Another Fasting Break-Through
When I was fighting for my marriage 19 years ago, I began fasting all food one day a week. I was desperate for a break-through because Tom was emotionally abusive and tried to control
- where I could go
- whom I could see
- what I could spend
- what I could wear
- what I could eat
That’s right! Women ask me how a man can control what you eat and I explain that Tom attempted to remove all chocolate from my life (something I LOVE) in an attempt to keep me from gaining weight and breaking out. When ordering a chocolate shake from McDonald’s, he would interrupt and re-order for me. He thought vanilla was a better choice, so vanilla was the shake I got.
The truth about my husband was that his behavior was sinful–that was CLEAR–yet during the fast, God spoke to me about me. You may be tempted to tune me out right about now, but stick with me if you desire a break-through! We must CONFESS our own sin during the fast in order to experience God’s promised break-through!
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.” II Chronicles 7:14-15
As I sought God during the fast, I sensed Him leading me in a new direction as I read the Bible.
- In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over by watching your pure, godly behavior (1 Peter 3:1–2). In place of preaching, I began to live out my faith in God, entrusting my difficult situation to Him through prayer.
- Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ (Ephesians 4:15). I began to exchange preaching for speaking the truth in love in as few words as possible.
- See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to everyone else (1 Thessalonians 5:15). On my new path, I chose kindness in place of angry retaliation and I began to establish healthy boundaries.
God performed a miracle in our marriage as He was given free rein to work in both of us individually. I learned to speak the truth in love when I was mistreated rather than preaching, retaliating in anger, or returning evil for evil. At the same time, through the counsel of a godly man, Tom realized he was dealing treacherously with me and was convicted that I was a gift from God designed especially for him. He began putting my needs before his own and living kindly and considerately of me in place of criticizing me. As a sign of the new changes taking place in him, Tom lined our children and me up on the couch one evening and washed our feet! He declared that he was choosing to be a servant leader in our home—no longer an angry, controlling man.
What stood between me and this marvelous act of God those first eleven years? Me. I found I was part of the problem. I handled things my own way instead of allowing God to direct my marriage. I was too busy focusing on Tom and his sin, instead of God and what He was speaking to me through His Word.
As you enter this last week of the Fast-for-Your-Marriage challenge, confess any sins God reveals through prayer or reading the Bible, and begin walking in a new direction. Believe that God will hear from heaven, forgive your sin and heal your land.