Tag Archives: memorizing scripture

Are You Separating What God Joined Together?

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?

I know I have in the past. I’ve let exhaustion, anger, busyness, body-image issues, and other selfish concerns create distance between me and my husband. When we are really one flesh.

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.

Memory Verse: Matthew 19:6

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 Me button    Remember Me

Verses button    Verses

Scripture Typer button    Scripture Typer

Fighter Verses button    Fighter Verses

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.

Knowing Scripture: A Wife’s Goal for 2016

I’m a resolutions maker. Not always a resolutions keeper, but I find that even if I don’t meet my goals, I make far more progress when I aim for something rather than nothing.

Which is why in 2014, I set a goal and asked wives to join me in embracing happiness in their own lives. My sincere belief is that it’s hard to have a happy marriage when one of you is profoundly unhappy. And since no else can make you happy, you have to pursue happiness for yourself.

In 2015, I suggested it was time to stop simply talking about how we wives are beautiful, but rather learn what it means to feel beautiful. And I was thrilled to focus on that goal in the last few months of the year with amazing guest posts from other marriage bloggers.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about what is still lacking in my life — what would be a worthy goal for 2016. Actually, it didn’t take long to come up with what I want to do myself and encourage others to do in the New Year.

MEMORIZE MORE SCRIPTURE.

Knowing Scripture: A Wife's Goal for 2016

For some reason, I did far more of this in the past. I still recall memorizing John 3:16 and all of Psalm 23 in my childhood. And there are plenty of passages that someone in church will start reading and I can (fairly accurately) finish in my head.

I know the importance of being armed with the Word of God when facing challenges and meditating on Scripture to deepen my faith. But somehow, I’ve lost that drive to commit specific scriptures to memory. This year, I want to change that.

After all, memorizing scripture has several benefits:

Gives us discernment.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Protects against temptation.

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

“Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165

“The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.” Psalm 37:31

“We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Hebrews 2:1

Equips us for success.

“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3

“But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” James 1:25

Gives us hope and joy.

“When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty.” Jeremiah 15:16

“Never take your word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws.” Psalm 119:43

There are also plenty of scriptures commanding us to know God’s Word. Jesus Himself quoted from Deuteronomy when He said:

It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” Matthew 4:4

Knowing specific scriptures reaps real benefits in our lives. And in our marriages.

Now I’m also a realistic resolutions maker. So when I first considered memorizing one scripture a week, I decided to cut that back. Not that I don’t want 52 verses buried in my heart, but I want to have a positive experience with this goal. For instance, if you resolve to lose 50 pounds this year, you might get so frustrated by April, you toss the whole resolution out the window and grab the Ben & Jerry’s. But if you make a realistic goal of 10 pounds, you can probably do that. Likewise, I’m aiming for one scripture per month.

Here on my blog, I’ll be sharing one scripture for your life and your marriage each week. I suggest you choose one and make that your month’s verse.

Some of the verses will come from my devotional book, Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage. This is the perfect time to pick up a copy and work through the devotions this year. You’ll get a deeper understanding of how these verses apply to your marriage and to sexual intimacy.

I’ll also have tips on how to memorize scripture and a few giveaways and downloadables to help you achieve this goal. It’s just 12 verses for the year — but that will be 12 verses you don’t have memorized now and will remember for many years to come.

I hope you’ll join me in 2016 to equip your life and marriage with the Word of God.