This video will give you a new light on understanding how the tenth commandment is found in the relationship between you and your partner.
The Covetous Conflict
The famous but sometimes forgotten tenth commandment states in Genesis chapter
twenty verse seventeen, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your
neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor
anything that is your neighbor’s (Biblegateway).” It seems simple to comprehend but this text is
filled with such deep insight that is often not fully understood. This Commandment is practical
in every aspect of our life. Not only should the tenth commandment be applied to materials
goods but it should also be applied to a marriage relationship as well. It is not enough to refrain
from one’s desires and cravings, but a person must truly be content with everything that God has
given them. The key principle in the tenth commandment is contentment.
The first thing a person must be contempt with is God. Many times when it comes to
entering a courtship relationship it is very common for a person to be so driven by emotions for
someone else that they do not long for God as they had before. Examples are found all
throughout the Bible. A famous example that many Christians know about is the story of
Samson. Samson followed his desire and impulses to marry Delilah, which lead into tragedy
after tragedy. He was not content with God as well as his leading in the aspect of relationships.
By God’s grace he was able to glorify God before his death, but imagine the affect if Samson
followed God and was content with His leading throughout his life. To back up the story of
Samson and Delilah, Hebrews thirteen verse five states “Let your conduct be without
covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never
leave you nor forsake you (Biblegateway).” According to this bible verse people should be
content with the fact that Christ will never leave us nor forsake us. Of course there will be a time
when it is appropriate to get married but if we are not content to be in a loving relationship with
Christ, then it is not appropriate for a person to be in a relationship with anyone else just yet. A
survey stated that about twenty-six percent of Americans spend time reading the Bible on a daily
basis. This is a shockingly low number for the eighty-three percent of Americans that claim they
are Christians (Langer). So many people are lacking constant communion with God, which is
necessary especially when a relationship should be based on the Lord and his word. The divorce
rate in the United States is forty-five to fifty percent as of this year (divorce statistics). There is a
higher need of truly devoting personal time as well as relationship time to the Lord.
After first being connected with God and being in a courtship relationship or marriage,
each person in the relationship must be content with the other and put them before themselves.
Many times people want something that God has not given them. The reason the courtship starts
to fail is because one partner is not content about certain traits of the other. Very often a person
starts to see what their partner lacks such as the ability to cook or to sing which are just a few of
the many examples. When negative thoughts such as the ones just mentioned are pondered upon,
the person starts to think of the perfect partner and how it would be like, if they had a partner that
fit their idea of an ideal partner. When truly digging deep to the root of these thoughts they are
all about self. It is very selfish to just think of the needs of self. In reality when if anyone is
looking at the faults and just the things there partner need to improve on, they will never take
time to think about the needs of their partner. In a relationship it is never all about one person
and the desires they have. Each person in the relationship must want the best for the other and be
content with where the other partner stands. Of course there is room for improvement, but if
improvement comes before affection then there is a problem. There will never be a relationship
in which every single aspect of a person is exactly the same as the other. People have different
love languages and pet peeves that make them unique from one another. It just takes a little bit
of adjusting, willingness and self-sacrifice. If each partner cares for the other, there will be a
willingness to adapt because in the end of the end of the relationship, it is not just about the
person himself or herself but first meeting their partners need.
The real question in every relationship is what measures can be taken to prevent
covetousness from entering a relationship. Proverbs thirty-one is a chapter famous for the advice
and counseling it gives on becoming a virtuous women. In verses twenty-eight through twentynine it quotes “Her children rise up and call her blessed;Her husband also, and he praises her:
‘Many daughters have done well,But you excel them all.’” This verse testifies of the important
of praising and being thankful for your partner. Many times in a relationship there is not enough
time to tell one another that you are thankful and grateful for the other individual in many ways.
By telling the partner in the relationship what a blessing it is to be with the other person, you are
going against the very factor that causes covetousness. Proverbs chapter sixteen verse twenty
four writes, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones
(Biblegateway).” This verse even claims that pleasant and uplifting words can even be healing
to the bones. If it can heal the bones, how much more can it heal a broken or growing
relationship. Being willing to complement one another even though there may be differences
shows that a person is content and realizes that the partner is giving their best for this
relationship. While on the other hand a couple that does not complement each other but nags at
one another is bound to have some problems. Proverbs twenty-one verse nineteen states “Better
to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife (Biblegateway).” So in a
relationship one should be contempt and complement one another.
If a person finds themselves coveting although they are in a loving courtship relationship
with someone else, they should truly search the heart and see if where they are with the Lord.
Colossians chapter three verse four to five writes, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those
things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on
things above, not on things on the earth (Biblegateway).” In verse three it goes on too say, “For
ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” These verses seems to reflect the light that
if an individual is risen with Christ then will there affections be reflected towards heaven. That
seems to be the same in a relationship. If Christ is the anchor it will be a heavenly relationship
experienced on earth. People lack communion with God especially during a courtship
relationship. In reality it should be the other way, during a courtship relationship Mrs. White
quotes in her book Advent Hope , “If men and women are in the habit of praying twice a day
before they contemplate marriage, they should pray four times a day when such a step is
anticipated. Marriage is something that will influence and affect your life, both in this world and
in the world to come (White).” There is a constant need to be communing with God throughout
every courtship and marriage. If that is slacking then there will be room for the devil to tempt
and infatuate men and woman to covet against their partner. If an individual is right with the
Lord, the Lord will be able to bless their relationship to its fullest potential.
All in all, as it writes in the tenth commandment God calls us not to covet anything
especially in a courtship relationship. Be content first with the Lord and his goodness towards
you and then contentment with your partner will also come as second nature. Real contentment
in a relationship should also lead to complementing one another in everyday life. In order to
make a relationship work people must realize how grateful they are for their partner and
complement them to strengthen the relationship and make no room for covetousness. If the
relationship is constantly based on God, he will bless the relationship to bloom and succeed.
"Divorce Statistics." Information on Divorce Rate Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2015.
The New King James Bible. Bible Gateway. Web. 4 February 2015
Langer, Analysisby Gary. "Poll: Most Americans Say They're Christian." ABC News. ABC News
Network, 18 July 2015. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.
White, Ellen G. Adventist Home. Nashville: Southern Pub. Assoc., 1952. Print.