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There are both godly and ungodly soul ties. An example of a godly soul tie is the joining together of a man and woman in marriage, the sometimes close bonding of sisters and brothers, the joining of David and Jonathan (Saul's son). In short a godly soul tie is when God has ordained a relationship and blesses the people with some time of "cords of love". The tie in these types of relationships tends to be selfless -- seeking the best for the other person in healthy ways, not trying to restrict them because of our own needs, etc. It is like there is a supernatural blessing or empowerment on that relationship because God has ordained it.
There are also ungodly soul ties. That is where the enemy empowers a tie between two people that God has NOT ordained. The most common way this occurs is through premarital or extra-marital sex, though soul ties can come in other ways. I ended up in an ungodly soul tie with a blood sister -- we became blood sisters in junior high school. I moved 400 miles away when I started high school and never saw her again. In high school, she got into drugs. She eventually spiraled downwards and committed suicide. (I did not hear about this until my college days.) But in high school, I started getting strong suicide desires and not wanting to live any longer. I struggled with this for a few years. Eventually I had deliverance ministry, and a spirit of death was evicted.
Enemy empowered soul ties tend to use one person to hold another person back from being who God has ordained them to be, to be a source of bondage. It is as though the enemy has a legal right to oppress or torment person two because of a sin that gives him a right to oppress or torment person one. In short, the enemy gets more excuses to harm and oppress people -- not just your own sin and/or unforgiveness, but also that of the person you have a soul tie with. Enemy empowered soul ties involve spiritual and often emotional bondage on a person and are usually entered into via some form of sin.
There are also human empowered soul ties. These are deep relationships we form with others that are not empowered by God and they are not empowered by the enemy. God has given us a strong capacity for love, because we are made in His image, and He has a strong capacity for love. Depending on the relative emotional health of the individuals involved, this can be either a healthy or an unhealthy thing. I had a deep friendship with a woman named Faye for many years, until she went home to be with the Lord. We met at church in 1974 when I was still in high school and became friends then. We were roommates together a few times. She came to my wedding. She came to my grandmother's funeral three years ago. She came to my Dad's funeral. I've been there for some significant events in her life. We are a source of support and encouragement to each other and were always friends. We fell in and out of touch with each other, based on what was going on in our lives. We lived an hour drive apart. We always exchanged Christmas gifts and talked to each other on the phone whenever anything significant happened in either of our lives. We also talked at times when nothing special was going on, just to keep in touch with each other. The deep and instant friendship was always there.
I believe this is an example of a healthy human empowered soul tie. There was a tie between us. I believe it was a normal healthy type of friendship, not supernaturally ordained by God but certainly blessed by God. There was mutual edification and building up of each other in Christ. We did not restrict each other or hold each other back in any way. We did not use each other to meet some personal inner deep needs. But we genuinely cared for each other and are a source of support for each other.
Some human empowered soul ties are not so healthy. They come in all different forms, but one of the most extreme cases of an unhealthy soul tie is a co-dependent relationship. There can be demonic empowerment in a co-dependent relationship, but that is not always the case. A co-dependent relationship is where one person cannot function on their own, but has a deep and not healthy emotional need that they must have met by another person. There are many excellent Christian counselors that minister into this type of relationship on a regular basis. I happen to be friends with someone who is a professional counselor AND also does deliverance ministry. She treats a lot of people with co-dependency problems. She says that in a lot of cases, there are no demons involved in the codependent person she is ministering to, just deep emotional needs. She helps these people start looking to God to meet their needs instead of to another person.
One last note, it is possible to have an ungodly soul tie on top of a godly one. I have ministered to people who have a wrong/unhealthy relationship with their parents. In those cases, it was necessary to break any ungodly soul ties and to bless the godly soul ties that belong between a child and their parent.
Too many intercessors don't understand soul ties. Some are only familiar with the "unhealthy" ones that need to be broken. They can get carried away in prayer and try to break healthy ties or bonds between people. It is true that ungodly soul ties need to be broken and severed, but not the healthy ones. So when you are praying and interceding for a person, you can break unhealthy soul ties but at the same time bless the God-ordained ones.
Jesus "went about healing the sick and setting free all who were oppressed by the devil..." We want to learn to do the works Jesus did as we learn to walk out His Lordship in our lives. So we should be motivated to see Christ's freedom in each other's life ... both from physical afflictions and from any oppression that the enemy may have over any of us.
Inner vows is a big, long and complex subject. The basic gist of it (oversimplified) is that we see a behavior we don't like in another, generally (sometimes unconsciously) judge or condemn them for it. Then we make a promise to ourselves (such as "I'll never be like that" or "When I grow up, I'm gonna be like XXX" (the opposite of what we saw) or "I will never do YYY" or "I will always be sure to ZZZ"...) The bottom line is that we put a lot of emotional and/or spiritual energy (generally tied in with hurt and unforgiveness) into this "promise" we make ourselves. This is usually done when we are very young and frequently we don't even remember these self-promises as an adult or the unforgiveness or condemnation (or other sin attitudes) behind them. Most people do this in some area or another.
Now, the enemy can come along and say -- "So-and-so has sinned. They have harbored unforgiveness in their heart towards person XXX" or "they have judged this person in a way that they were not allowed to so, which is a sin" and that is followed with "Since they have sinned, I have a legal right to send a demon to torment them until they deal with that sin in their life". A side effect of a inner vow is that usually the person ends up becoming precisely what they have promised themselves they never would become. Another side effect is that this type of promise can hold us back in an area of our lives and prevent us from becoming who God has called us to be. There is NOT a demonic attachment every time we make a judgment (against another or against self) but it can happen and frequently does.
The enemy, once his demons have arrived in the situation, begins to build a stronghold... to build upon the situation and try to get us to sin deeper (attitudes of resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness instead of extending Christ's forgiveness and seeing His power and healing and restitution come into the situation). The more unforgiveness or bitterness or rage or sin the enemy can move us into by building upon the hurt, the stronger his position in our lives becomes. then He has more influence over us in that area. Sometimes this enemy stronghold results in physical problems or afflictions as well.
Typically this type of thing is dealt with by inviting the Lord to shine His light into the situation and to bring up those areas where we have been hurt so deeply that we develop attitude sins. Then we confess our attitude sins to the Lord and renounce them, breaking the enemy's legal right to be there because when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Then we choose to extend forgiveness to the person and ask the Lord to bring His healing into the situation.
If you are ministering to a person in this type of situation, you usually break the yoke that the enemy attached to the situation this time. Most of the time when you minister along these lines, the Lord will bring up other related issues and will heal a set of things at once. As He brings His healing into our pain, then there is freedom to truly forgive and the situation no longer has any power over us.
If you are in a deliverance situation, you typically deal with many issues (which usually resolve back to being hurt, having a sin that has not been dealt with or harboring bitterness or unforgiveness in someone's life -- or else deal with a traumatic experience that has left a grip of terror on the person). After the issues are all dealt with and the demon has no more "legal right" to be there, you command it to leave in Jesus' name and it has to go. Then you pray for the Holy Spirit to fill the person in those areas.
I should point out that many times inner healing can be successfully ministered without deliverance. It is quite effective and powerful in breaking an enemy yoke off of a person's life.
One last thing. The Stanfords point out that usually an inner vow happens when we are fairly young and are mistreated by an important family member, such as a Mother or Father or Grandparent or sister/brother. The Stanfords attach a special significance to any attitude sins against a parent. They tie it back to the commandment to "honor mother/father so that it may be well with you and that you might have a long life." They teach that if you don't honor your parents, then it cannot go well with you in that area of your life. (I am not entirely sure if I "buy" this last part, but it is an important principle in their teaching and an underlying premise of their teaching.)
The bottom line is that Jesus commands us to forgive when we've been hurt. If we don't forgive, then resentment, bitterness and sometimes even hate build up in a person's life and that gives the enemy a stronghold. If the person makes themselves promises because of the pain or resentment or unforgiveness, then that self-promise can backfire and become a bondage or yoke in their life. They can be "sentenced to act out (or become) precisely what they did not want to become". Or that self promise may turn into a yoke that holds them back and keeps them from realizing their full potential in an area of their life.