When I first started fasting for our marriage, I did so with the attitude of “that man has to change!”
I was sure fasting was the magic wand that I could give a few flips and flings and things would all straighten out.
I mean, the intent and promise for our fasting is “to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke…Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear,” (Isaiah 58:6,8)
What a great promise! And I wanted a piece of it.
So I started fasting. I did a few different fasts for a few different lengths of time. Each one proved one thing:
Fasting isn’t about what I can get God to do for me as much as how He is capable of healing me through it.
You see, fasting is intended to deepen our dependency on Him, not be an activity we put ourselves through in hopes of granted prayer. God is not a genie handing out wishes. He’s the healer, redeemer, restorer of broken things. (See Isaiah 58)
Through regular fasting and prayer on my part, God is doing exactly what He promises. He is healing the many broken pieces of my heart and giving me a true love and appreciation for my husband and our marriage union.
A few tips on how to fast
A regular question I get is, “Am I fasting properly? How do I know I’m doing it right?”
In biblical times, fasting was associated with tearing clothes, putting on sackcloth and sitting in ashes. However, today we have Matthew 6:16-18 to tell us that we shouldn’t make a show of our fasting. Rather, we should do it discreetly and secretly, keeping it between you and God. This adds greater intimacy and deepens our faith.
Traditionally, fasting means removing all food for a period of time. While this is still the recommended way of fasting, there are also other ways to apply this. Here are a few examples:
- internet fasting – this includes social media, email and all other online engagements
- one meal fast – skip one meal and dedicate that time to prayer and Bible reading.
- Sugar fast – no sugary drinks or food
- Meat fast – no meat for a period of time
- Juice fast – drinking only 100% juice. Broth and water are acceptable as well.
Whichever fast you choose, the ultimate goal is to create a space, an open time slot, a need or a craving to consciously remind us to call on God and trust Him to fill in that space.
God is more concerned about our heart attitudes and intentions than He is about what we sacrifice during a fast.
A few ways fasting can bless your marriage:
Fasting helps us maintain a clear mind and eternal perspective.
When we remove a need it magnifies our dependency on God. Our eyes are opened to how big God really is, and how frail our life is in comparison. It helps keep us focused on the bigger picture. We become more clear minded and start functioning on the fact that God really is in control of our life, our marriage, our family, all of it.
Fasting teaches us to extend grace and forgiveness more freely.
Frankly, I appreciate being forgiven. Being reminded of how willingly God forgives us, should create a desire to extend more grace and gentleness toward others. (Matthew 6:14-15)
Fasting taught me that God will fill my need even when I am undeserving. This helped me develop a more gracious and understanding attitude toward my husband.
If God can give me strength to get through a chocolate craving, how much more is He able to help me rise above whatever mood I am in and respond in kindness?
Fasting helps us put our marriage in the hands of God, not the hands of our husband.
In seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus, we place our greatest hope in Him. When Jesus becomes our Supreme Romance our husband is freed to become whom Christ designed him to be.
Let’s remember our husband is a recipient of the same grace you and I so desperately need. And while our man may fall short at times, we have a Heavenly Husband who is on stand-by ready to care for our every desire and heartache. Let’s take our cares to Him and trust Him to do greater things than we can imagine.
If you would like to try the healing power of fasting and prayer you might find our 40-Day Fasting & Prayer Challenge a great place to start.
post was first seen on Christian Wife University.