When referring to sexual intimacy in marriage, I often quote Genesis 2:24: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” The fact that God’s already talking about physical unity and emotional intimacy between husband and wife less than 1500 words into the Bible sends a message about His plan from the beginning.
Although you could make a case that it was even earlier, since only a few hundred words in, God instructs Adam and Eve to “Be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:28).
The point is that God’s very design for marriage involved being integrally entwined in hearts, bodies, and lives. Sexual intimacy is part of the blessing and the calling for those who take the covenant of marriage.
But I was reading a different passage recently, in which Jesus quotes the Genesis verse and adds this statement: “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:6).
We tend to think of this verse in terms of divorce or attack from outside forces. But what if you also applied it to the one-flesh experience of the marriage bed? Have you been guilty of separating what God joined together?
God joined us together, and He expects us to keep joining together. We can separate for a time to devote ourselves to prayer (1 Corinthians 7:3-5), or for health reasons (precedent in the Old Testament). I’m also a believer in the practical notion of rain check sex — which is not depriving your spouse of sexual intimacy.
Yet some have built walls — or, let’s face it, fortresses — between self and spouse when it comes to sex. We become our own sex life’s worst enemy by refusing to have sex and refusing to deal with the issues that cause us to say no. We are separating what God has joined together.
Maybe we need to remind ourselves regularly that God has a better plan. That we should be, and are, one flesh with our beloved. That God wants us to join together, in so many ways. That we should not get in God’s way by separating what He has unified.
I’ve thus chosen this scripture as the next memory verse in my plan for Knowing Scripture: A Wife’s Goal in 2016. I believe it can help us better understand God’s desire for our marriage.
Keep together what God has joined in covenant marriage — you and your husband as one flesh.
Bible Memory Tip
Are you a smartphone user? Several apps have been created to help you memorize a passage from the Bible. They use various methods like reading the scripture to you, having you interact with the passage, providing games that help you remember the verse, and letting you record the memory verse to check for mastery.
Among the alternatives are the following four apps available through iTunes and/or your Android store. They currently range from free to $2.99 — cheaper than your Starbucks mocha. Click on the icon to find out more about each application.
Remember to pick at least one verse to memorize this month. So far in January, we have:
- “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).
- “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:6).
And meditate on what these verses mean for your marriage.