite intense and overpowering. For example, think of a piece of thread, a string, a rope, and
finally, a length of cable. Each tie is progressively stronger than the one before.
A ‘thread’ relationship would simply be an acquaintance, someone you greet at your job every day. You
know their name and where they work, but that’s about it. A ‘string’ relationship would perhaps be an
associate who you’re more intellectually tied to, someone with whom you have certain things in common.
A ‘rope’ relationship would be a good friend, a companion and confidant, one in whom you would be free
to ‘be yourself’ and share things about your life that are somewhat vulnerable. Finally, a ‘cable’
relationship would be someone to whom you’re related: your wife, your kids, and your immediate family.
Now, breaking a piece of thread is not difficult. In the same way, losing a casual acquaintance is not a big
deal emotionally. Breaking a string may take some effort, and so the loss of an associate would affect you
to some degree, depending on the depth and length of the relationship. A rope or a cable, however, would
require tremendous exertion to break, particularly if there was tension in the line. So it is that the loss of
an intimate friend or family member can affect your soul tremendously.
Healthy soul ties stabilize the soul. The more you open up to the intimacies involved in relationships, the
more you experience the freedom to be yourself. Let’s consider healthy and godly type soul ties described
in the Bible:


The first mention of a “soul tie” in the Word is found early in Genesis:
“So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the
man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had
taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and
flesh of my flesh; because she was taken out of man, she shall be called ‘woman’. For this reason a man
will leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:21-
This is the famous “leave and cleave” passage concerning marriage. From the very beginning God’s
intention has been that the man and woman’s soul ties with their parents should be broken prior to
marriage. Why is that? Because few things are as destructive to a marriage as when one partner or another is still emotionally tied, and often as a result, manipulated and controlled, by a meddlesome
parent. So, interestingly enough, we see that the first Bible reference to a soul tie is an admonition to
break a soul tie.


Another example is found in the book of Ruth. In fact, this verse is often found in the liturgy of weddings.
Naomi had two sons and two daughter-in-laws. After her sons died, she told her daughter-in-laws they
were free to return to their people. One of them, Orpah, did just that. But the other, Ruth, refused to
“...Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her. “Look,” said Naomi, “your
sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” But Ruth replied, “Don’t
urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will
stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will
be buried. May the Lord deal with me, severely if need be, if anything but death separates you and
me.” (Ruth 1:14-17)
Ruth was bonded to Naomi like glue. In fact, the Hebrew word for ‘clung’ (dabaq) is a word similar to the
one used in Israel today for ‘glue’. So, we see they were “glued together” in a loving and faithful
relationship of mother and daughter-in-law. Let’s consider another example of a friendship-type soul tie:
“..when he had made an end of speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and
Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” (1 Samuel 18:1)
Jonathan, the son of King Saul, had great respect and love for David, the future king. The friendship was
so deep that we’re told their very souls were ‘knit’ together. This bonding served them both well in the
days to come. Jonathan did his best to protect David from Saul’s rage and David, when he became king,
went to great lengths to care for Jonathan’s only remaining son.


“I beseech you, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, that there
be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the
same judgment.” (1 Cor. 1:10)
“I would that you knew what great conflict I have for you....that your hearts might be comforted,
being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the
acknowledgment of the mystery of God the Father and of Christ;” (Col. 2:1-2)
In these verses, believers are encouraged to knit their lives together like threads in a garment, each
thread intricately woven with each other thread. This is a picture of how God wants the body of Christ to
be. However, soul ties among believers should really be called spirit ties. Believers are ‘spirit tied’ before
they’re ‘soul tied’. When you experience spiritual rebirth, you become one in Spirit with every other
believer. As a result, bonding in the mind and emotions becomes far easier, because of the spirit union
already there.
This is the reason believers can meet somebody they’ve never met before and feel like they’ve known
them for many years. Believers "bear witness in their spirit" when they meet someone who loves Jesus.
Satan cannot fake real joy or peace. And he particularly cannot counterfeit the love of God that flows spirit
to spirit between true believers.


“So every man of Israel left David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah
clave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.” (2 Sam. 20:2)

Here we see the men of Judah bonding with their leader David. This depicts the soul tie that’s needed
between believers and their spiritual authorities. Again, the Hebrew word here is ‘dabaq’ for ‘glue’. The
men were glued to their authority. We see a similar tie of devotion between Elijah and Elisha, Moses and
Joshua, and Jesus and His disciples.
Such a bond is essential for a pastor or spiritual leader to pass on anointed ministry to those submitted to
him in the Lord. There has to be a soul trust - a soul tie that’s rooted in a shared passion and sense of
vision. As a pastor, I’ve found this to be true time and again over the years. When such a trust bond was
lacking, the results were invariably disappointing. But, when I’vebeen privileged to ‘have someone’s
heart’, then that person was able to ‘catch the vision’ and run with it in a way that those without that ‘soul
trust’ could not.


“When I come to my father, and the lad is not with us, seeing that his life is bound up in the lad’s
life, then he will go down to his grave with sorrow and die..” (Gen. 44:30-31)
In this verse, we see a picture of a father so tied with his son that, were his son to fail to appear, he
would go down to his grave with sorrow. Few ties are as tight as those between parents and their children,
particularly between a mother and her child. God ordained such natural bondings, knowing that child
rearing is difficult. At times, were it not for such soul ties, many parents might be tempted to give up. But
with such ties, a parent can sustain a level of unconditional love essential for the proper development of
the child.


A soul tie is a ‘channel’. Think of a soul tie as a soda straw through which flows mental and emotional
things. Spiritual things can pass through as well, be they from the human spirit, be they psychically
induced, demonically inspired, or genuine and edifying from the Lord. Because demonic spirits can
transfer so easily through soul ties, it’s essential to identify and destroy those that are ungodly,
controlling, or emotionally binding. Let’s look at an example of ungodly ties between a father and his
God said, “Why do you kick at my sacrifice and my offering and honor your sons above me...? For I
will judge his house for ever.....because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain
them.” (1 Samuel 2:29, 3:13)


God was rebuking the prophet Eli because of his unwillingness to correct his sons for their sins against the
Lord. The sin of Eli was parental permissiveness. As a result, God’s judgment came upon his house. In
spite of their best efforts, parents can be soul tied to their kids in unhealthy ways. Due to their own
insecurities, parents can develop soul ties of indifference, permissiveness, idolatry, compromise and
control (and in many other areas). Let’s consider some of the symptoms and results of ungodly soul ties
between parents and their children.
Symptoms of Unhealthy or Absent Parent / Child Bonding

?? Periodically swinging from angry correction to guilt.
?? Manipulative, dishonest in dealings with their child.
?? Unreasonably controlling.
?? Resistant to counsel concerning their child rearing.
?? Defensive for the child when others speak of his / her failings or shortcomings.


This is
always an indicator of a problem: A Sunday School teacher approaches a parent and says, “I’m
hesitant to tell you this, but your child has been a real disruption in our class lately.” Mom replies,
“Not my child! This just can’t be true! He’s not like that. It must be the effect the other children are
having on him.” With such words, an unhealthy tie is confirmed.


?? Unhealthy dependence on the child’s part for the parent (often the result of “spoiling”).

One indication of unhealthy dependence is excessive clinginess and crying whenever mom or dad
leave to go somewhere. Often, unhealthy dependence is fostered out of a sense of guilt on the part
of the parent. The results can often be as damaging as neglect. God’s balance can be seen in
nature. As a piece of fruit ripens, so does the tie that connects it to the tree. If you try to remove
an apple while it’s still green, you’ll need to twist and pull to snap it loose. However, when the
apple is fully ripe, it will fall off with just the slightest tug. So it should be with children. The
dependence that was so essential in the early years needs to gradually give way to a parent-tochild
respect that will enable them to leave the nest on their own when it’s time.

?? Tendency to yield to the child’s manipulation, thus making consistent discipline difficult.
?? Allowing the child to dictate and control the parent’s activities and relationships.


At this
point, the soul tie between the parent and child has become quite unhealthy. There’s even a
passage Isaiah that describes such a state and the curse that goes with it:
“As for my people, children are their oppressors and women rule over them. Oh my people, they which
lead you cause you to err....” (Isaiah 3:12)
Results of Unhealthy or Absent Parent / Child Bonding
Unhealthy (or absent) parent-child soul ties can produce lifelong insecurities in the child. This invariably
results in their pursuing unhealthy relationships with others of similar personality weaknesses. At the
same time, when a healthy bonding is lacking, a child may spend the rest of his or her life looking to have
it fulfilled.

This is one reason why a woman will end up marrying a man who displays the same abusive tendencies as
her dad. Because she never properly bonded with her father, she finds herself, often without realizing it,
attracted to men like her father. Why? Because she’s trying to ‘close the gap’ in her soul caused by the
lack of a healthy paternal soul tie. She’s still trying to find his love. When a boy is not properly bonded
with his father or with his mother, a similar thing happens. He’ll find himself bouncing from relationship to
relationship, ever seeking the deep bonding he lacked as a child. This is one of the reasons divorce is so
rampant today. The ‘grown up child’ is trying to find the soul tie that never properly formed in the rearing
years. The good news, though, is that Jesus can bring healing and restoration. David tells us in the

“When my mother and my father forsake me then the Lord will take me up.” (Psalm 27:10)
There are two things absolutely necessary in raising children: parameters and consistency. Clearly define
the rules, then be consistent in enforcing them. In other words, build a fence and don’t waver with the
consequences when the fence is crossed. Most child-rearing problems stem from either the lack of
established rules of conduct, or inconsistent insistence that the rules be observed.
“Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man do not go: otherwise you’ll learn
his ways and get a snare to your soul.” (Prov. 22:24-25)
“Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you perceive not in him the lips of knowledge.”
(Prov. 14:7)

“Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with
unrighteousness? What communion has light with darkness? What concord has Christ with
Baal?...Come out from among them, be separate, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will
receive you and will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord
Almighty.” (2 Cor. 6:14-18)

We are clearly admonished in scripture to be wise in our relationships. We’re told to avoid close
associations with those that are angry, with those acting foolishly and with those that are unbelievers.
Understand that we’re not prohibited here from having any relationship with such persons. Rather, it’s just

that such relationships should not be able to form unhealthy soul ties where one’s witness and walk with
the Lord is compromised.

To bond with someone emotionally or spiritually who is unrepentantly angry, or someone who is given
over to a vice, can be extremely dangerous. The evil spirits at work in them can then pass through the
soul tie to affect you. The result would be that you might find yourself at some point justifying and
rationalizing their actions and eventually joining them. Birds of a feather tend to flock together, we’re told.
How then should you relate to such persons? Simply keep your discernment tuned in when you’re around
them so that if there’s any transferring of spirits, it will be the Holy Spirit from you rather than an unclean
spirit from them.

One way these principles are often compromised is in the area of “missionary dating”. That’s where a
believer gets romantically involved with an unbeliever and justifies it on the basis that they are helping
that person “come to the Lord”. Such reasoning is extremely faulty. The truth is, when one has romantic
feelings for someone, they are the last person with any kind of “ministry” to them. Why? Because the
emotional tie in the relationship prevents them from any objectivity and discernment to the other’s true
spiritual state. Since, as the saying goes, “Love is blind”, missionary dating is often nothing more than the
blind leading the blind. And Jesus said when that happens, they both fall into the ditch.
So what should you do if you’re already romantically tied with an unbeliever? Break the soul tie! It can
and must be done. Submit yourself to the Lord, fast for a few days and have someone pray under the
anointing to sever the bonds of emotional attachment. By doing this you won’t have to go through a
lengthy process of “pining away” as you let the relationship die. Complete obedience in this area will bring
about the Lord's deliverance from a dangerous and ungodly soul tie.


“Dinah the daughter of Leah went out to see the daughters of the land. When Shechem saw her, he
took her, lay with her and defiled her. And his soul clave to Dinah, and he loved the damsel, and
spoke kindly to her.” (Gen 34:1-3)
“King Solomon loved many strange women....concerning which the Lord said, you shall not go in to
them, neither shall they come in to you: for they will turn away your heart after their gods:
Solomon clave to these in love.” (2 Kings. 11:1-2)
“Don’t you know that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of
Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? Don’t you know that he which
is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, says He, shall be one flesh.” (1 Cor 6:15-16)
God’s plan for a man and a woman is not at all like that of the world. First, He would have them come
together and bond in the area of the spirit. Over time, as they get to know one another, a bonding of the
mind and emotions would occur. Then, only after solemn vows of commitment in marriage, would any
bonding of the body be permissible.
The world has it backwards. Generally, the first thing to bond is the body through sexual indulgences of
various degrees. Then, due to strong physical attraction, a couple will get married (if they even do that
anymore). After a while, they come to know one another in their soul, mind and emotions. That's when
they begin to discover that they’re really not so compatible after all. The woman discovers that her
attractive husband has an abusive, violent streak. The man finds that the sweet lady he married is full of
insecurity and control.
The way of the world is totally backwards. That’s why the way of the Lord is the only way to go. When you
prioritize the things of the Lord over the issues of a relationship, you’ll ultimately find both. Jesus said,
“Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matt 6:33)



“David covered his face and cried with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
And Joab came into the house, and said to the king, “You have shamed this day the faces of all your
servants......for I perceive that if Absalom had lived, and we all had died, then it would have pleased you
well.” (2 Sam 19:4-6)
King David had an unhealthy soul tie with his son, Absalom, who rebelled against him and contributed to
the deaths of thousands. David’s tie was undoubtedly rooted in guilt, for in many ways he had failed in his
son’s rearing. The result being that after Absalom was killed and his armies routed, David shamed his own
armies by pining away.
As strange as it may seem, it is possible to be soul tied to the dead. The Biblical prescription for mourning
was to be seven to thirty days (see Genesis 50:10 and Deut 34:8). Then you were to put your grief behind
you and go on. God knew that excessive and lasting grief would only open one’s soul to heaviness, gloom
and despair. We’ve all heard stories of a heartbroken parent who, after a child’s death, keeps his room
exactly like it was for many years. Such excessive grief brings heaviness and gloom to others in the
house. It’s as if the spirit of death were invited to remain.
The same thing can happen with women who have had an abortion. Even after they’ve asked and received
forgiveness for the deed, guilt and shame often remain. This is generally an indication of a soul tie with
the aborted child. Until and unless the soul tie is broken, the mother will be subject to bouts of depression
and guilt. But when that bond is severed, they’re able to put it behind them once and for all, and live life
free from the failure of their past.


“Cleave unto the Lord as you have done this day....take good heed that you love the Lord your
God. Else if you do turn back and cleave unto these ungodly nations...then know that the Lord will
no more drive them out; but they will be snares and traps to you, scourges in your sides and
thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which the Lord has given you.”
(Jeremiah 23:8-13)
The prophet plainly warns Israel here that if they “cleave” to the demonic nations around them instead of
“cleaving” to God, then the Lord will let them reap what they sow! Let’s consider this passage allegorically.
Any and all involvement with idolatry or the occult sciences will result in soul ties with evil spirits. That’s
because such involvement is in direct opposition to the first commandment,
“Thou shall not have any gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3-5)
Because Satan is the father of all liars, lying can also result in soul ties with demons (see John 8:44).
Once you choose to lie to another or lie to yourself, you have, in effect, come into agreement with Satan.
That, in turn, opens you to suggestions and deceptions of wicked spirits. Also, when you refuse to forgive
someone you soul tie with a demon. Why is that? Because when you refuse to forgive, God will not forgive
you. What He will do is deliver you to the tormentors until you do forgive (see Matt 6:15 and 18:35).
Needless to say, understanding these things will hopefully encourage one to avoid them at all costs. If you
find yourself even now in agreement with Satan because of lying, dishonesty, idolatry or unforgiveness,
then quickly repent. The Lord will then grant you the grace to disentangle yourself from the bonds of the


?? Obsessive preoccupation with another, to the neglect of the things of the Lord.
?? Tendencies to be domineering and controlling in a relationship.
?? Tendencies to be passive and apathetic in a relationship (easily manipulated).
?? Inability to truly forgive from the heart.
?? Another person’s voice playing over and over in the mind like a tape-recorder.
?? Inability to bring a relationship under the godly order and control of the Holy Spirit.

?? Patterns of anger, blame and accusations in a relationship.
?? Fear of “being real with” or speaking truth to another (intimidation and fear of man).
?? Psychic or occultic phenomena within a relationship.


1) Confess any and all ungodly ties to the Lord. Repent from your heart for violating God’s ordained
boundaries in your relationships.
2) Make a solemn commitment to the Lord to break off any relationship that is not pure or
righteous in His eyes. Become accountable to others to help you keep that commitment. Until you do
that, any prayers for freedom are in vain. I’ve actually had people ask me to break their unhealthy soul
ties so that when they got together again (in their illicit relationship), they wouldn’t feel all those bad
spirits. However, God is not mocked. Reinforce your requests to the Lord with a commitment to obey.
3) Before praying, do whatever is necessary for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to come. This is
so important. Pray, wait, forgive, or worship. Once His presence and anointing is present, then proceed
with the soul tie breaking prayer. It’s the anointing that breaks the yoke. The ties won’t break with a
simple prayer from the mind. The anointed power of the Holy Spirit must be present to be effective.


“In the name of Jesus Christ I now renounce, break and loose myself from all demonic subjection and any
ungodly soul ties and unhealthy bondings with the following people: (break soul ties with each person that
comes to mind)”
“Lord, I ask you to do whatever it takes to break me of my tendencies to: obsessive preoccupations,
domination, control, passivity, apathy, unforgiveness, anger, blame, accusations, fear, intimidation and
disobedience in relationships.”
“Finally, in the name of Jesus, I declare every demonic hold in my life that has come as a result of
unhealthy soul ties null and void. Satan, I renounce you and your demons and command you to depart
from my spirit, soul and body!”
“I, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation where you are
called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:1-3)

Copyright © 1992-2005 Pastor Chris Simpson
New Wine Christian Fellowship


Last Updated on Saturday, 12 November 2011 10:13
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