Fasting during menstruation in biblical way


  • Some sects of Hinduism encourage sex during your periods
  • Can a Christian Fast During Menstruation?
  • Menstruation does NOT make women impure … period!
  • The Biblical Guidelines on Fasting During Menstruation
  • Some sects of Hinduism encourage sex during your periods

    This article will cover how to fast on your period, what the Bible has to say about it, and whether or not it is a sin.

    To know whether a woman can fast during menstruation, we have to go back to the Word of God. The Bible has some verses on menstruation, and below are 3 main ones. She was to seclude herself for 7 days, and if anyone touched her, they would be unclean. Everything she touched would also be unclean. Leviticus — Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.

    A man was not to have sexual relations with a woman because she was unclean and would make him unclean. Matthew — And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment.

    We can draw some conclusions from the above Scriptures. In the Old Testament, a woman was unclean during her period, but in the New Testament, such a woman is clean and righteous before God. In our new faith in Christ, what matters is the purity of our spiritual state, and this does not depend on our physical bodies.

    According to John , God wants us to worship Him in Spirit and truth. This means that a woman can pray, fast, read the Bible or go to church because we connect to God in our spirits.

    It is clear from the Bible that fasting during menstruation does not make you impure or unholy. So, can women fast during their period? There are some verses on fasting in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Isaiah — Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon those who are disobedient.

    So do not be partakers with them. For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

    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. Acts — And when they had appointed local elders for them in each church, with prayer and fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

    When the new churches were established, it was not unusual to fast and pray before appointing leaders to serve in those churches. That is because fasting and praying to help us focus on God and be humble. We serve a loving, merciful God who is patient with us, so we should imitate Him by fasting to seek Him in prayer. If Jesus did not condemn the woman with the flow of blood, He does not condemn women who are on their periods today. They can approach Him anytime in prayer and fasting.

    When a woman prays and fasts, she connects to God in her spirit, not her body. Her concern should be to purify her spirit as she approaches God. Jesus has cleansed us and made us righteous, and this allows us to get into the presence of God anytime, even that time of the month.

    Those who say that a woman is unclean during her period are judging her by the Old Covenant, yet we are under a New Covenant in Christ. Peter once had a vision of different kinds of animals and birds that Jews considered unclean. It was the voice of God, who then told Peter that he should not call unclean what God has made clean Acts Jesus also did not become unclean when she touched Him because He had the power to heal, and He came to establish a new covenant.

    What we see in this story is that the woman with the issue of blood could approach Jesus freely, and women having their period today can do the same. It is therefore not a sin to fast during your period. God will hear your prayers even when you are on your period. Sin is what separates us from God, not bodily functions like menstruation. What God considers sin is when we disobey Him, and not anything we have no control over like menstruation.

    Jesus set us free from practices that are meant to cleanse the body and not the spirit. He came to cleanse our consciences and make us righteous. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians , and we are to offer them to God as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God Romans This is our true and proper worship of God.

    A shorter fast may not be a problem for most people but consult your doctor first to make sure it is safe for you. If you feel dizzy or light-headed during your fast, drink more water and juice instead of solid food. If you are very hungry or feel nauseated, drink more juice or water every hour to keep your energy level up. If you are determined to continue fasting, remember that God will provide for all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus Philippians For shorter fasts less than a day, you can break your fast with something mild like fruit or juice.

    But if you are fasting longer than 12 hours, break the fast with solid food, and then resume the fast after that for another 24 hours at least. You should drink plenty of water or juice during this time. Periods are often considered an obstacle in fasting because the woman may feel weak and have light-headedness due to low blood sugar.

    However, if you drink enough water and juice, these symptoms should not be a problem. In fact, women can experience increased energy levels during their period because they are less likely to become pregnant at this time. Fasting on your period also removes the distraction of hunger and food cravings that can take your focus away from God. When you fast, the Holy Spirit helps you to pray and concentrate on what is important Luke You are now living under a new standard.

    Colossians The woman with the issue of blood menstrual cycle did not make Jesus unclean — Jesus did not see her as an organic pollutant because she had no choice. We have been freed from rituals that may have been helpful in the past, but which do not apply to us today. Matthew Women can approach Jesus freely — He came to establish a new covenant between man and God, so there are no prohibitions on who can reach out to Him.

    Mark Luke God does not care about bodily functions like menstruation. Romans Fasting may help to eliminate distractions that prevent us from focusing on God and hearing His voice Matthew ; Mark That is why lepers could approach Jesus for healing when others thought they were unclean and should be far from everyone. That is why God made Peter understand that Gentiles were not unclean because God had cleansed them by the blood of Jesus.

    If a woman feels she does not want to fast during her period, then it is her personal choice. It is usually an uncomfortable time for women, and many are not able to work or do much.

    Can a Christian Fast During Menstruation?

    Modern Christianity and Menstruation There has always been an argument between physical cleanliness and spiritual cleanliness. Christians who base their belief on being spiritually clean will always argue that it is okay for a woman to pray, read the bible or go to church during menstruation. A Christian woman once challenged that if menstruation in the bible is still considered to be unclean even after the coming of Jesus Christ, then why is it that some of the old Christian ways life sacrificing lambs are not practiced?

    It will only be fair if we ban everything and start a new chapter in Christ. Remember, Christians and Muslims only differ because of the new testament. It is okay for Menstruation to be unclean in Islam because they practice a religion based on the old testament.

    Christians should not judge any woman to be unclean because she is on her periods because Jesus took away all our unclean nature and made us righteous before God. All we need to do is to repent and all our sins are forgiven. This is why the modern Christian woman will pray, read the bible, and go to church during her menstruation.

    She is not considered unclean during her periods because she has been set clean by the blood of Jesus and she is set free from any spiritual chains. However, having sex during menstruation is not really something that most women will agree with both in the old times and now. The sight of blood is not really pleasant and there are high chances of getting sexually transmitted diseases STD if you have intercourse during your periods.

    Both of you will be putting your loves in danger thus it is not really advisable for any woman to sleep with a man during her periods.

    They say that God looks at the soul and not your physical being and that your prayers can be answered as long as you pray with a pure heart and believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God that cleansed your sins. The bible is the book of Leviticus talks about spiritual life when menstruating. According to this chapter, any woman in her monthly periods is termed to be unclean. On the same note, what the Bible says about menstruation is that if you touch a woman on her menses or anything she sits on, you also become unclean.

    Can Women Pray During Menstruation? For this reason, it would be ill-advised for her to attend a church service as she will make everyone unclean. The Lord in Leviticus 15 told Moses to warn the Israelites against defiling His presence with their uncleanliness as it would lead to death.

    A woman in her menses is therefore not permitted to go anywhere near the presence of God due to her uncleanliness. It is good for her to stay at home until she is done with her periods, then she can go before the presence of the Lord. At the entrance of any Holy place, she should also present a pair of doves or pigeons and hand them to any priest that is heading that place. The priest will then purify her using the dove she presented as part of restoring her purity before God.

    The Bible in general considers a woman unclean during menstruation and there are things that a woman should not do during her periods including intercourse with a man. The Bible in Leviticus chapter 15 says the following about menstruation: Any woman receiving her menstrual flow is considered unclean for seven days If you touch a woman during her menstruation, you are considered to be unclean in the evening Anything that a woman on her periods lie or sit on becomes unclean You must wash your clothes and clean your body with soap and water before praying if you touch a woman on her period according to the bible If a man has sex with a woman on her period, he remains unclean for seven days because he is considered to be affected by her uncleanliness A woman is not allowed to pray during her periods until she is done with them and presents a pair of doves to the priest For those reason, a woman cannot also not go to church to pray or fast during her periods until she has finished them and purifies herself.

    She is also not permitted to sleep with her husband during menstruation in the bible. The Bible in Genesis chapter 3 talks about the punishment that was pronounced on Adam and Eve after their disobedience. She was punished by an increase of trouble in pregnancy and pain in giving birth.

    This punishment covers the whole child bearing process including menstruation. Menstruation is termed to be unclean according to the Bible and that is why the Israelites were given so many rules which involve them staying away from a woman during her monthly periods. The woman was also commanded to keep staying away from the Lords presence due to her uncleanliness.

    Any woman receiving her menstrual flow is therefore not allowed to pray or mingle with others who are going to pray. The new testament was a game changer among Christians in that, some women read the bible and go to church claiming that Jesus died on the cross to wash all our uncleanliness. While this remains a subject of discussion among Christians, Muslims totally do not accept any woman to go to a place of worship as she is considered unclean during her periods before God.

    You may be wondering if God listens to your prayers during your monthly periods but it is important to know that God is the one who will judge the living and the dead not humans.

    However, having sex during menstruation is not really something that most women will agree with both in the old times and now. The sight of blood is not really pleasant and there are high chances of getting sexually transmitted diseases STD if you have intercourse during your periods.

    Both of you will be putting your loves in danger thus it is not really advisable for any woman to sleep with a man during her periods. They say that God looks at the soul and not your physical being and that your prayers can be answered as long as you pray with a pure heart and believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God that cleansed your sins.

    The bible is the book of Leviticus talks about spiritual life when menstruating. According to this chapter, any woman in her monthly periods is termed to be unclean.

    On the same note, what the Bible says about menstruation is that if you touch a woman on her menses or anything she sits on, you also become unclean. Can Women Pray During Menstruation? For this reason, it would be ill-advised for her to attend a church service as she will make everyone unclean. The Lord in Leviticus 15 told Moses to warn the Israelites against defiling His presence with their uncleanliness as it would lead to death.

    A woman in her menses is therefore not permitted to go anywhere near the presence of God due to her uncleanliness. It is good for her to stay at home until she is done with her periods, then she can go before the presence of the Lord. At the entrance of any Holy place, she should also present a pair of doves or pigeons and hand them to any priest that is heading that place.

    The priest will then purify her using the dove she presented as part of restoring her purity before God. The Bible in general considers a woman unclean during menstruation and there are things that a woman should not do during her periods including intercourse with a man. The Bible in Leviticus chapter 15 says the following about menstruation: Any woman receiving her menstrual flow is considered unclean for seven days If you touch a woman during her menstruation, you are considered to be unclean in the evening Anything that a woman on her periods lie or sit on becomes unclean You must wash your clothes and clean your body with soap and water before praying if you touch a woman on her period according to the bible If a man has sex with a woman on her period, he remains unclean for seven days because he is considered to be affected by her uncleanliness A woman is not allowed to pray during her periods until she is done with them and presents a pair of doves to the priest For those reason, a woman cannot also not go to church to pray or fast during her periods until she has finished them and purifies herself.

    She is also not permitted to sleep with her husband during menstruation in the bible.

    Menstruation does NOT make women impure … period!

    The Bible in Genesis chapter 3 talks about the punishment that was pronounced on Adam and Eve after their disobedience. Only a few, including Russian Orthodox Christians and Coptic Christians in Ethiopia continue to believe in menstrual taboos; women are restricted from church services during menstruation [ 3 ]. Both Islamic and Jewish religious law specifically forbid engagement in sexual intercourse during the days of menstruation [ 3 ].

    While other religions have some taboos associated with menstruation, women are permitted to live in the home as usual and to eat and drink with the family [ 3 ]. However, notions of purity and pollution during menstruation are central to Hindu culture: all women during menstruation and childbirth are considered impure and thus restricted from participation in normal daily activities [ 3 ].

    These restrictions are simply much harsher in regions practicing Chhaupadi, as women are banished to a shed even when the weather is freezing cold, restricted from eating and drinking with the family as usual, and excluded from key community activities.

    We believe that religious beliefs may be further aggravated by deprivation and illiteracy. Of the total 75 districts in Nepal, Achham is the second least developed in terms of the Poverty and Deprivation Index, and the least developed in terms of the Socioeconomic and Infrastructural Development Index [ 32 ].

    We believe that poverty and deprivation coupled with illiteracy might explain the high prevalence of Chhaupadi practice in this district. Since disobeying Chhaupadi is believed to bring misfortune, people already struggling to meet their basic daily needs are more likely to abide by the superstition for the sake of avoiding any additional harm. Our participants experienced several physical and psychological problems. We found diarrhea and dehydration, hypothermia, and reproductive and urinary tract infection to be common health problems among menstruating young women practicing Chhaupadi.

    Previous research has found that reproductive health problems such as burning micturition, abnormal discharge, itching in genital region, pain and foul-smelling menstruation were significantly higher among women of menstrual age who practiced Chhaupadi compared to those who did not [ 14 ].

    Winter in the hilly areas of Nepal, such as Achham, is harsh; yet in our observation of the living spaces during Chhaupadi, we found that many girls lacked a mattress and warm blankets and rather slept on a rug or bare floor with sacks as cover. This may explain why hypothermia is a substantial problem among those practicing Chhaupadi [ 3435 ]. Our findings of social restrictions while practicing Chhaupadi, in terms of certain food and other daily activities, was also not surprising.

    In our study and other reports [ 636 ], participants were restricted from eating dairy products. Importantly, our focus group discussion revealed the local belief that cattle would cease lactating if menstruating women and girls consumed milk and milk products. Overall, such dietary restrictions may jeopardize the health of our participants and other adolescent girls in the area, as nutrition is key to healthy growth and development among adolescents [ 37 ].

    In fact, in Chhaupadi-practicing areas, women have twice the prevalence of anemia and emaciation than in urban area [ 36 ]. The researchers were impressed to see that most of our participants were permitted to attend school and read books while menstruating. However, the number of girls attending school during menstruation has significantly increased recently [ 6 ], likely due to increased governmental and non-governmental focus on the education of girls to meet Millennium Development Goals [ 40 ].

    We hope that this shift foreshadows increased relaxation of menstrual taboos concurrent with the increasing education of girls. The sanitation and safety of the sheds is a major concern. In our study, we observed that an unhygienic livestock shed is a popular shelter during Chhaupadi. In general, many households in rural Nepal lack basic amenities [ 33 ].

    Therefore, the lack of basic facilities observed in the living spaces during Chhaupadi is not completely explained by poverty conditions in rural households; the girls were simply not allowed to access the amenities in their households during this time.

    The Biblical Guidelines on Fasting During Menstruation

    Safety was a major concern. Nine participants in our study were bitten by a snake during menstrual exile. The recurrent news of Nepali women and girls dying of snakebites and other causes while practicing Chhaupadi [ 414243 ], although disheartening, seems unavoidable in the current context, given that the Chhau or livestock shed is isolated, exposed, dark and lacking a secure door lock.

    Moreover, medical treatment is inaccessible or delayed, and village shamans may be prefered for medical care [ 944 ]. Lastly, physical abuse, albeit not specifically rape, while in Chhaupadi was reported in the current study. Moreover, a UN report suggested that physical abuse generally, and rape specifically, are greatly underreported due to stigma [ 6 ].

    The main strength of our study is its pioneering examination of the situation of Nepali adolescent girls practicing Chhaupadi. Our use of a mixed-methods approach allowed for triangulation of information from multiple sources, while a single, quantitative method may not have effectively explored the lived experiences of those practicing the taboo.

    This study was limited to adolescent girls and may not be representative of all women who practice Chhaupadi.

    Generalizability may be limited due to the use of purposive sampling, the inclusion of one specific village, and the inclusion of girls in school; however, we have no reason to believe these girls differ meaningfully from other girls in similar regions. Chhaupadi is a hindrance to gender equality in Nepal; as such, it should be central to the agenda among advocates of gender equality. Efforts to date have resulted in safeguarding gender equality and social inclusion through constitutional provisions; allocating reserved seats for women in the Constituent Assembly, civil service, and key decision-making positions; and launching programs to increase school enrollment among girls [ 4046 ].

    Nonetheless, Nepal is far from achieving gender equity. Since Chhaupadi is a social problem with roots within community traditions, public health professionals should also continue to develop and implement educational interventions that include adult men and women at the community level [ 6 ]. While some progress has been made, as noted by the Key Informant, far more needs to be done.

    Until menstruating women and girls are allowed to participate normally in the community, rather than being discouraged from seeking medical care during menstruation [ 9 ], regular visits to the sheds by female community health volunteers may be beneficial to monitor the health needs of the women and girls and provide basic health care during this time. Future research should target women practicing Chhaupadi during childbirth. Inclusion of school girls only may have impacted our findings as illiterate girls are more likely to follow the taboos and less likely to accept changes in traditions; thus, our results may be understated.

    Future research should consider the experience of adolescent girls who do not attend school. It is evident that beliefs in Chhaupadi are so ingrained in the culture, especially in far-western Nepal, that abolishment does not seem plausible in the short term; the well-intentioned government regulation to ban the practice will take time to be implemented.

    Until then, public health professionals, whether governmental or non-governmental, should intervene with temporary measures to promote the health and safety of Nepalese women and girls practicing Chhaupadi. Likewise, provision of warm blankets, mattresses, food, water, sanitary pads and other basic necessities will help to ensure the basic needs of these young women and girls are met.

    As a temporary solution, we propose common community shelters to be built where all menstruating women and girls can reside together. These common facilities, well-ventilated and with locking doors and windows, would have all basic necessities including food preparation areas, piped water and toilets. They would not only prevent illness and death but also promote sanitation, health, and nutritional requirements. In a limited resource country like Nepal, financial constraints may be a challenge to meeting the requirements of those practicing Chhaupadi.


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