Accepting the Inevitable
It is inevitable. Your Christian son is going to come into puberty. When he does he is going to get boners, erections if you prefer. When he gets erections he is going to touch himself. When he touches himself he is going to experience pleasure. When he experiences this he is going to pleasure himself to orgasm. He is going to masturbate. I did when I was his age, and so did you. And unless your circumstance was far different than the norm, if you were a Christian you did so with a sad mixture of delicious pleasure and crushing guilt. You did so entering the “war zone.” That place where time and time again you found yourself repenting, practicing rigorous restraint, and inevitably giving in to “temptation” and once more experiencing momentary pleasurable release, followed once again by relentless remorse and repentance. You were in constant battle with your humanity.
If you lived in the state of continually “resisting temptation” you knew what it was to go to school and be continually distracted and turned on by the slightest sight of breast and buttock. You knew what it was like to be always adjusting yourself because, once again, you had a boner in the middle of math class. You knew what it was to endure the endless cycle of “victory” and “defeat.” And you knew what it was, as a sincere adolescent Christian, to go to church and feel guilt and condemnation all the time. It affected not only how you felt about yourself, it seriously hindered your devotional life, both public and private.
Yes, Accept It!
So, it is time for Christian parents to accept the inevitable. Your son is going to be “tempted” to masturbate. He is going to masturbate. And how he feels about himself as a person, and as a Christian, is going to be strongly affected by how he feels about what he is doing.
And in this internet age he is going to look for information. If he comes across this website he is going to be blessed with helpful, positive information that will help him see Solo Sex as a gift from God to be enjoyed. But, this may not be where he gets his information. He may instead read some of the many sites calling Christian young people to a so-called “radical discipleship” that involves continually resisting and rejecting their natural God given sexuality. These sites don’t stop at rightly warning against fornication and homosexual behavior. They counsel sincere impressionable young men to forego Solo Sex completely. And they do much damage in doing so.
And Embrace Reality
Stop and think. Do you want your adolescent child to go through the same perpetual struggle you endured? Of course not. But merely accepting the inevitable is simply not enough. The inevitable must be embraced. And you are in a wonderful, blessed situation. You can have the privilege of being the primary source of your son’s information about his developing sexuality. You can be the person from whom he finds out that his urge to pleasure himself to orgasm is not only good, it is God given, and a wonderful way for him to find out how his body works, enjoy the exquisite pleasure it can give, and make his sexuality manageable. You can let him know that good Christian young men masturbate. They masturbate freely and frequently, and doing so is not a sign of defeat, or a loss of “victory;” it is merely enjoying what God gave him the way that God intended.
And you can advise him on what are the acceptable parameters of the pleasures of the penis. That masturbation is not shameful but it is a private activity, meant to be done alone behind closed doors. And you can share with him that using images, especially in his imagination, is not wrong, as long as he is doing so merely to assist in the process, and not lusting after an actual person.
And if I were able to parent my son all over again I would advise him to masturbate before any date. Simply do the deed so that when he is with a Christian girl his mind is more on developing a friendship with her than on getting as much “tactile information” about her as he can. There is no need to go into a tempting situation with a “loaded gun.” After all, as we all eventually discovered, sex is a wonderful part of a marriage, but it must be framed by an ongoing lifelong friendship. If the friendship fails, it is doubtful that the sexual relationship will stay strong, or satisfying. A marriage without sex is an ungodly, unbiblical, miserable thing, but friendship, not sex, is the foundation of a marriage. Keep the friendship strong, and the sex should only get better as time goes by. At least that is what God intends.
A Help, Not a Hindrance, to our Spiritual Life
In fact I believe that the more fervent and spiritually sincere the young Christian is, the more assurance he will need that masturbation is a good and godly thing. They also need to be told that, contrary to the teachings of some, they will not be better Christians if they refrain. Refraining will not improve their prayer life, their church life, their witness, or the exercise of their spiritual gifts. None of these things will improve by abstinence from self pleasuring.
Neither will they be hindered by their enjoying God’s gift of Solo Sex. Masturbation hinders nothing.
What does do great and unnecessary damage is the false guilt imposed by sincere but mistaken teachers speaking with assumed, not God given, authority.
In fact, if our sons are able to simply relax and enjoy this aspect of life guilt free, their prayer life just may be improved, their church life many become more enjoyable, their witness more effective, and the exercise of their spiritual gifts easier and more effective. (Come to think of it, this fact is good for all of us to know.)
Have the Talk
By accepting and embracing the inevitable and communicating truth to your son, you can make his life a whole lot easier and more pleasant as well.
You know what to do. You just need to the courage and compassion to do it.