It does, of course, denounce all forms of sexual impurity and fantasies that would involve adulterous relationships whether actual or mental. The problem with masturbation is that it not only can become habit forming and addictive, but masturbation usually involves fantasy, visualization, experimentation and often pornography in order to reach a climax. The Bible is very clear as to what God expects of us in these areas of fantasy and lust. It teaches that we must not look lustfully at each other nor should we behave in such a manner as to entice others to lust after us (this speaks to sensuality on how we act and dress).
The proof of spiritual maturity is not how pure you are but awareness of your impurity. That very awareness opens the door to grace. Philip Yancey
I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a girl. I know full well that the Almighty God sends calamity on those who do. Job 31:1-3 (The Living Bible) You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28While the above verses refer to men lusting after women, all women know that it can very easily be reversed to apply to them as well. Men may be more easily visually stimulated than women, but women can be just as vulnerable to sexual fantasy in the emotional realm. Both are sin in God’s eyes, and both can be brought into subjection by controlling our thoughts through Christ’s power. To be sure, it is clear from Scripture that illicit sexual fantasies are forbidden, and this is a significant issue with masturbation.
Matt 5:28-29 (NIV) [Jesus:] “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”But what if no illicit fantasies are included in masturbation? Is the act then sinful? By scripture, there is nothing to indicate that it is. To speak honestly what are the odds and chances, one is thinking about helping the poor, feeding the hungry or about the latest sports highlight while masturbating? One thing backs the other or inclines the person to act the other. I hope this is clear. Were it not for our perverted imaginations and lustful sense of expectation, it is our minds and hearts that need “treatment” and it needs to be fed heavenly things.
God Created Sex Sex was God’s invention. He is the mastermind behind it—and His creation is worth far more to Him than it is to us. This beautiful expression of love was created out of His own heart, as a gift to be experienced between a husband and wife. It is only in marriage that this manifestation of intimacy can be fully enjoyed in the depth for which it was created. This means with love, commitment, and responsibility – which is the complete opposite of the culture’s common “one-night stand”.
Either sin will keep you from the Word, or the Word will keep you from sin. ~ John Bunyan
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral. Hebrews 13:4 (NIV) Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers, God will judge. Hebrews 13:4 (KJV).The more beautiful and unique something is (like sexual intercourse), the more power it holds over our lives either for good or bad influence. That is why it is so easy for the devil to corrupt the most precious of God’s gifts. When we become more in love with the gifts than the One who endowed them, the things that were designed to bless us begin to destroy us instead. Yes, God cares about what we do with our bodies, in public or in private. He doesn’t want us to use or abuse ourselves in any bad way.
In fact, an older definition of masturbation is “self-abuse.” Although more modern dictionaries may no longer carry this definition, they are still linked together under self-abuse: Self-abuse, noun
Abuse of oneself or one’s abilities.
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18 (NIV)First of all, masturbation will not truly relieve the sexual pressure that one may feel. It may for a short moment, but, in the long run, it only creates a deeper desire and capacity for sex, which will lead to more masturbation. If you let yourself become enslaved to a sexual high, you will find that you need to go to increasingly extreme acts to maintain the same degree of excitement. Once the brain creates those neurological pathways, those roads will become more and more traveled and leading to the start of an addiction. There are even ungodly sex therapists who recommend masturbation as a way of increasing sexual desire, not lessening it. This creates a vicious circle, like the junkie who craves a “fix,” but is only temporarily satisfied. The more he/she indulge in his dependency, the more ensnared by an addiction he becomes. This is the nature of all sin. That is why Jesus declared that all who sin become a slave to sin (John 8:34).
Affair of the Mind All sexual immorality begins with a thought. A lustful thought not taken captive will eventually lead to other perversions because sin reproduces itself in increasingly greater measures. If we do not deal with our evil thoughts, they will take root in our hearts. It is for this reason that God is so concerned with our thought life. Jesus came not only to deliver us from our “outward” sins, but also from wickedness that begins in the heart. Since masturbation begins with sin in the mind, it might be called an “affair of the mind” because it brings about sexual sin inflicted against one’s own body. Although it brings a short-lived gratification, it makes one feel defiled when continued on a regular basis. In fact, it is a form of fornication because fornication is more than just sex with someone before marriage; it includes many other sexual sins such as pornography and the use of sexual toys for gratification. People who are not satisfied with God’s plan for sex commit idolatry by using evil things to experience taboo and unlawful forms of sexual intercourse. Some verses in Ezekiel actually describe this kind of fornication. But you trusted in and relied on your own beauty and were unfaithful to God and played the harlot [in idolatry] because of your renown, and you poured out your fornications upon anyone who passed by [as you worshiped the idols of every nation which prevailed over you] and your beauty was his. And you took some of your garments and made for yourself gaily decorated high places or shrines and played the harlot on them–things which should not come and that which should not take place. You did also take your fair jewels and beautiful vessels of My gold and My silver which I had given you and made for yourself images of men, and you played the harlot with them. Ezekiel 16:15-17 Why Did God Give Us Sex Drive Then? Isn’t God unreasonable to demand sexual purity after giving us sexual drives that seem to overwhelm us at times? Our loving God never demands from us what is impossible for us to do. We are so weak within ourselves that it may seem impossible, but He will equip us with His holy power to overcome any sin if we ask in faith. Of course, sexual urges in and of themselves are not wicked. Being tempted is not a sin, even Jesus was tempted. Sin is conceived when we experience and give in to the temptation. Urges are natural. God created us that way. He desires that we get optimum pleasure out of them, by using them the way they were created to be used. However, many desires for physical gratification (food, sex, etc.) stem from a deeper need that is unfilled deep inside us. Gorging our flesh can never fill a hunger that grows out of our spirit. Only intimacy with God can fill the deepest needs inside of us. No other created thing has that power. God is no more unreasonable than any caring parent who lovingly disciplines their child. It is only because He knows what is best for us. He sees a mighty potential in each one of us that far supersedes our wildest dreams, and He loves us enough to do all He can to bring it to pass. Thus, the urge for sex is not a bad thing when we aren’t enslaved by it. In fact, in marriage it is perfectly healthy to have the desire for your partner within biblical parameters. How Can I Live Without Masturbating? Although sex and sensuality are common in our culture, it should not be common amongst followers of Christ. This is the place where we need the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives. The Holy Spirit is not a vague “force,” but the very power of God to comfort you and strengthen you against the sins that used to rule you before you were born again. He is a friend. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we have the very ability that Jesus had to resist temptation. He depended completely upon the Father and so must we. Something you must know is that God is not the one who is tempting you in this area to “test” you. God is on your side and wants to set you free from these things, not lead you into them! “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed” (James 1:13-14). If this is something you struggle with, please continue reading and we will make a few recommendations below and expose you to a few resources that could help your walk with Christ and set you free. What About Onan? The story of Onan in Genesis 38:9-10. Some interpret this passage as saying that “spilling your seed” on the ground is a sin. However, that is not precisely what the passage is saying. God condemned Onan not for “spilling his seed” but because Onan refused to fulfill his duty to provide an heir for his brother. The passage is not about masturbation, but rather about fulfilling a family duty. Consequences of Masturbation
By trying to grab fulfillment everywhere, we find it nowhere. – Elisabeth Elliot
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 For though we live in the world we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 In the same way count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:11-14 For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16 (KJV) Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Corinthians 7:1 In (this) freedom, Christ has made us free—completely liberated us; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery—which you have once put off. Galatians 5:1 (AMP)So What Should I Do? If you are in a real struggle with any form of sexual sin, we do not believe it was by accident that God led you to this article. He wants to set you free, starting right now! We would like to share several things that you can do to break loose from this stronghold:
Did you know that almost six out of ten teens leave the church at some point? Nearly 60% of high school students who grow up going to church will close the doors to a Christian life. And usually, they don't come back (survey by the Barna Group). "Because of people breaking the laws and sin being everywhere, the love in the hearts of many people will become cold." Matthew 24:12
Whenever I answer a question like this, I’m deeply aware that someone may be reading this who is seriously contemplating suicide—and I would do everything in my power to convince them not to take that final, drastic step. With Christ, there is always hope. If that’s you, please hear me. Don’t you dare do that! Jesus and I deeply love you and need you.
(This post is written to Christian women and is based on a biblical worldview, supported with Scripture. Since the writing of this post, a sequel has been written, The Motive to Modesty.) Hurriedly I raked through my second dresser drawer in the dim light of the unlit closet, scrambling for pants of some kind. Finding some, I grabbed a workout shirt, jammed feet into tennis shoes and breathlessly answered the door for Mr. M. “Ready for breakfast?” he asked.