The Marriage Commandments

By John Diffenderfer


The Ten Commandments outline the terms of God’s marriage to His bride. They are the vows of their eternal covenant. Contained in those ancient vows are ten principles that define Godly marriage.

John Diffenderfer's The Marriage Commandments lays out a Biblical foundation for marriage that is provocative, challenging, and transformative. Drawing on the ancient Hebrew text of the Ten Commandments, insights provided throughout the New Testament, and modern-day scenarios, this book seeks to shatter the false assumptions and empty expectations that erode modern marriages and to establish a true foundation for marriage. Through exploring the Ten Commandments, this book reveals what it means to have a truly Godly marriage.


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Readers’ Reviews


The Marriage Commandments has a simple yet profound premise. Mr. Diffenderfer uses the Ten Commandments as the model for not only marriage vows, but also as a standard for counseling couples that are experiencing relational issues. ... This one is a winner! Let the Ten Commandments renew your mind on marriage and how you approach your spouse.
— Keisha Gallagher
An absolutely wonderful book on marriage. My wife and I perform pre-marital counseling, and this has become our textbook for young couples.
— Lu
This book is such a blessing. It has been used for a men’s marriage group and is helping tremendously. Awesome biblical concepts.
— Jules

About the Book

This book explores the intricacies of God’s marriage to Israel and provides a radical new framework for understanding what husbands and wives need from one another. Using the Ten Commandments as a guide, The Marriage Commandments cuts deeply, past mere actions and to the heart of relationships. In this book, you will see how each commandment carries a principle that is essential to building and maintaining a strong marriage. Drawing meaning from the original Hebrew text and context from present-day examples, this book presents truths that will revolutionize how men and women view their marriages and one another.

The Marriage Commandments will:

  • Teach the essential principles of Godly marriage.

  • Show the deeper meaning of the Ten Commandments, God’s marriage covenant.

  • Challenge you to fundamentally reassess your perception of your spouse and your marriage.

  • Provide a foundation upon which you can build a strong, rewarding, and lasting marriage.

Excerpts from The Marriage Commandments

From Chapter One — "Thou Shalt have no other Gods before Me"

"In the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul provides marriage advice. He tells husbands to love their wives, just as Christ loved the Church. This is a strong statement. Paul says the Church is the bride of Christ and that husbands should treat their brides the same way God treats His. 

"Spouses should treat one another as God treats His spouse. The arena in which spouses interact with one another is marriage. As such, human marriages ought to mirror His marriage. Just as Christ’s love for His bride should be emulated, God’s marriage is also a template for how all marriages should be. 

"As you will read in this book, the Ten Commandments, God’s marriage contract with His bride, provide the parameters within which marriages can flourish. Like a ketubah, the Ten Commandments are the stark boundaries. Within those boundaries, there are a lot of details that fill in the marriage and add complexity, nuance, and value. While the resulting actions may vary depending circumstances, the foundational tenants behind each of the Ten Commandments hold universal truths. 

"Certainly, the Ten Commandments outline humanity’s marriage to God. They also, however, provide a template within which husbands and wives can structure their own marriages. By following God’s example — by loving one’s spouse the way God loves His — one is able to experience a truly divine marriage. The Ten Commandments outline God’s marriage. As such, by definition, they also outline what it means to truly have a Godly marriage."

From Chapter Three — "Thou Shalt not take the Name of the Lord, Thy God, in Vain"

"The state of being married should produce opportunities to add worth to one’s spouse. Through the intentional commitment of your life to your spouse, you should continually strive to increase his or her value. Your marriage shouldn’t result in their emptiness. Your vanity shouldn’t cause them to live in vain. Remember, the opposite of vanity (empty worthlessness) is fullness and worth. Your marriage should fill your spouse’s life with richness."

From Chapter Seven — "Thou Shalt not Commit Adultery"

"In the minds of the ancient Israelites, the number seven was representative of completion. God completed the creation of the earth on the seventh day. There are seven primary musical notes that humans are able to hear. The Biblical year is constructed around seven festivals, the full cycle of which completes and then restarts the year. In the book of Revelation, the number seven appears many times. The Apostle John’s spiritual visions feature seven churches, seven spirits, seven stars, seven seals, seven trumpets, and many other sevens. Through Revelation alone, one can see that the number seven represents the spiritual completeness, or totality, of heaven and Earth, Yahweh and His bride.

"This seventh commandment represents the totality of God’s marriage covenant. In it, Yahweh sums up the other commandments. The seventh commandment is the total commandment. Everything that mattered within the structure of God’s marriage to His bride can be summed up in this commandment."

From Chapter Ten — "Thou Shalt not Covet"

"The first problem with self-covetousness (the pursuit of finding one’s own pleasure through oneself) is that it denies the reality that true, lasting pleasure comes from God. The second problem is that it misdirects the focus of one’s ambitions from another (God, a spouse, or even a literal neighbor) onto oneself. Self-centeredness is toxic to any relationship. It is inherently idolatrous, violating the first and second commandments. It ultimately does not produce happiness. It breeds a hunger that cannot be satisfied. All of this is toxic to any marriage, including both Yahweh’s with Israel and any human union. Anyone who enters a marriage to seek their own pleasure is destined for hardship and disappointment. Fortunately, the opposite is also true. Spouses who live for the pleasure of their own husband or wife experience prosperous marriages."