Becoming aware of the importance of fasting can lead us to abstain from sexual relations within the bounds of marriage. In reality, it is more of a general guideline than a divine command. To the question of whether one can have relations with their spouse while fasting, the Bible responds:

Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to [fasting and] prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” 1 Corinthians 7:5.

However, it is worth noting that the word “fasting” does not appear in the original Greek text of this verse (“nesteuo”). Instead, the word used in the original text is “nesteia,” which generally refers to abstinence or dietary restriction. Just as eating, making love to one’s spouse is not a sin, but the desire to draw closer to God and sanctify oneself is so great that we may abstain from usual activities that could indulge the flesh, especially during extended periods of fasting. So, during these times of prolonged fasting, it is preferable to abstain from sexual relations.

In fact, fasting often naturally decreases or eliminates libido during this period, and sexual desires fade away. However, it is important to abstain in agreement with one’s spouse and to resume, within the bounds of marriage, a sexual life without too much delay after fasting.

Abstinence can also take various forms. Some may refrain from outings, video games, communication with the outside world, television, etc.

This text is an excerpt from the book “12 Reasons to Fast” written by Jérémy Sourdril.

We invite you to read the following article “How to re-eat after fasting?“.

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