Reviving the Selfless Marriage

This weekend, I had the privilege of being among the speakers at the Hebraic Roots Network's Revive conference in Dallas, Texas. This conference was attended by believers from around the world and featured keynote messages from some of the finest Hebrew Roots teachers, including Rico Cortes, Hollisa Alewine, and many more. In short, it was awesome.

At Revive, my topic was "The Marriage Commandments: Theft and Pleasure." During this session, I spoke on one of the many themes within The Marriage Commandments: The necessity for spouses to be selfless in their marriages. Drawing on the first, eighth, and tenth commandments, we explored how elevating the pursuit of one's own pleasure above the interests of one's spouse creates a toxic dynamic within marriage. 

As explained in the book, the tenth commandment explicitly forbids spouses from pursuing their own pleasure. In fact, what our Bible's translate as "covet" actually means "to take pleasure in" in the original Hebrew text. Through this commandment, God required that His bride avoid seeking her own pleasure and shifting her priority from Him to herself. Likewise, our marriages should be equally selfless. This idea was reinforced by Paul when he wrote to the Ephesians that husbands ought to practice the same of sacrificial love that Christ demonstrated toward His bride. By denying our own self-serving interests, we're able to begin to establish the trust that is necessary for marriages to flourish.

When a husband and wife are both equally assured of their rightful place as their spouse's highest earthly priority, their relationship transforms. Suspicions fade away. Antagonism ceases. Competition dies. What remains is a truly Godly foundation of trust. What wife wouldn't want the assurance of knowing that her husband is unequivocally pursuing her best interests (as opposed to his own self-serving pleasure)? When you get to that level of trust, you experience a much more fulfilling and rewarding relationship. 

That's what we talked about at Revive. 

And it was a difficult message.

It goes against our human nature to prioritize someone else above ourselves. We've all seen examples of people who have made this mistake. It leads to affairs, abuse, insecurity, bitterness, and a host of other problems. Sadly, they're common problems. That self-serving inclination needs to be kept in check, especially within our marriages. That is among the many challenges posed by Yahweh's outline for marriage in the Ten Commandments. Our lives should be filled with the obsession of striving to do only what is in the best interests of our spouses. And, when both spouses are caring for one another in that regard, both spouses reap the rewards.

 

— John