This past week, Dr. Deb Wiley and I interviewed pastor and author John Diffenderfer about his book, The Marriage Commandments on our Hebrew Nation Radio (HNR) program, Renewed. Although I posted the interview on Grace in Torah’s Facebook page, I wanted all my readers to have an opportunity to hear John’s message.
John’s book uses the Ten Commandments as the model for marriage vows. At first glance, this might not seem exceptional, but after reading the book and hearing John discuss his premise, I had MANY “aha” moments. The Ten Words are, after all, the Ketuvah (marriage vows) between Israel and Elohim. Since God Himself uses the analogy of human marriage to explain His relationship with His people, why wouldn’t these same vows be the perfect foundation for a happy and healthy marriage? Listen here.
Here is an example of one of the Ten Commandments and how John’s book gave me a fresh perspective:
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. (Ex. 20:12)
How might this commandment be used as a lesson in marriage? Obviously, it’s talking about one’s parents. But what if I applied this same principle toward my spouse? How does one truly honor their husband or wife? If we thought of this commandment as a rule in matrimony, then honoring the other person results in prolonged days — perhaps a prolonged marriage?! One way we can put this into proper perspective is to think of YHWH (God) as the other person. How would I honor Him? I would certainly never speak poorly of Him around others. And, I wouldn’t shame Him or make fun of Him in public. If I wouldn’t do such a thing in respect to Elohim, then I shouldn’t treat my spouse any differently. The accountability level for each partner rises significantly higher after reading this book.
Honor dovetails into the commandment to not take YHWH’s Name in vain… This is just one meditation nugget among many. The Marriage Commandments is a foundational book. It would be great for couples to work through together or even in a couples study group in your congregation. Betrothed couples could especially benefit from its wisdom. It’s small and succinct, yet really provokes one to look deeper. Thinking and actions change for the better.
Marital roles are of particular interest to me as many of my posts are a biblical exploration of such. I encourage each of you to listen to the interview and buy the book. The podcast is free until Wednesday May 17th, 2017 and then it will be archived for subscribers of HNR. (Which is, only $5 a month for morning shows!)
Tune-in to Hebrew Nation Radio on Wednesday mornings (11am-1pm EST) to hear some powerful testimonies from everyday people and interviews with authors and teachers in Hebraic Roots. If you have a testimony you’d like to share contact me at gracentorah at gmail.com