My wife always demands for sex even while I’m engaging in long period of fasting. Is this right?
This question is all about the rightness or wrongness of sexual intercourse during a period of long fasting.
What is Fasting?
The noun translated “fast” or “fasting” is “tsom” in the Hebrew and “nesteia” in the Greek language. It means the voluntary abstinence from food; or “not to eat” or simply “no food.”
Biblical fasting is a voluntary abstinence from food or going without food for a period of time in order to focus on prayer and fellowship with God. Prayer and fasting always go together. But it is possible to pray without fasting, and some people do fast without praying.
Some Biblical Examples of long period of Fasting
Jesus fasted for a forty-day period in Matthew 4:1-2. Also, Moses fasted during the forty days and forty nights he was on Mount Sinai receiving the law from God in Exodus 34:28.
Scriptural Ground for Abstaining from Sex during Long Fasting Period
There’s nowhere in the Bible where it is written explicitly “thou shall not engage in sexual intercourse during a period of long fast.” But based on the Scriptural reference in Isaiah 58:3, it can be inferred that anyone embarking on a long fast should abstain from sexual intercourse. “Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.”
It is imperative to note that apart from food and recreation, sex is one of such things that gives pleasure, enjoyment, happiness and delight to self. Sex is a pleasurable, pleasing and gratifying act. And one of the purposes of fasting is to deny oneself of pleasure in order to concentrate on prayer, supplication and worship to God.
However, this Scriptural reference must be balanced with another relevant Scripture. In 1Corinthians 7:2-5, the Bible says, “nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”
Thus, anyone engaging in a period of long fasting should abstain from sexual intercourse. This is crucial, especially, when you consider the physical exhaustion being experienced during and after sexual intercourse. It won’t be wise, during a long period of fasting, to starve your body of necessary nutrients obtainable through food, and then still indulge yourself in sexual activities which drain and sap your little left-over energy.
But then, this abstinence from sex must be with the consent of the other partner. On no occasion should a husband engage in a long period of fast without his wife consenting and agreeing to the number of days. Neither should the wife commence a long period of fast until her husband consents, permits and Okays as to the number of days of the fast.
It is important to stress here that fasting period is a time of self-denial and starving the desires of the flesh. It is a period when the indulgences of the flesh must be brought under control. It is unfortunate however that many people engage in fasting for wrong purposes, with wrong heart attitudes and wrong motives and using wrong methods.