Fasting use to be a regular spiritual discipline in my life, but it has slipped over the years. In fact, the last time I fasted was 2013, and before that was 2010. Over the past few months, the Lord has been prompting me to fast again, but I am running in disobedience.
At first, I shrugged off his suggestion with the excuse that I don’t have a reason to fast. In 2013, I was begging God to give Jason and I a single vision for our marriage. In 2010, I was fasting for Jason as he took his final exam to become a board-certified physician. I am estimating it has been at least fifteen years since I fasted out of obedience rather than out of need. My excuse for not having a particular intention behind my fast was not acceptable to the Lord, and he continued to point out that I have five children who are reason enough on their own. As I continued to ignore God, he has continued to pester. He is opening my eyes to the pride creeping up in the heart of my daughter. As I watch her attitude, I feel the Lord saying, “Fast about her pride issue.” My five-year-old son is a very visual boy. As he carries around a tattered Legos magazine, continually staring at the impressive figurines (which are only $799.00!), God taps my heart, “Fast for protection from pornography exposure.” Every day I continue to feel his nudge, but I want to avoid the sacrifice. There is nothing in me that wants to do it.
So, I blame my husband.
I tell God that I can’t fast because Jason doesn’t fast. In all the years I have known him, I have never once seen him truly fast. Skip a meal? Sure. Lean into God for his nourishment? Not so much.
Before I continue, I want to say that I love and respect my husband immensely. In no way is this post intended to be a critique or complaint against my husband. I’m grateful that he loves the Lord and lives in the light of the Word. Jason is a humble man of integrity who leads our home well, walking closer with the Father than I do. However, he does not fast.
In the past, I have asked him to join me, but he only abstains from food until the next meal and does not do the hard work of praying and listening to God. At the end of the fast, he views it as a waste of time. I couldn’t help but replay those words as the Lord has been prompting my heart. How can I practice this discipline when my husband doesn’t understand? Jason supports me fasting, but I can’t help to wonder if he thinks I’m doing it to prove a point, seem more spiritual, or to guilt him into fasting with me? His chosen inability to participate hinders my desire to obey. In the shower, I was playing the my-husband-doesn’t card when the Lord interrupted,
I’m not calling your husband to fast. I’m calling you.
Here’s the thing, I’m living in disobedience as I wait for my husband to make the first move. Knowing my husband’s hesitations and reservations about fasting does not justify my insubordination (as much as I wish it did). Yes, I want him as the spiritual head of the house to lead me in this time of fasting (and it’s easier to skip a meal when you aren’t the only one), but I can’t use him as my excuse to disregard God’s Word. One day I will stand before the Lord and the My husband did not fast, so I didn’t fast excuse will not hold any weight in the presence of the Almighty. I don’t know when the Lord will call Jason into a period of authentic fasting, but that is between the two of them. I need to focus on what is going on between God and myself and walk in submission to his every direction.
What area of your life do you depend on your husband’s participation before fully obeying God?