Selfishness is the Root of Sin and it Destroys Relationships

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What causes nearly all sin in someone’s life? The root of sin usually starts with selfishness. Your desires, wants and needs are the first priority and you’ll do anything to achieve those things first.

Ephesians 5:13 – “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible.”

When my wife and I fought, it always seemed like we would first get battle ready and then attack. What I mean by this is that we would first make sure that we had enough ammunition and armor to attack and defend as required. In this case, armor and ammunition were things the other either did or did not do to meet the other’s needs. It was when I confessed to my adultery that the light exposed my own heart. For the first time, I could see my own heart, thoughts, sins, flaws, and weaknesses. Previously I felt I could justify my position and how I responded, but not this time. This time, I was exposing myself, and what I saw broke my heart.

The Root of Sin

Sin! The word that makes all of us cringe a little or quite possibly get offended by its use. You see, we all would like to do the things we want, and often, we don’t like it when anyone tells us that what we are busy doing is wrong, especially not by the people closest to us. The world we live in has even changed many of its laws to not “cause offense.” I can think of two major laws that have changed dramatically in the last two decades: abortion and marriage laws.

I was shown, by The Light, to be the root of all my sin: SELFISHNESS. I am convinced that most marriage problems and other parts of one’s life could have their origin from selfishness. My desires, self-gratification, self-pleasures, lusts, jealously, envy, and more all start with selfishness. I do believe this to be true.

Pornography and Self-Pleasure

Let’s consider an example that may explain this a bit better: pornography and self-pleasure – A thought enters your mind about sex by something you are seeing or hearing. You entertain the thought, and now it gives rise to temptation. You decide to indulge in this temptation to satisfy your desire, so you jump onto the world wide web, which is now accessible everywhere, and navigate to a porn site. You fill your mind with the images and sounds, and at some point, you feel you had enough, but not before relieving the intense desire you are experiencing by self-pleasure.

Feeling guilty about what you have just done, you bury your sin deep inside your heart. That evening when you and your wife are both in bed, you give her a quick kiss and say goodnight because you have had your pleasure earlier in the day, and you possibly feel guilty, instead of enjoying sex, a gift from God Himself, with your wife. Years of this leads to a loveless marriage without intimacy and drives you two apart, and the marriage breaks down, and it started with selfishness.

Just so you take note, not having sex with your spouse leads to more sin, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, and robs you of your masculinity.

Selfishness and Sin

You have heard the saying before: “You are what you eat,” and by all accounts, the same can be said for what you see, hear and think. The devil uses two common weapons to attack you: your mind and senses. Not taking control of the mind and wanting to have your own needs met may cause many hurts that could be avoided.

Author: Juandre Coetzer

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  1. David

    Juandre, thank you for this article. I would add that a wrong view of women and of the purpose of sex is also a major contributing factor in this struggle. When women become an object, less than, etc. men become elevated in pride. Women are created in the image of God and are equal to men in God’s sight I believe. But pornography makes women a slave to men. We need to keep dragging this subject into the light and giving people safe places to talk about these hooks that have their hearts.

  2. Peter

    Very insightful article and I really appreciated you addressing porn. So many men off all walks of life and different backgrounds struggle with porn and the negative effects it has on your relationship with your wife, but we don’t always realize that because of our selfishness.

  3. Nathan

    Thank you for this article. Your example of pornography and self+pleasure really hit home for me. I have dealt with that awful cycle for far too many years. The pandemic and my anxiety only made it worse. Selfishness was at the root of it. I thankfully have repented and have drawn closer to God. I am no where near ready to claim victory, but I take it one day at a time. Relying upon God and focusing on controlling my mind. Thank you for a great article and encouragement.

  4. Woodbridge, VA

    Awesome just AWESOME.

    You hit all the bullet points. No man who is honest with himself can deny how you honestly described the selfish act of guilty self pleasure.

    It’s a battle to leave that world behind a constant fight. Thru God’s grace I have been winning that battle and unless you are WILLING to change, confess, communicate and CONFORM to God Plan and Word it is certain you will fail to be the Man God needs as well as your Wife and Family.

    Thank You for sharing!

  5. Justin Price

    This is such a self-reflecting article and these types of articles should challenge us as men. We need to be strong but more importantly we need to rely on each other for help as well. A lot of men, including myself are reluctant to share our true feelings. But continue to pray for me and my journey. Thank you for this blessing.

    • Mark A Bileto

      Pornography pales in comparison to God’s plan for sex for married couples. I’ve been there.
      Trust in God in all areas of your life,especially in this area. You won’t be disappointed. Don’t let Porn ruin your marriage

  6. Tom

    Wait until your in a sexless marriage. There are some situations that are hopeless and no amount of prayer, trying, work or anything else can fix.


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