soul ties (and break soul ties)

Ever heard of “soul ties” and wonder what people mean by that? Some Christians believe that soul ties can be accidentally created between people, and in some cases these soul ties are destructive bonds that need to be “broken” or “cut.” Very interesting!

Soul ties are one of those Christianese terms that you hear in some Christian circles but not others. Soul ties are most commonly discussed in communities that are active in “spiritual warfare” and what is sometimes called “the prophetic.” (There will eventually be dictionary entries for the terms spiritual warfare and the prophetic, but for now just try to follow along!)

The dictionary entries below do a pretty thorough job of explaining what soul ties are and how you sometimes want to break, cancel, cut, renounce, or sever them. The imagery gets pretty graphic! And when you realize that some people attribute powerful negative forces to these soul ties, you can understand why the verbs themselves need to be strong and decisive.

The verb cancel is used frequently in reference to soul ties (as you can see below), and it’s actually used in quite a few figures of speech related to spiritual warfare. Much of the language of spiritual warfare draws from the legal profession. Books about spiritual warfare are full of references to “cancelling” and “renouncing,” as well as references to “agreements,” “declarations,” and “vows.”

Do you know of any published quotations from books that show the word “soul tie” being used back in the 1970s or 1960s? If you can find a quotation that’s earlier than the earliest one in any dictionary entry, I’d be glad to include the quotation you found and offer you my hearty thanks for your help. Let me know!

Have you ever had anything to do with “soul ties”? Do you remember what verbs you used when you talked about them? Was it “break” or “cut” or another of the ones I give, or was it some other verb altogether? Let me know in the comments!


soul tie n. A spiritual connection between two people who have been physically intimate with each other or who have had an intense emotional or spiritual association or relationship. When such a connection is considered to be unhealthful and destructive in the life of the Christian, it can be removed using prayer and *spiritual warfare (for the removal process, see the run-on entry below for *break soul ties).
The concept of soul ties is sometimes traced back to Genesis 2:24 and 1 Corinthians 6:16.
Soul ties are differentiated into *godly soul ties, such as those that normally develop between a husband and wife (see citation for 1983), and *ungodly soul ties, such as those that are said to be caused by premarital sex, adultery, various kinds of abuse, and occult activity (see citations for 1983, 1990). The use of the term soul tie without any qualifying adjective such as godly, ungodly, positive, or negative usually refers to the ungodly, negative kind of soul tie.
There are a small number of verbal formulas, all synonymous, that are used to describe the removal of ungodly soul ties: *break soul ties; *cancel soul ties; *cut soul ties; *renounce soul ties; *sever soul ties.
Note that Christians began using the term soul tie perhaps as early as the 1960s; but the term soul tie has been used regularly by non-Christian mystics and spiritualists since the mid-19th century to refer to spiritual connections between two or more people. For example, soul tie is part of the active working vocabulary of practitioners of astrology, theosophy, the New Age, and Eastern religions. Christians ought to be cautious about using the term soul tie around people who may be familiar with the non-Christian usage of the term.
See also *generational curse.
1983 Worley Curses and Soul Ties: Binding and Loosing Spirits [title] 1983 Bennett How to Pray for Inner Healing for Yourself and Others 85 : A husband and wife in a good marriage have a healthy soul tie which is important…. But wrong soul ties can so control a person that they can’t function as they should on either a natural or spiritual level. Through a simple prayer, these can be broken. 1990 Gordon, Turner The Child Heart 95 : When there is sexual contact before or outside of the marriage covenant, negative soul ties form. Parts of our souls are fragmented out to each of the other people. 2004 Rinehart Sex and the Soul of a Woman: The Reality of Love and Romance in an Age of Casual Sex 108 : The phrase often used is “soul tie,” meaning that … two individuals are knit together in ways that affect them long after their sexual encounter. 2008 Meyer Straight Talk: Overcoming Emotional Battles 54 : When we have been involved with a person, place, or thing for a long period of time, we have developed “soul ties.” When that person or place or thing is taken from us, we react as if we are still involved with it. 2011 Clinton, Hawkins The Popular Encyc. of Christian Counseling 196 : A normal deliverance session … consists of the following elements: breaking the power of generational curses, ungodly oaths, and ungodly attachments (soul ties), … [etc.]
break soul ties v. phr. Also break ungodly soul ties. To remove an ungodly *soul tie from a person.
There are a small number of additional verbal formulas, all synonymous with break soul ties, that are used to describe the removal of ungodly soul ties: *break soul ties; *cancel soul ties; *cut soul ties; *renounce soul ties; *sever soul ties.
According to several sources, soul ties may be removed from a person often simply by announcing aloud that one is removing the soul tie: e.g., “I break (or cancel, or cut, or renounce, or sever) my soul tie with John Smith” (see 1990 citation; also see citations at the additional run-on entries below).
1973 Hammond Pigs in the Parlor: A Practical Guide to Deliverance 000 : xxx 1983 Bennett How to Pray for Inner Healing for Yourself and Others 85 : After breaking the soul tie, the person may need further inner healing. 1988 Wingfield Beyond the Wall 48 : When there is a sexual relationship between two people, there also is a soul tie and a spiritual connection. I Corinthians chapter 6 talks about the man who sleeps with a prostitute and becomes one flesh. 1990 Curtis Beyond Survival 232 : I renounce all books, television shows, movies, music, and games that glorify occult practices or experiences. Through the blood of Jesus, I break all ungodly soul ties and bondages. 1993 Jordan Breaking Soul Ties and Generational Curses [title] 1997 Pitts Breaking Ungodly Soul Ties: Assisting God’s People in Breaking Free from Every Bondage and Shaking Off the Snares, Delusions, and Hindrances of Their Souls [title] 2005 Rehmann How to Minister Inner Healing and Deliverance 40 : The deliverance minister must now break all ungodly soul ties that the victim has had in the past.
cancel soul ties v. phr. Syn *break soul ties. See additional information at *soul tie.
2010 Kraft Deep Wounds, Deep Healing 62 : I say something like, “In the name of Jesus, I cancel all soul ties and break all satanic power in this person’s life.”
cut soul ties v. phr. Syn *break soul ties. See additional information at *soul tie.
1986 Prince God Is a Matchmaker 000 : “I have been married twice; both spouses were abusive and even molested my child. My first husband died at 27 in a car wreck. With the second ex-husband I had to learn to cut the soul ties.” 2004 Dillow, Pintus Gift-Wrapped by God 000 : What an awesome truth: God can cut your soul ties and restore sexual wholeness.
renounce soul ties v. phr. Syn *break soul ties. See additional information at *soul tie.
1997 Kraft I Give You Authority 237 : Usually it is enough for the person to state something like, “I renounce the … soul tie I have with [such-and-such] (person) in Jesus’ name, and break the power Satan has gained over me through this relationship.” 2008 Lightfoot Not Just Recovered but Delivered 15 : Father God, I break, renounce and cut all evil soul ties which I may have with ungodly people, religious systems, lodges, adulterers, fornicators, drug addicts and alcoholics, cults and any other ungodly soul tie.
sever soul ties v. phr. Syn *break soul ties. See additional information at *soul tie.
2001 Virkler Prayers That Heal the Heart 150 : He gives me a list of people’s names which I write down, and then we pray through each one, asking God to sever the ungodly soul tie between those individuals and the counselee. 2005 Cordes Certainty Evangelism 13 : Severing ungodly soul ties is a form of exorcism. 2011 Croft Invisible Enemies: How to Recognize and Defeat Demons 177 : There are several actions required to sever soul ties. The first is to cast out spirits of witchcraft and control.
godly soul tie n. See *soul tie.
1999 Williams Deliverance Manual: A Spiritual Warfare Handbook 176 : There are two types of soul-ties: Godly and ungodly soul-ties. The Godly soul-tie is healthy in marriage while the ungodly soul-tie is unhealthy in marriage and outside of marriage…. Soul ties can follow people from their past relationships into their marriages and cause problems. 2005 Tolleson The Prodigal Daughter 208 : We can have good Godly soul ties like David and Jonathan in the Bible, but ungodly soul ties control us and affect us negatively. We can have ungodly soul ties even with our family, friends or church. 2010 Kraft Deep Wounds, Deep Healing 158 : There are godly soul ties—normal bonding empowered by God; and there are ungodly soul ties—sinful ties empowered by Satan.
ungodly soul tie n. An unhealthful, destructive spiritual connection between two people. See additional information at *soul tie.
1994 Schnoebelen, Jones Blood on the Doorposts 225 : An ungodly soul tie … is any relationship that stands between you and all that God wants you to be. 2001 Ley God Wants You Well 246 : A negative (ungodly) soul tie is created when these relationships become abusive and involve sin. This can include any kind of physical, sexual or psychological abuse resulting in the pain and suffering of our soul.
  • Jada

    Wow. I had never heard of this one before but I certainly have had a soul tie and now know what name to put to it. It’s also good to read that one can be canceled or renounced with prayer. Thank you for the post!

    • Tim

      I’m glad to hear that this term was able to put a name to something you have personally experienced. I’m sorry to hear that you had a soul tie though! Thank you for sharing.

  • Amanda Burlington

    I have known about and experienced soul ties for many years, as some people are extremely needy and attach to anyone open and friendly. I experience an unpleasant physical feeling in my solar plexus, and despite rebuking this and breaking the soul tie in the Name of Jesus, it only recedes for a time, then comes back. I wonder if others have this problem – I’m not sure it’s possible to completely remove this feeling, and even though it does no actual “harm” it’s annoying and unpleasant.

    • Jazz

      You need to go on a fast! I know a Christian woman that can help you!

  • Hopefully wiser

    I believe God has given true believers a discernment to know when a friendship is
    constructive or not. For years I had a friend who seemed to “suck the life out of me”
    but only when I was around her. I kept overlooking it not realizing, as a fairly new
    christian, that it was God trying to show me something. I thought it would be unloving
    of me to cut ties with her, even though I found out later she had problems with every
    other relationship she was in. Friends that helped her and almost supported her
    for years were cut off when they stopped being so “generous” with her. Since then
    I have tried to be more discerning, yet because I want to give everyone the benefit of
    the doubt, I have been betrayed by friends I trusted. But God is helping me to recog-
    nize the signs sooner and avoid a lot of drama. I still love these people, but they
    have done me damage. I pray to love even my enemies and “frenemies” and
    not hold things against them. But I do not have to allow them in my inner circle.
    There is a biblical cause to cut soul ties when they are causing us or someone
    we love harm, even if they are christians.

  • david jones

    What a bunch of bunk. Isolate a few random verses and develop a whole new movement. Haven’t we seen this crap before

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  • Ann Barry

    As I understand it, a demon can & will enter any open gate [legal entry]- sexual sin being just one of others [occult practices, abortion, hate, trauma, unforgiveness, rage].
    Demon enters the soul [mind, will, emotions] of a person and said person might be called “demonized” – not possessed necessarily, but harassed, influenced, oppressed, obsessed.
    I think of the chicken pox virus that has made one sick once, goes to the base of the spine then re-emerges when host is weak, sick, vulnerable.
    To get it/demon out, one needs “deliverance” – as in Jesus cast out demons. Some, not many churches believe and/or offer/practice such. Think about it – Jesus cast out demons, THEN the person became a believer/follower.
    I wonder WHY don’t all churches do as He did? WHY do lots of churches keep the “preach the gospel” part and ignore the “cast out” & “heal the sick” parts?
    HOW fruitful can one be with an unclean spirit locked inside?

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