I have treasured the words of His mouth
More than my necessary food.
In Matthew 6:1-18 Jesus talked of three duties of every Christian. He gave instructions for giving, praying, and fasting. In each case He said ‘when’ you give, ‘when’ you pray, ‘when you fast’ indicating these were duties not options. I must confess that I taught my children to give and to pray, but never realized fasting was not just an option.
Fasting is a vital practice for every Christian. The discipline of fasting breaks you out of the world’s routine and causes your relationship with Jesus to go deeper. And we should teach our children that we can give up a favorite food or activity from time to time to show God our love for Him. There are many Bible stories you can tell them of people fasting. The most familiar is the story of Jesus fasting and the devil tempting Him. Here’s a fun video illustrating the story.
The following is an excellent video that explains fasting to children.
We as parents can set the example of disciplining our bodies as recorded in 1 Corinthians 9:27. Ezra called the parents to a fast for their littles ones in Ezra 8:21-23. We can powerfully affect our children by praying and fasting for them.
For a thorough explanation of fasting read Fasting: Opening the door to a deeper, more intimate, more powerful relationship with God by Jentzen Franklin.