Posted by loswhit in Culture

This is an old shirt from XXXchurch.com
I have a question about the shirt though…

Is it…
1) “Christians don’t masturbate.”
(If you are a Christian, you don’t masturbate.)

2) “Christians: Don’t masturbate!”
(Message to Christians: Please do NOT masturbate!)

And if you examine the t-shirt closely, are they subliminally stating that only left handed Christians should not masturbate?
What are your thoughts on this taboo topic?
Are guys and gals serving in the military ok to do this thinking of their spouses?
Are guys and gals ok to do this at all?
Discuss
Los

  • Chris Burke

    I always found this campaign by xxxchurch disturbing.. As the message was “every time you masturbate, God kills a kitten”… As for the actual topic.. I can’t say I have a comment on it.. It’s not discussed in the bible.. But I was a teen once.. I’m married now, with a very active sex life and have no need for such things..

    I tend to tell ppl that if its not glorifying God, then we shouldn’t be doing it.. And there’s no way a person masturbating is glorifying to God.. I guess it’s the whole self control thing..

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Thanks for the comment.
      So say you are removed from your spouse and you no longer have access for an active sex life…
      Are you screwed? No pun intended…
      Or are fun pics from the spouse while you are away ok?

      • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.castleberry Nathan Castleberry

        Dear Carlos, Fun pics from your spouse are good any time for any reason. In Christ name we pray, amen.

        • ragamuffinsoul

          Love it…

      • http://www.chrisburke.ca Chris Burke

        thats actually really funny that you said this… because I run a photography company.. and because of all the sweet gear I have.. do photoshoots of my wife often! So.. fun pics of the spouse are ALWAYS a good thing.. She’s my spouse.. I’m allowed to look at her..

    • Fortuna Veritas

      The problem with that logic is that much of our existence does not glorify god by necessity. Fulfilling most of our bodies’ basic needs isn’t glorifying God even though God is the one who decided to put a recreation center in the middle of our sewage treatment plants. I’ve yet to meet the Christian that thinks sitting on the toilet and defecating is glorifying to god, for instance. Or making a well-cooked meal. Or exercising the minds he gave us to understand his creation. Or, y’know, studying medicine.

      Are these all things we shouldn’t do?

      Medically treating chemical depression rather than praying it away isn’t glorifying to god, but it works a lot better and is much less cruel to the person suffering from depression.

      So you need a better argument for rejecting masturbation then that it’s not actively praising God. At the very least you’d need to show how it was somehow doing the opposite.

  • S. Pihlaja

    If repression has indeed been the fundamental link between power, knowledge, and sexuality since the classical age, it stands to reason that we will not be able to free ourselves from it except at a considerable cost. -Michel Foucault

  • Cindy

    I had a hard time understanding the Christian stance on masturbation when I first started going to church. I grew up with kind of hippy parents and they were really open about sex in general. As an infant/small child, my hands were never slapped for the innocent touching all babies do, I was never punished or told I was bad or sinful. Realizing that a LOT of Christians did grow up with that type of mentality was mind boggling to me. I get that you have to teach children that sex is for marriage but still, I was/am appalled. So here is how I feel about it….masturbation is a perfectly normal act but like anything else, it can be twisted or misused or abused. If it keeps you from straying when your spouse is deployed or sick or whatever, good for you. If it is taking the place of sexual intimacy with your ready, willing and able spouse? You got issues way beyond sex and need to deal with it.

    • JeannaB

      You said everything I would have! Well, except for having hippy parents. I do, however, tell my kids to keep hands off those areas (though it is more of a don’t scratch your butt and nuts or pick your nose in public because it is rude and no one cares to see it kind of thing). But, yeah, I’m totally tracking your opinion and agree.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Cindy. I love this. Thank you for commenting.

  • Marie Gregory

    I would have to agree that masturbating is not pleasing to God, it is pleasing ourselves and ourselves only, so I would think that it would be sinful. However, military couples and things like that are a different story. I am a woman, and I know that I should honor my husband with my body and that it is my job to satisfy his sexual needs. I have been separated from my spouse before for an extended time (once due to immigration and once due to a hospital stay). He had sexual needs suring those times, and I was more than happy to Skype with him and do what he wanted me to do (I’m trying to be discreet!) Within the confines of marriage, I think there are times when masturbation is okay, especially when a physical separation like military, the examples I mentioned, a long business trip, etc., are present.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Wait you just sad both?!

      • Fortuna Veritas

        Mutual masturbation is a sticky subject, I suppose. As is teleplay.

    • JS

      As Christians I think we have to assume that it either is or isn’t bad. When we throw in stipulations where it is ok we go down a slippery slope with other sins, and I feel give justification to others. Saying that it is wrong for everyone, but that it is ok for military couples or being apart for a time make it magically ok would be along the same lines as saying that abortion is wrong, but in some cases it is ok.

      • Fortuna Veritas

        Like, say, if you have to choose between an abortion or having a stillbirth kill a woman. SLIPPERY SLOPES!

    • Bret

      So anything that pleases ourselves is sin? Like eating a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream? God gave us both ice cream and orgasm, and I think He is pleased with both.

  • http://twitter.com/taylorlyall Taylor Lyall

    I haven’t been away from my wife for more than a few nights, so it’s hard to say. If it’s agreed on between you two, then I think it’s ok. If you were hiding it from your wife, then I’d think that would be wrong. Such a hard subject for singles though.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Singles maybe tomorrow

  • http://twitter.com/AJ_Holt AJ Holt

    I think the underlying assumption we all jump to is that “we have sexual needs that must be met.” I would say that marriage is about being selfless, not selfish (I don’t believe anyone will disagree with me). So if I’m being selfless for my wife who is deployed or out of town for an extended period of time, then masturbation for me is out of the question because she isn’t receiving anything from me when I masturbate. If I tell myself I need to masturbate to stay faithful to my wife while she’s gone, I have a much bigger issue going on. That’s not to say that a couple who agrees to engage in phone sex, text pictures or videos, etc is wrong. They are giving their consent to one another in the act. But masturbating without a spouse’s knowledge or if I do it simply to meet my own cravings with her consent, I’m still showing that my action is selfish in nature. Christ calls us to die to ourselves.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jnoonkester Justin Noonkester

      Well said!

    • ragamuffinsoul

      You kinda walked on both sides of the line here. Answering yes and no. Which is ok. Because I think it is a yes and no question… :)

      • http://twitter.com/AJ_Holt AJ Holt

        I did, I did. I think that’s the beauty of marriage. Where alone we are unfulfilled in many areas, including sex, in marriage, together, we have those areas fulfilled. “A profound mystery” as Paul put it, right?

    • Fortuna Veritas

      Meh, if you want to go the ascetic route you can easily cover it with keeping themselves grounded and sane for God or the spouse, depending upon your flavor of the day.

    • http://twitter.com/alycialin Alycia Crane

      I agree with you 100%! Sex has only 2 Godly functions: intemacy between a husband and wife and reproduction. To say that it is not for pleasure is incorrect but the pleasure God intended it for was to be shared with one’s spouse!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jnoonkester Justin Noonkester

    Definitely a touchy subject with christians… pun intended : ) I don’t think it is a sin if both agree to it, especially when you are separated from your spouse for any time or reason. The issue is lust but we are called to lust for our spouse, just read the Song of Solomon! It is sin if you are lusting / fantasizing about someone else or including any type of porn.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jnoonkester Justin Noonkester

      The bottom line is that you need to pray about it, if convicted then don’t do it. The bible doesn’t talk about it specifically and it’s not worth fighting over because it’s definitely not a heaven or hell issue. It’s a heart issue!

      • http://twitter.com/AJ_Holt AJ Holt

        Well put. Prayer and a good conversation with our spouse.

  • No Monkey

    What a great topic. I’m a married Christian guy in my late 30s. I spanked the monkey constantly through my 20s – sometimes thinking of my wife, but usually not. Masturbation was feeding my very serious lust problem, not helping solve it. So I decided to stop (XXXChurch was a big help to me at the time), and I’ve been monkey-free for more than 9 years. I haven’t had an extended absence from my wife in that time, which helps. Totally abstaining from it has absolutely been the right choice for me. We’ve had seasons, though, where we didn’t have sex that often, and sometimes I think I’ve lusted & sinned more because of not masturbating. Focusing my thoughts really hard on my wife for 10 minutes in the shower & releasing some tension would be much easier than trying to control my thoughts all day long for several days. But I know myself well enough to know how easily I can justify doing what I want to do, and I’m wary enough of the addictive tendency in me, that I’m still sticking to a hands-off approach. I don’t think masturbating is necessarily always a sin, but me for me it would be.

    • Chalo

      I think this statement is key: “Masturbation was feeding my lust problem, not helping solve it.” In my experience, it’s a fallacy to think that masturbation provides “relief” from build up of lust or sexual feelings. Perhaps not the same for everyone, but for me it is more like an alcoholic who thinks “I’ll just have one drink to take the edge off of these cravings.” One drink turns into two, three, twelve, etc.

      • Fortuna Veritas

        Do any alcoholics save for the ones that pastors love to harp on about think or say such things? I really have to wonder.

    • bdoo

      I too have struggled with an addiction to lust and know how easy it can be to fall back into that pattern. My stance on it stems from if it doesn’t involve God or my spouse it shouldn’t involve me. This has been a philosophy I have tried to color my thoughts with.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      No Monkey. I love your comment name. And I love your comment…

      • Fortuna Veritas

        It takes a very liberated frame of mind for a man to call himself something that implies that he doesn’t have a penis, given the primacy of masculinity and manhood in the church and in western culture, that’s for sure.

        I admit, I’m impressed, even if I disagree with the ubiquity of the idea that something that is personally a bad choice for someone must be sin.

    • http://twitter.com/AJ_Holt AJ Holt

      This comment is full of win. I feel like we have to be aware of our own habits and hang ups before we begin to answer this question. Great response!

  • AG67

    This is a subject about which the Bible has nothing to say. I have looked. I have researched sources in hopes of finding direction to a verse I missed. I have read all the renowned Biblical and Christian family scholars in search of an answer. And finally, in a small question and answer book published for teens, Josh MacDowell states that the Bible is indeed silent on this issue, that it is a personal decision.. I have spent much time in prayer and seeking God’s voice on this for myself and have never heard, read, or felt anything that would lead me to believe I was sinning or somehow offending God. I think motive and thought life has a lot to do with how one feels after: guilty or physically relieved?

    • ragamuffinsoul

      GREAT thoughts AG. Thanks for commenting…

  • Bret

    If God didn’t feel the need to comment on it in the Bible, but spoke of other sexual sin very explicitly, then I don’t understand all the judgement. As a female, I believe that I can masturbate without lusting. I am married now, and often my husband is gone for work 21 days at a time, so we’ve realized that masturbation will be a part of our joint sex lives.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      This is where I sit.

  • Tre Lawrence

    Okay, I admit it. I read the t-shirt and LAUGHED like crazy.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      ME too!!!

  • Rae-Ann

    Of course its ok. Everything in moderation, of course. If you think orgasms are reserved only for your spouse, does that mean if you have not yet found a suitable mate you arent allowed…or if you are Gay in a state that has not legislated marriage, you arent allowed? Are all teenagers destined for hell, or does God have a cut off date for this ? If this is so then perhaps we should all stop eating for pleasure..We should Only eat for sustenance.
    SIlly, yes?

    Its a beautiful natural thing that God gave us. Pleasure isnt always a sin. My God really isnt that harsh or judgemental. My God is love

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Thanks for your comment Rae-Ann

  • Thankful

    I have never, NEVER, seen such an honest and open discussion on this topic. It’s a topic that I turn over in my head ALOT and I really appreciate all the open and honest communication. I’ve concluded, after literally years of thinking this over, and after reading what is posted here, that there is no inherent sin in it but that for me, and the baggage I attach to it, it is a sin. Topic closed for me.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      For you. Sin. This is brilliant. There has to be self focus here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=580604912 Jason Persilver

    Great discussion. I do think we have to remember XXXChurch’s disposition as well. The porn industry makes a killing off of people who masturbate. Maybe their just trying to set some boundaries. Like someone said earlier, we can talk ourselves into justifying anything. Just my 2 cents.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.wilkins.58 Tom Wilkins

    That’s a tough one. I think I’d have to “just say no,” because you can’t really indulge in that particular activity without lust coming into play. If only there was a commandment or some red letters with some strongly worded advice on the matter.

    • Fortuna Veritas

      Maybe the fact that there isn’t a huge commandment or blazing warning sign should tell us something.

      Maybe lust isn’t some kind of horrible thing but a natural part of ourselves that was created along with humanity for some mysterious purpose.

  • Katie G

    I think Cindy is right on in her comment. If it is taking place of intimacy with your spouse then you must deal with those problems rather than use masturbation to escape from it. However, I think a large problem in this country is the lack of sexual education and tolerance within the Christian Right community. Somehow we have ventured into the ‘abstinence is the only stance’ mindset and that doesn’t stop teenagers et al from having sex, it just sequesters the conversation between children and parents, that leads to a lack of sex ed, secret abortions and the like. I think open conversation from the time children are small about masturbation and sex in general but impress upon our children that is an act saved for the love and trust that comes with marriage. That the urges are normal and that there are appropriate places to exercise them (this is an important topic for boys especially). And that they can control them by channeling the urge into something more productive. It’s important that the dialogue stay open so children and parents can communicate effectively.

  • http://twitter.com/juliakate Juliakate

    We like to define what is sin & what isn’t even when the Bible is silent on a matter… Hmm. I was in a group of 20 – thirtysomething christian ladies last night & we were discussing this. Yep, we were talking masturbation over some red wine & oreo Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
    It’s unfair to defile other folks in your fantasies. It’s unwise to create scenarios that are not reality in your mind. But not all women need to have those thoughts in order to find satisfaction. I get it, it’s thin ice for some, but these ladies are single & abstinent & have a lot of energy. So if 45 minutes on an elliptical or dancing it out when JT comes on just ain’t working… well, that’s my take. Let each one determine.

    • Fortuna Veritas

      If using our imaginations is foolish then I feel very bad for the children these women will raise.

  • http://hballaman.wordpress.com/ hballaman

    The only honest answer to this question? We don’t know.
    When we think “the Bible is clear” on a particular subject, we make a rule. And when the Bible is murky or silent? We make a rule. We piece together some well thought out flow chart of theology that leads us to an “answer” and tells us what to do. But that doesn’t bring us any closer to Jesus.

  • Misty

    Very interesting topic. One my hubby and I have talked about and questioned. I am not sure what side I am on. Maybe each person has to figure out what God is asking of them?

  • Roninjinn

    I think Cindy and a few others hit it right on the head, and I just wanted to add my “Two Cents” to the conversation.

    As I feel everything in the world is, this is dependent on the people directly involved. In my opinion, no one can answer this question except for you and the one that would be effected by it. In my case, both my wife and myself came to terms with our sexuality long before we ever made our life commitment to each other, and it’s always been the same thing. What pleases you, pleases me. My wife openly told me just last week that she was able to masturbate for the first time since she got pregnant. (Might be important to note that sex has not been very pleasurable, and the night before this was the first time we had sex that she was able to enjoy.) Some would think that’s a little much to share, and some would even be bothered by this, but to me, it was nice to hear. She was finally able to pleasure herself sexually, which is important. Regardless of what people say to others, publicly or behind closed doors, sex is a major part of our lives. If we are not pleased in this way, it is very likely we will search for whatever/whoever will please us.

    In the end, communication is key. Like it’s already been said, it is not a problem unless you are choosing your hands over your ready/willing/waiting partner.

  • Mom without answers

    I’m a mom to teen boys. I have always been open with them and told them that masterbation is completely normal. But the game changed when they found porn on the Internet. For now, as far as we can tell they have no access to it. But Now I’m dumbfounded. And I’ve told them as much. I think if they are conjuring up the images from their searches then its wrong…and it’s lust. But how in the hell can I say,”masterbation is ok, just don’t think about those naked girls you saw on your computer” seriously. Porn sucks. I hate it. I would give anything to have found a playboy under the mattress instead of video

    • Fortuna Veritas

      Well, what’s so different between the two? That the playboy is vetted by someone else in the boy’s life by essentially being handed to him on a silver platter? That the internet allows him to search out for porn and discover his own tastes without being directly monitored?

      And why is lust not ok and wrong if masturbation is? What do you think masturbation is and how it works if it does not involve lust and arousal? And why do you hate porn but exclude softcore pornography? They’re both sexually exploitative and objectifying if you’ve a mind to think in those terms.

  • A wretched man without Jesus.

    Looking at the words of Christ, He said “If you look upon a woman with lust in your heart, then you have already committed adultery.” Adultery is one of the ten commandments we are not to brake. Once again, who sets the law? God. Who sets the standard? Jesus. Who are the spiritual heads of the household? Men. What do we learn from the Bible about sex? It’s a beautiful gift from God. Who’s deeds and words are we accountable for before God? Our own. This is a debatable topic, but the relationship between God and ourselves through faith in Christ is where the Holy Spirit will give us wisdom on topics like these. Great discussion!

    • Fortuna Veritas

      Except for the problem where men are not in the same ecological niche in this day and age as when we were dealing with the Roman Empire, so blindly accepting that men are the spiritual heads of the household as a blanket statement is problematic to say the least.

      Further, you run into other issues when you try to apply scripture in an overly broad manner, like how the hell can one commit adultery without being married in the first place and how and why the same god who said “be fruitful and multiply” also made it adultery to want to have sex with one’s own wife. You take a statement and make it too big and maybe it shouldn’t have been the one made into the focus of a belief about modifying human behavior.

      It’d be nice if there were even a notable minority of people in discussions like this who actually had enough of a relationship with God to have received wisdom from the holy spirit rather than the more common faking it by parroting what peer pressure and years of emotional abuse and/or manipulation are telling you to say.

      • Aaron

        I think we all appreciate and respect your input, but after reading your last paragraph (i.e., “It’d be nice if there were…”) I would offer that you may want to consider taking it down just a notch. Setting yourself up as judge of peoples’ relationship with God is probably not the wisest thing to do. Its obvious many of us have different perspectives on this issue; throwing the “emotional abuse and/or manipulation” card is neither helpful nor accurate. Praying God continues to guide all of us toward his heart in regards to this topic. Thanks for starting the conversation Carlos. Blessings to you all. :)

      • A wretched man without Jesus

        Scripture doesn’t change with the times. Just like God doesn’t change. Peer pressure has nothing to do with a relatiosnship with the Holy Spirit. Assuming that someone doesn’t have enough of a relationship with God to recieve wisdom, is a very broad statement of judgement. Scripture applies to everything in our lives,it takes humility and obdeience in order for us to learn how we should apply it to ourselves. Emotional abuse is what every single one of us deals with almost daily if we allow it to. God doesn’t want to modify our behavior he changes our hearts from the moment that we believe in His son Jesus. It is a lifelong process and I most defintely do NOT have all the answers. God does. Praying for you in the hope that the Holy Spirit will captivate your heart with His truly unconditional love. Be blessed in Jesus name.

      • http://www.facebook.com/JoHnY05 Justin Davis

        sorry man i have to chime in, your first statement brings in historical context that isn’t involved in the original text. as to your second statement i believe it’s more than safe to assume Jesus was talking about a situation that would be adultery and therefore called it adultery getting it all real up in there. and for your third (being blunt but not trying to be mean) you came off very prideful and went illogical by the end. making an overgeneralized assumption about everyone who thinks in a way that is opposed to your own.

  • J_M_Green

    How human was Jesus? Did he have a sexual nature? Did he have ‘wet dreams’? Did he masturbate without sinning? Could Jesus have been a fully human male without experiencing sexual urges?

    • Fortuna Veritas

      If he was human then, yes, the most plausible thing is that at some point he had a nocturnal emission, since generally boys have a nocturnal emission before they start masturbating regularly enough to preclude them.

      Asexuals are still human, so there’s a corner case for him not having experienced sexuality, however, if we are to believe that he was tempted in every way then if it was actually tempting when the temptation was done, he would by necessity have to have had a libido. Possibly had bisexual tendencies at the very least, if, again, you play it literally that he was tempted in *every* way.

      But then it gets silly when you play it too literally and get up to your tuckus in angry birds.

      The bible is thankfully silent on Jesus’s sex life and as someone who had to grow up being told that when he died he was going to be Jesus’s wife in heaven despite also being told that being gay was wrong, the less I have to think about Jesus and sex, the better.

  • Hands Full

    In a recent study, researchers found that about 10% of men admit to masturbating. They found that other 90% were lying.

    Let he with a free hand cast the first stone.

  • Fighting the Monkey

    Carlos, thank you for opening the door on this topic. As a single man in ministry, there’s much food for thought here. Thank you to all who shared as well.

  • JPH

    The problem I always struggle with is defining what lust is.
    For most people I would guess there isn’t any real desire, real intent, or real
    longing . Masturbation is certainly is a
    selfish desire and can lead to issues of self-control. Generally speaking it’s
    probably not pleasing or honoring to God. So there certainly can be issues of
    sin. Is it the baggage that comes along with the act or the act itself?

    • Fortuna Veritas

      I always struggle with who gets to define lust and whether it’s evil or not.

      Seems mighty suspicious for the God who says “be fruitful and multiply” to also say “oh, and you know how you’re sexually aroused by one another, yeah, that’s evil, don’t know why I made you guys that way, honestly.”

  • Luke

    The bible doesn’t say anything about masturbation but here’s a thought. How can Simone do it without it being driven by lust? It’s a selfish act to please ourselves, not god. It’s not something that we NEED to do. God has given us natural ways to release (wet dreams).

    As for masturbation in marriage, I’m not a married man but I see no problem with it as long as it serves the marriage and does not cause seperation. If you become a slave to it and it comes before pleasing your partner, then something is wrong.

    • Fortuna Veritas

      It’s a selfish act to eat food that tastes good rather than bland food that is tailored to our nutritional needs. Miraculously it’s not a sin to have a well-cooked meal.

  • elliana

    What about a Christian who is single, unable to overcome same-sex attractions and may never get married? Is it okay to masturbate (no porn involved)? This is a major area that I have been battling out. I am 25.

    • Fortuna Veritas

      Date the same sex if you so desire, move to an area where same-sex marriage has been recognized if it doesn’t look like the area you’re in will do so before you’re ready to wed your loved one, and masturbate however much you like within reason (probably shouldn’t do it at work, for instance)

    • Jubilee

      Find a Christian church that believes in you and supports you while you find the woman of your dreams. There really are Christians out there who believe in science and understand that same-sex attraction is no accident, but it is actually a natural expression of God-given drives and impulses. *hint* don’t choose a Baptist church, stick with the mainline Protestant ones. Good luck! :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/JoHnY05 Justin Davis

        sorry, not to be a stickler but i feel a need to stand for the Bible. i don’t know how to logically say i don’t trust the bible while believing in the God i make a pathetic attempt to love. the bible calls homosexuality a sin (in the OT and NT) and i’m not saying this to condemn homosexuals but to clarify that the bible is clear on the topic. I’m a massive sinner just like anyone else just to be clear.

    • Koala

      Thanks for sharing Elliana. My suggestion is to pray, pray and keep praying. God loves you and you can submit all your thoughts and desires to Him; desires for physical intimacy, emotional intimacy, same sex attraction (SSA) desires – Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).

      On a practical level, I like running. It tires my body out and gets my mind thinking of other things. I’m 28, single, and don’t have SSA. But it helps me when I struggle with singleness.

      Same sex attraction is a whole other can of worms on which I don’t really want to comment (the trolls!!). But keep submitting to God. Seek God. Pray with elders in your church.

      Again, thanks for sharing your perspective :)
      Peace, sister!

  • Kenneth Ethan Frantz

    I think masturbation is normal, and I think most people who say they don’t are lying – male or female.

  • Brad

    I would think this is an issue of one’s own personal convictions. Sort of like drinking wine. It’s not inherently wicked (unless you’re lusting (or getting drunk as it pertains to wine), of course), but may bring about personal conviction. If you go against your conscience it’s definitely sin. Jesus did say, “… if your right hand causes you to sin cut it off..” Of course, this shirt shows a left hand… So…

  • http://twitter.com/Chiefleast Bryan Daniels

    I have this exact tattoo on my back. It’s a great discussion starter at the spa or tanning bed….

  • Anonymous

    I chose anonymity for this comment for obvious reasons.

    Those of you with healthy relationships with your spouses are very fortunate.

    I love my wife dearly, but my wife does not love herself. There are very complex reasons for that, and the deep pain that is within her; she knows she needs help, and she won’t get help.

    The fallout is that our intimacy is rare, if it happens at all. I’ve chosen to be faithful to her, to stay, in spite of that.

    I cannot express the keening loneliness I feel so very often; to love someone and stay with them… to remain faithful because you promised you would, but to have your own desires go unmet.

    For those of you who say “Masturbation is sin because it’s self-pleasing”, what would you do when your spouse is unwilling, or unable to even acknowledge your desire for intimacy, let alone engage?

    • Fortuna Veritas

      If a woman’s husband starts beating her and refuses reconciliation and therapy, only madmen and those so blinded by dogma that they hate humanity condemn the woman for staying away from the abuser and going through all of the necessary steps of separating from this man and preventing him from continuing to hurt her.

      To dial down the melodrama, being sexually incompatible is still being incompatible. If she refuses to get help or to help herself and insists upon being abusively emotionally and sexually withdrawn from you then the relationship is doomed.

      • Anonymous

        Ahhh, but is it doomed? In some countries, our marriage would be old enough to drive…

        And… there are smaller people involved too. For their sakes, and for sake of the one I love, I stay. To leave would create far more damage. Instead, I seek to show and teach them unconditional love. They are not aware of what doesn’t go on in the bedroom. They know I love them, and that I love their mother, and that she, in her own ways, loves me.

        That bit about love always persevering… that carries me sometimes. After I all, I didn’t just promise “For better.”

        • Aaron

          Blessed by your commitment. May God continue to strengthen your resolve, and may he grant healing in your marriage, and along with it, a healthy, joy-filled intimacy.

    • Jon

      If I may answer your final question: I believe you pray and you wait. If you love your spouse, and I believe you do, you must die to yourself like Christ died for the church, His own bride. Serve her; sacrifice for her; pray for her; wait for her.

      Obviously this is much more easily said than done.

  • http://twitter.com/LivingOneHanded Ryan Haack

    I don’t have a left hand, so…I’m golden, right?

  • Mitsubish

    I have no idea if masturbation is a sin, the bible does not mention it being a sin. Some stricter Christians would include it in, “fornication” or “sexual immorality.” The problem is who knows what is sexual moral between a couple? Some may find role playing moral and some may not.

    I have no idea, I do know for me because of my struggles with lusts and pornography it is sinful because the times I have masturbated my mind goes to women who I have coveted in my mind or to pornographic images from days past.

    I think we as Christians have to weigh this, I have heard that if you masturbate as a part of your sexual encounters with your spouse you are good, but if you do it because you are hot for another person other than your spouse you are in sin.

    I think it is one of those issues that we must work out clearly with GOD and us as individuals.

    For me I know I just can’t do it without sinning, but that is just me.

  • Lab

    Great topic and definitely a difficult one to navigate for some people…This may be a topic for another day, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on sex after divorce. I get very different opinions from my peers.

  • http://twitter.com/matreames Mathew Reames

    I am going to be the one that takes the straight forward No approach. I am not saying I have never done it, but It has never once helped me, and I have never met a man who says it helped him.

    Sex is sex, and orgasm is orgasm. The Bible is pretty clear that Sex is meant to be between a man and his wife. (or a Woman and a Husband if you are a Lady) Masturbation is a form of sex. It brings an orgasm.

    The issue is that you are gratifying self and not glorifying the Lord. We live in a day when Self is supreme, and I do what feels good, but the Bible says that Self-Control is one of the fruit of the spirit. We are supposed to control ourselves, and masturbation is a simple admission that I cannot control my self, my sexual desire.

    It is a taboo topic to most people, because it is not a normal thing to discuss, but we need to be honest. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him. Not to gratify ourself and enjoy ourself.

    Sex is designed between Husband and wife. If you are deployed, or otherwise seperated, that doesn’t change. Jesus didn’t say ‘thou shalt not steal, unless you really need it, or it came out in a new color, or…”

    Jesus was straight forward and said no. He called sin out for what it is. Sure the Bible did not use the term masturbate, but it describes the intent of sex, and if we change that to suit our needs, we are not honoring God, but honoring our flesh, and We are overcomers.

    We give in, some of us give in a lot, but we ought to live a life of no compromise, Jesus did, and He is the example for us. I am not condemning you if you do or have. I would have to condemn myself first.

    What I am saying is that You can live without it, you can control your self, you can abstain from carnal desires, and you can live the way God designed you to. Don’t live the way society tells you to, don’t live the way people think you should. Life a life that that looks more and more like Christ everyday, and when you fail. Repent, and Move on, don’t just go back to the old way, you were never meant to live like that.

    All that aside, I think I should address the actual photo from above. I think that is a poor approach to the issue. People who masturbate don’t do it because they are bored. Telling them NO, doesn’t address the reason why they are doing it. I think we need to stop trying to prevent sin and start healing hearts. When your heart is healed, you stop needing your fix, because your desires are different. Let’s heal the heart people

    Los, Excellent topic, and one I think needs to be more open and honest in the church. I am glad that you aren’t afraid to God there.

    • http://twitter.com/matreames Mathew Reames

      Also, sorry for the super long response, but I am sometimes a bit long winded.

    • http://www.facebook.com/JoHnY05 Justin Davis

      well said

  • John Doe

    Los, this is a great conversation and I agree with many of the thoughts on here. One of the things that is never discussed within the church is what if there is a lack of sexual intimacy within a relationship. I know it’s easiest enough for the church to say, masturbation is evil, but the bigger question is what if one spouse wants to have sex on a “normal” schedule (1-3x/week) and the other spouse only wants to have sex every month or so? While the Bible says that your spouse should give it up whenever the other wants it, let’s also be realistic about it. It doesn’t happen that way and would end up pissing one of the spouses off if that was the expectation. Now one spouse looks evil since they have more frequent needs than the other. It’s not fair and at the same time, it’s not a reason to end a marriage.

    Would be interested in this conversation starter in a future article. Thanks for touching what others won’t talk about.

  • Sexless in the city

    I’m a 30-someting single woman and I’ve chosen abstinence for my dating life while I wait and pray for a husband to share my life and my sexuality with…I’ve had seasons where I found a hundred “good” reasons that it was ok for me. But in reality all of those reasons really added up to “God I know you made me with this sex drive, but I don’t trust that you really care about this part of my life, you might not come through with a husband so I’ll take care of this….” That was reason enough for me to choose differently and learn to live life without it. If I didn’t, that would be one area where I never know the peace of trusting God and seeing his provision. And lets be honest – if I don’t trust him with that part of my life now, it won’t be any easier to trust him when there IS a husband on the other side of the bed and our sex life takes a dip or we hit a rough spot in our relationship…Another reason for not… The immediate gratification of self-gratification – that does not do anything to help me keep purity in mind when I am dating someone – I found that I had sort of per-programed myself that it’s ok to fulfill some of my desires so it became more difficult to maintain healthy boundaries when I was in a serious relationship. Just my 2-cents on what this very natural, very human expression of sexuality has taught me in my walk with God.

    • http://twitter.com/alycialin Alycia Crane

      As a single 28 year old woman i really, really appreciate your honesty as well as your opinion here! It is so easy, in any area of our lives, to forget to trust God and try to do it ourselves. Thank you so much for the encouraging reminder!

  • http://twitter.com/mewsicmamma Sarah Kelley

    This is why I’ve been reading your blog since pre-Losiah. Thanks for not being afraid of the conversation.

  • Fortuna Veritas

    2a. Command to Christians to not masturbate ever as part of a reinforcement of years and decades of sexually negative and unhealthy church environments and families.

  • http://zhamilton.net Zachary Hamilton

    I’d argue anyone who believes masturbation is shameful or wrong or sinful or something of that sort does so because they were programmed to believe this by culture-makers within society, well meaning parents, their church, a lover, etc. The same could be said about believing it is healthy and natural and so on. So, the belief is subjective. It’s simply interwoven within our individual worldview. No one person or group objectively has an opinion on this matter that has not shaped by others and experiences within a particular context. For one person it might be wrong, and for another, not so much. Now, what I’ve learned about myself is this… When I’m out in there in the world (as opposed to sitting around alone) living a life that is fulfilling, adventurous, a bit risky (and risque), trying to create something meaningful, the questions of sin and lust being wrong or sinful or whatever, are not relevant anymore, and I don’t even have time or energy to masturbate. This was true when I was a single guy roaming the earth, and it’s also true as a married father of two.

    • http://www.facebook.com/JoHnY05 Justin Davis

      i have to completely disagree with your first statement because i started masturbating in jr high when the only thing i had heard about it was from my peers. it caused an addiction that has made life hard and have often wished i had been able to avoid it all together. it has never accomplished anything for me

      • http://zhamilton.net Zachary Hamilton

        Thanks for the reply. I’m not sure that contradicts what I had typed. I think it actually affirms my final point. Exploring our bodies as youth is one thing. Masturbating once in a while because it’s been our default way to cope w/ stress is one thing. But addictions are caused by and perpetuate deficits or deficiencies in our lives and relationships.

        • http://www.facebook.com/JoHnY05 Justin Davis

          it’s my fault, i should have been more clear. my original statement was mainly to point out that I’ve come to my conclusion about masturbation not through outward brainwashing, as you seem to be suggesting, but through my own personal experience as a Christian. because of my experience i noted firstly that it caused harm to my sexual purity and then went even beyond that to addiction. i would concede that there were other factors that lead to masturbation or the addiction but that doesn’t make the act any less of a sin. and secondly, and more prominently, even from the first time i attempted masturbation i didn’t want anyone to know it was happening. even further on that point, and probably most importantly, I’ve never come to a point afterwards where I’ve felt i could give God worship because of it and have actually felt quite the opposite, experiencing a shame before God because of it. either way, i was merely pointing out that i am the converse to your original point, and i’m not arguing with your final stance :)

  • Pingback: An Interesting Discussion | SSCN ONLINE

  • Aaron

    This helps me: psalm 34 says “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” So if I find it difficult to bless and praise God while doing something, that’s a cue to me that I probably shouldn’t be doing it. For me, masturbation falls under this category.

  • Mike C.

    Great thread, I really love all the responses. However, I have to say, that’s a right hand, palm out.

  • Danica Newton

    I read through all the comments here, and I am surprised that nobody brought up Romans 14. That was where my thoughts immediately went, when trying to sort through an ambiguous topic like this one. Paul is addressing dietary laws here, but it can very easily be applied to the topic of masturbation (and drinking, and child raising, and whether or not we celebrate Halloween, and pretty much every other topic Christians love to nit pick and fight about).

    The entire chapter of Romans 14 is really good, but for the interest of brevity, I’m just going to quote the first few verses:

    “One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”

    If you’re a vegetables only type of person, don’t condemn those who are fine eating meat (wow, that came out bad). But, if you’re personally convicted about it, don’t do it because then it is a sin for you. (see verses 22 – 23, “The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.”)

    We as Christians just love to make lists of rules, so that we can grade ourselves and others around us to be placed somewhere on the sliding scale of our own, man-made righteousness. The first Christians did it, on the issues of circumcision and dietary laws. We still do it today. I say, let love and grace rule the day, and tend your own garden.

  • Dave

    We can’t miss the larger issue which is Christ being the source of pleasure and joy for a Christian. Masturbation for most is a pleasure seeking exercise because we want to feel good. And in the act if people are truly being honest your mind dwells on things that are ungodly. We think about others and how they can bring us pleasure. Especially for men our thoughts will tend towards wanting women to submit to us. When they are supposed to have God in that place not men. However when we grow closer to Christ and acknowledge him in all our ways We find pleasure and joy in him that is so much better than what masturbation has to offer or any other thing of this world.

  • http://twitter.com/alycialin Alycia Crane

    I’m am so happy when Christians are willing to discuss these difficult issues openly! Speaking as someone who grew up in a very conservative, church-going, southern family (not that there’s anything inherently wrong with any of that), i was into my 20s before I ever heard a Christian view point on this subject. I had, however, heard plenty of the world’s views. After many years working with teens and young adults I think we are kidding ourselves to think this isn’t something that needs to be talked about. It is a touchy subject but there are ways and opportunities to bring it up and teach about sex openly with our young people.

    Having said all that, i feel i should be clear that i do not believe that masturbation is ok even within marriage. I am not married so i openly admit that i could be wrong but i have read up on the subject and i have real reasons for believing the way i do.

    Firstly, i believe sex is a wonderful, beautiful thing that God created both men and women to enjoy within marriage. I think that Satan has attacked marriage and sex more strongly than any other subject within the church because he knows the spiritual power of 2 becoming truly 1. It saddens me that so many churches seem to have simply given up the fight and allow poor teaching to remain within the body of Christ on this subject.

    Masturbation, by definition, is one person pleasuring themselves for their own enjoyment and fulfillment. I simply do not see how this would grow intimacy between a husband and wife. But more than this, I think the biggest issue in regards to masturbation is a person’s thoughts. I have read some the comments on here from married men who think about their wives when they can’t be together and I really don’t feel qualified as a single woman to comment on that. However, I think it would be safe to say that the majority of people who masturbate are single (again, maybe I’m wrong). In which case, what exactly are you thinking about when you “get off?”

    Philippians 4:8 says:
    Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (NIV)

    If you are viewing pornography that is wrong. We like to think we aren’t hurting anyone but the porn industry is a terrible, disgusting thing. Not just because it objectifies women. Not simply because of the horrible child related porn that is so readily available. Not only because it encourages those who view it to act out the terrible (many time abusive) things they see done there.

    The porn industry is one of the largest supporters of human trafficking and abortion in the US and world wide. Perhaps abortion is topic many disagree on but human trafficking is not. This is a real issue within the US that many are either ignorant of or have chosen to ignore. Young girls are kidnapped within American borders every day (sometimes from their very own homes) and forced into a life of sex slavery both over seas and on the corner of the cities where we live.

    This is a heavy subject that may only partially effect the question of whether or not masturbation is a sin but i believe it is important for us to understand who is affected by our personal day to day decisions. However, masturbation and pornography are clearly linked and this is something that is often left out when discussing this topic. I strongly believe that supporting pornography in any form (even just simply viewing it for free) is wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/MattieBatt Matt Battershell

    Carlos I’m involved with xxxchurch and their purity groups. First, as a graphic designer I’d say the message is a bit lost – I take it to mean, “Hey Christians: Don’t Masturbate!”

    The reason being is that we have the stats to show that most Christians are involved with self gratification & pornography – even Pastors. When you have an industry with yearly revenue sales surpassing America’s largest national sports combined, I’d say we have a problem.

    Back to the issue: self gratifying most always involves outside stimuli (eg: pictures or movies) or stored ‘snapshots’ of people in one’s mind. And the process of accomplishing the act must entail the body being sexually stimulated via lust. Endorphins are released and the brain really believes sex is occurring. Also, for guys, sperm count increases so the pressure builds up faster for next time (thus becoming a very easy cycle to get entrapped in).

    People say they can do it without thinking of someone or porn or stimuli – so I ask, “Do you think of a tractor?” People don’t know what to say after that comment. If your mind is not thinking of sexual stimuli, in some way, the act cannot be done.

    The reality of it is: self gratification is a perfect description because it is SELF gratification AT THE EXPENSE of someone else: that person you took a snapshot of in your mind who didn’t give you permission to so with their image, that website you support by click revenue or subscription, that model who most likely is under the influence of narcotics to numb herself during the porn photoshoot, or your spouse who cannot be there with you to gratify you together. These people pay heavy prices to support our selfish drug of ease.

    So on to spouses: what about looking at their picture if one is away for long periods of time? The act of the covenant of sex designed by God requires two people. It is a selfLESS giving to be enjoyed mutually. Intercourse is not always possible during pregnancy or long stays away from each other, so together a covenant honoring couple can engage in this activity of MUTUAL masturbation. Key word: together. But alone, no, now one person is benefiting from the other at their expense without giving the spouse the OPPORTUNITY to edify the person.

    I know Steve Arterburn has said at least have an intimate phone chat with your wife or even a very protected skype conference, but you know, it isn’t the same as being together. These options are good for emotional intimacy, but to self gratify in this way is not God’s best.

    The goal should always be to come together. King David knew that Bathsheba’s husband must be anxious to be with his wife, so to cover David’s sexual sin, he banked on them having a special night together and tried to make it happen.

    But you know, DISCIPLINE was a pretty large focus back in those ‘old Biblical days’ and Uriah would not be intimate with his wife because he knew he still had WORK to do. He wanted to be on the field doing God’s work so afterward he could enjoy and reap the pleasure of intimacy WITH his wife, not apart from her or rushed.

    Perhaps if we would once again walk in the gift of the spirit and have discipline, we would enjoy that delayed gratification ALWAYS renders Godly fruit in ways that benefit both spouses!

    Can we dare trust God in this? Most do not and simply say, “This is the only way.”

    Godly sexual expression is mutual edification for each other. When we selfishly hold to our ‘rights’ for pleasure, we strip our married spouse of edification, we tell God that He ALONE cannot satisfy us and we often become entangled in bondage and addiction to this behavior. And it isn’t long before self gratification cannot be done without extracurricular material which is always ALWAYS sinful (IE: pornography).

    I’m a 30 year old virgin desiring to do God’s will and wait for my wife. I can assure you Carlos and all reading this that self gratification and pornography have stalled God’s growth in me and shipwrecked my walk with Him. By God’s grace, accountability, getting rid of easy access, making tough phone calls and having Godly relationships with men, I’m walking daily in recovery knowing one easy click could send me off the ledge. I also want to encourage my sisters in Christ to keep themselves modest (they can still be fashionable). Sisters: you are called to be your man’s helpmate and if you are not married at this time, one way you can start learning to be a helpmate is by encouraging us men to LIVE PURE and HELP us by withholding your power with regards to sexuality. God has given you a powerful gift and while it may be tempting to watch a man fall over you the outcome is tragic. We need help in this area and while you can be our greatest help, you also can be our greatest temptation. I pray you would take this to heart.

    In conclusion, let’s see what Jesus said about lust (a definite precursor to self gratification): “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 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 stumble,
    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. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” Matt 5:27-30

    Also: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Gal. 5:1

    May God bless all who dare read what I have openly shared. If you struggle, no there is FREEDOM in Christ. Also, check out settingcaptivesfree.com for a 60 day course in purity with accountability and xxxchurch.com

    God bless

    • http://twitter.com/DentonCollin Collin Denton

      Truth. Thank you for being bold, anyone with this testimony knows that it is completely and utterly sinful. Period. Turn to Christ!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/JoHnY05 Justin Davis

    i will say i can’t find much to say that hasn’t’ been said. lust is a God-given trait as long as it’s controlled to our spouse. Jesus said the mere act of thinking about another woman adulterously is in fact adultery and not a way around it. is sexuality is made an idol above God that is bad. Sexual needs aren’t Needs, depending on the person the desires can be extremely strong but no one dies or is injured but abstaining.
    with that said, while i can’t say that mutually agreed upon masturbation between spouses that is directed towards the spouse (meaning she/he is all you think about) is wrong, i also must respect the beauty of discipline involved in waiting to the final relief. there is defiantly something to be said about the beauty in the difficulty of abstinence. I’ve found that some of my most worshipful moments are amidst the temptation when i decide instead to glorify God and honor my wife, even when it has been my wife who would have been the focus of my thoughts. i think it was “every man’s battle” that spoke to the concept of not only that sex is best when it is selfless but that our wife deserves our sexual desires to be reserved for her. so i’ve found that in abstaining not only can God be honored and worshiped and loved but our wives as well. and then the cap to it, or the gift that God gives us after, is that we get this beautiful sweet relief where we rejoice, because of our abstaining, in God and our spouse. pretty much the same as a fast. one of the things i always hated when i got married was that i couldn’t give my wife my virginity when i felt she more than deserved to have it. and because of that it took a bit out of the beauty and sanctity of the honeymoon. not that it wasn’t awesome cause it still totally was but there was something missing at that point. and that was really just to reiterate the beauty of the abstinence and then the reunion/union.
    for a final answer though, and after reading through all the comments, i’d also like to say that sin isn’t just bad stuff we do. it is literally falling short of perfection. it’s not hitting the mark of what God had intended. and in that sense i’d say that masturbation is a sin especially when thinking about someone other than one’s spouse, but maybe with the exception of a husband and wife who are doing it at the same time together but that exception kinda comes down to my opinion and i still have a rough time making them that lenient without feeling like I’m making justifications for something that is unnecessary.

  • Barry Whitlow

    Great topic Los. O’ how I wish ‘top of the pile’ Christian leaders/pastors would come out of the church closet and honestly tell the rest of us not only that they too struggle, but also share their process of fighting, staying balanced, and in the game. That alone would equip many. Love ya man!

  • Don’t grieve the Spirit!!!

    Do you desire the things of God before, during or after the act of self sexual gratification? Crave God’s Word (other than in repentance) or a fiery 90 minute sermon or intense prayer with a humble heart before, during or after you have defiled yourself? Of course not, for you have just grieved the very Spirit of the living God indwelling within you…and your actions have declared: I am not satisfied in Christ.

    All sexual activity outside the bonds of a marriage is SINFUL FORNICATION, period. We are to be about our Father’s business and FLEE FORNICATION!!! But, somehow this sinful behavior born out of SEXUAL LUST is rationalized down to something that is supposedly acceptable in the eyes of a Holy God?!? NOT EVEN!!!

    Deny yourself you who claim His name, you are NOT here to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Live for Christ who gave Himself for you…who took the FULL WRATH OF GOD so that you might have LIFE!!! Our earthly existence is but a blink of an eye compared to eternity. Live for Him Christian, as only what is done for Christ will last.

  • monique

    My husband and I have to be apart for 2 years I don’t get to see or even touch him would it be wrong to look at his picture and think about me an him to you know needs. Not all the time but like once every month or so

Subscribe

Sign Up HERE for my newsletter! It's a sometimes biweekly and sometimes monthly email FULL of VIP extras for you!

Get Connected

  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Keep in Touch

Most Recent

©2014 carloswhittaker.com. All rights reserved.