The following is an excerpt from our book True Intimacy.
For the next month we will be posting a chapter a day for your reading (and marital) pleasure. However, if you would like to purchase an electronic or printed copy for yourself or someone else we would greatly appreciate your support! To go to the web page for more information click here.
Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” Joshua 3:5
OK, so if you’re still reading today you’ve decided to see this thing out the whole way. You’ve decided to join us on our journey and sex fast with us. I’m telling you, this is very powerful stuff, not for the faint of heart. However, you WILL NOT REGRET THIS! Christian was reluctantly compliant in our first and second sex fast (yes, believe it or not, we’ve done this more than once) and close to the end of the second fast he told me, “We should really do this again sometime”. Taking sex out of your relationship changes it, dramatically. I’m going to be honest with you, fasting is difficult. You will fight, you will cry, you will be frustrated and you will be angry; and so you will pray, you will read (I suggest the Bible along with this blog), and you will seek God like never before. This is why I wish I could be there with you, to encourage you to keep going. You CAN survive this storm and your marriage WILL be so much better for it in the end. “Fasting is the most sacred, most serious, most sacrificial way to present ourselves in total devotion to the Lord. Fasting helps us relinquish our will to God. By abstaining from food [or sex], humbling our souls, and setting worldly matters aside in an act of worship, we can please God beyond compare.”2
God cares more about our motives than our actions. Therefore, we fast as an act of thanks for the second chance He has given us, and as atonement for the sexually immoral acts that we have committed in the past. This is not something to take lightly my friend; you are entering into a serious commitment, one that will have a major impact on your life, a very positive one if you’re willing to do it for the right reasons. Here are the rules of the road, they’re pretty simple and there are only two.
1) Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:16-18) In other words, don’t make a big deal about the fast to everyone you see. In fact, don’t tell anyone, it’s to be done in “secret”. We committed our sexually immoral acts in secret and God saw them; similarly redeem them in secret as well. God will see it and reward you for it. So far in my experience I’ve had a rule of 2 for my fasting. Both times God has given me 2 other people to share my secret. I have asked those people to pray for me and my husband that we may be successful in our fast, and that we will grow closer to God and each other because of it. Other than those 2 people, to everyone else it’s business as usual, no matter what, no complaining, grumbling or twisting your face to show disapproval. Remember, God sees what is done in secret, both the bad and the good. Trust me, this IS worth it.
2) This fast includes ALL SEXUAL ACTIVITY OF ANY KIND. We’re not just talking about strictly sex here. We’re talking no sex, no touching each other (except for hugs and 10 second kisses), and no touching yourself! NOTHING FOR 30 DAYS! It was through complete abstinence that we grew so much during that time. Plus, in a way, it was resetting our bodies back to the “manufacturer’s settings” so to speak. Seriously, if you do not take my word for this particular part of the fast you will not gain as much from the experience. Trust me on this one!
To help you through this I suggest memorizing some scriptures. They are extremely wise and really do help in those moments of weakness. Two of my favorites for this are:
1 Corinthians 9:27 and Romans 6:14. Both of these verses appealed to me because of the idea of being the master of my body. There were moments of temptation, many of them. And in those moments I could not allow my body the luxury of indulgence; I had to “beat” it instead. I would say to myself, “No body, you are NOT in control and you will not get your way this time!” That’s the true meaning of “SELF” control. Your body is NOT the master of you! You are the master of your body; do not allow your body to be the one in control!
A couple quick notes before I hand the laptop over to Christian. Wives, before day 30 arrives make sure to buy a new white bra and panties and if money isn’t too tight, a beautiful white satin nightgown. I’ll explain more about this later, but for now, start looking for some beautiful new underwear or jammies… or BOTH!
All right! You guys are on board, so let’s DO THIS THING! Husbands! You may not be too thrilled by this, but you just need to suck it up! Oh wait poor choice of words there. You can handle it! No, that’s not right either. It’s going to be hard, scratch that, difficult, but you will manage. Seriously, though, you will get through this. You have to follow the rules though.
Number one: No whining, complaining, moaning, groaning, or any other form of grumbling allowed. Don’t say anything to the guys at work. No “The old lady says” comments to your buddies that you play sports with. No “Old ball and chain” remarks to the guys in the garage (if you’re a gear-head like me). Tell no one! Just live your life like nothing is different. However, don’t be surprised if they mention how they see or notice a difference in you.
Number two: No sexual activity of any kind! You will be tempted to, ahem, “take matters into your own hands”. Fight that temptation. Learn the scriptures that Tamar mentioned above. Recite them whenever you are tempted. There is an old joke that 90% of men admit to masturbating, the other 10% are liars. If you masturbate, you will be greatly tempted. One tip: Don’t think about getting through the 30 days all together, you will likely fail. Instead, get through one day at a time. If that’s too long, just get through one hour at a time. That’s how addicts beat their addictions. If they think about going the rest of their life without whatever they are addicted to (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.), they will fail almost every time. So they break it down into shorter time intervals, usually hours. That’s how I beat my addiction to chewing tobacco. I would think, “I can make it through this hour without it.” Then think the same thing the next hour.
Another tip: Remove any sexually suggestive material from your house and workplace. Any movies, pictures, magazines, etc. They don’t necessarily have to be pornographic either. Like I stated earlier, they could be something as simple as a movie with scantily clad women, or even your wife’s Cosmo magazines. I still struggle with the temptations of pornography and masturbation. Having fewer things to tempt me, made the fast much easier to get through. It also helps after the fast is over.