People call it any number of things. Spanking the monkey. Choking the turkey. And Christians are no better. In fact we may have more difficulty discussing this than do non-Christians. We will, at most, refer to it as self-gratification. Worse, we sometimes call it self-abuse.
We have so many ways to avoid saying the “M” word simply because most of us are uncomfortable talking about it. Perhaps this is because masturbation is a very personal act, usually done alone, and like most of our sexual lives, not spoken of often, or too publicly, or to very many people. And this is probably a good thing. Some things are private, and meant to stay that way. However, I am writing very frankly, and doing so because I think some things need to be said, and I believe the Lord has laid it on my heart to say them.
Masturbation on the Mind
You no doubt arrived at this site because masturbation is on your mind. You may be masturbating and wondering if it is ok to do so. You may feel it has become a problem in your life, and you are looking for help.
When I Googled "Christians and masturbation," I discovered any number of sites, most of which had conflicting opinions on whether it is appropriate sexual behaviour for a Christian.
If you are new
to this site,
please be sure and
read the important note
at the bottom of this page.
On one extreme some people believe that almost anything goes. God is love, and love is God. Any "loving" act, including fornication, adultery, homosexual behaviour, polyandry and any combination or variation of the above is just fine and dandy. In fact, they are not to be avoided, but celebrated with great joy. God gave us delightful nerve endings and we are to enjoy them in any way we can.
Then someone else writes that to do anything other than just plain intercourse between a husband and wife is absolutely horrible, forbidden, and wrong. They will rant against oral sex, manual stimulation, too much sex, and any number of things, even within the divine covenant of marriage. God forbid that you should have fun in bed with the wife He has given you. And, of course, chief among all sins is "the solitary vice."
A Fresh Look at an Old "Problem"
Frankly, I haven’t found many of these sites, or the teaching we have had over the years, to be very helpful. Surely there has to be a more wholesome perspective than those who preach license to do whatever, with whomever, whenever we feel the urge. And almost anything is better than the restrictive rules laid down by the well meaning but joy killing legalists who see only the potential for sin in every situation. Instead, we need to take a fresh look at sex, especially solo sex, from the perspective of scripture and sanctified common sense.
Scripture Never Calls Solo-Sex Sin
But, that is where things get tricky. You see, the anti-masturbation teachers can use all the logic they want. They can build the most amazing arguments. But when all is said and done, one thing is abundantly clear. It is just speculation. Only once did God in His Holy Word talk directly about solo sex. And when He did, He did not refer to it as a sin. He merely said to clean up afterwards.
Whenever a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his entire body in water, and he will remain ceremonially unclean until the next evening. Any clothing or leather with semen on it must be washed in water, and it will remain unclean until evening. After a man and a woman have sexual intercourse, they must each bathe in water, and they will remain unclean until the next evening. Leviticus 15:16-18 (NLT)
How very sad that so many Christians over so many years have felt so condemned condemned about a simple, natural, pleasurable act that the Scripture never identifies as sin!
Here are two things to remember. First, the Bible is definitely not afraid to speak about sexual sin. The Word of God talks about everything: fornication, adultery, homosexual behaviour, and incest, even bestiality. And we are given clues as to how to handle temptation when it presents itself. (Flee fornication!)
Second, the scriptures certainly are not prudish. It is all there, in living colour for everyone to see. There is even a marvelous marriage manual (of sorts) in which the sights and sounds and smells of marital intimacy are celebrated in all of their splendour. The Song of Solomon is full of passion and the pursuit of sexual pleasure in the marriage bed. It talks about breasts, the female "secret garden," and "fruit" that is sweet to the taste.
But masturbation, the simple act of stimulating oneself to orgasm is not condemned by God, not even once. More people have masturbated than have had sexual intercourse, legitimately or otherwise, yet in no place is this sexual activity called sin. Can it be that some of us are more concerned about this than is God Himself?
When Adam and Eve
had their first orgasms,
it did not take
God by surprise.
He did not look
and say, "Oh my!"
God gave us marvellous bodies. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. It is no accident that our genitals, when stimulated by thought, sight, and touch, produce delightful sensations. When Adam and Eve had their first orgasms, it did not take God by surprise. He did not look and say, "Oh my!" Neither did God hide His face in shame when the first human discovered that he or she could produce these exquisite sensations on their own, by the use of their own hand, without a spouse present.
Oh yes, I know the arguments, and the rational of those who strongly teach against it. I have read of the need for purity, of avoiding lust, of keeping ones heart and mind and body clean. And each of these arguments has merit. But, that still does not take away one simple fact. This nearly universally experienced sexual act is not called sin - not directly, and not indirectly - not even once. Not once! This ought to say something.
It does. It tells us several things:
- If masturbation really was "the great sin" that so many have declared it to be, the Word of God would state so in clear, unmistakable terms, the same way it treats other sexual sins.
- Second, while it is valid to talk about "scriptural principles" we go beyond the word of God when we talk specifics and legislate rules regarding masturbation. The Bible does not do so, and neither should we. No one has a right to be dogmatic about this.
- Third, so many times we like to have a one size fits all mentality regarding all aspects of the Christian life. But one size does not fit all.In non-essentials some things are simply between an individual and God. And there are, for each of us, different seasons for different reasons. What God expects of us today may be different than what He expects of us tomorrow.
Stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free. Galatians 5:1
in the liberty
by which Christ
has made us free.”
The Christian life is based on relationship with God. When we come to Christ we are set free from sin and empowered to walk in liberty. And that liberty is governed by principles from the Word of God. There are some things that God clearly defines as sin. We cannot continually do the things God hates and claim to be in a loving relationship with Him.
But Paul also said, “and do not be entangled with a yoke of bondage.” To make rules where God does not is, in itself, wrong and sinful. It makes us slaves. It is legalism, the one thing Jesus would not tolerate. The religious teachers of His day were continually putting restrictions on others that made life more difficult than it needed to be. For this they were soundly condemned. How sad to be set free from sin only to be enslaved in religious rules with no foundation in scripture.
Each person is an individual before God, and as individuals we each have to come to peace with our own understanding of what He requires of us. When we come to that point we then are called to "walk in faith" for "whatsoever is not of faith is sin."
God made each of us for freedom, and liberty. May we have the grace and courage to walk in it.
God bless you.
If you have found what you have read thus far to be at all helpful, or even challenging, I invite you to check out the Table of Contents and explore the rest of this site.
A Note About This Website
This website is quite extensive. I recently counted the articles and was surprised to discover I have written 60+! All this information could seem quite overwhelming. Where to start?
Here is my advice. If you read the Theology of Solo Sex as listed on the right you will have all the information you need to enjoy the pleasures of masturbation guilt free, the way God intended. Once you have read those articles you may be interested in the fascinating History of Solo Sex, or want to examine the Scriptures further. And the Miscellaneous section contains what I believe to be some fascinating material. But start with what is listed on this page. It will give you the fundamentals.
Lust and Guilt and Erotica
But if, like so many men, you have come here struggling, burdened down with ethical questions and crushing guilt and shame concerning lust and the use of nudity and/or erotica, I would strongly encourage you to simply cut to the chase and read the following. (When you click on them they will open in a new browser window that you can close to return to this page.)
Having read these articles, if you are still struggling with the anti-masturbation arguments so prevalent in the church, and especially on the internet, I encourage you to read the material in the “Answering the Anti-Arguments” section. In it I do my best to answer each argument from both Scripture and simple logic. So many of those anti-masturbation arguments are based on the opinions of men and not the wisdom of God, which makes them so simple to refute.
Wanking In Faith
If you are going to masturbate you need to do so guilt free. To do this you need to do it “in faith,” believing it is what God intends for you to do. To do that you need to know the truth from the Word of God.
May God richly bless each of us on our faith filled journey into truth, liberty, and the freedom that God intends for each of His children.