If you read the title, you’re probably cringing. Yes, I’m going to talk about the single most hushed over subject in Christian circles because I know some (ok, it’s more like all) of you are struggling with the habit. Now I could begin this post with an only for mature readers comment like I did for the one on pornography, but I think we all need to hear this. If you disagree, then stop reading, because I’m going in deep! For clarity’s sake, this goes for men and women.
Ok, confession time. Here we go….masturbation was a huge part of my life. For years I was stuck in the same cycle, and only a week ago did I make a solid decision to stop by joining the amazing community of Nofap. I’ve gone a week without it now, and I’ve never felt better. So why am I telling you all of this? Simple, I don’t want you to end up in the same rut I did. I want to encourage you.
I’m sure every person that has masturbated has felt intense guilt when the pleasure was over. I went through that cycle for years. I know what it feels like. It’s horrible. I’m sure a lot of Christians can be quick to condemn the action, but from personal experience, all that does is put us in more bondage. In fact, I was terrified to confess my habit to Christians because of how judgmental they can be about it, yet I could tell non-believers without shame. Guilt and condemnation never freed anyone, which is why Christ took it on the cross in exchange for grace.
But what about the question, “Is it a sin?” Quick answer: yes. If you feel guilt, it’s only because you are guilty. But to pin point the sin itself, it’s not in the action, but in the fantasies. The lust filled thoughts. That’s where the sin lies, because we’re objectifying women and using them for our own self pleasure.
Christians can use the excuse, “It’s not in the Bible,” to justify it, and no, it’s not explicitly mentioned. People also see the story of Onan in Genesis when he spilled his seed as talking about masturbation, but it isn’t about that at all. I think the Scripture that best portrays it is Romans 6:3 “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin (masturbation): but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God (sex within marriage).” .
So how do we overcome? By yielding ourselves to God. By sacrificing our bodies and desires to God and exercising self-control and discipline. Masturbation is self pleasure, and the problem with that is the word, “Self.” It’s not giving to another person like intercourse in marriage does, it’s satisfying yourself. The flesh.
Another thing that can help other’s overcome is encouragement. Encourage those struggling in any way you can.
In the end, the final truth is that sin was defeated on the cross, and therefore no longer has a hold on us. We don’t have to give in, there’s victory in the blood and in the word of our testimony, and our testimony is that we are redeemed and freed from the hand of sin.
So to end, I want to encourage you to open up about the issue to your friends and family, and don’t feel ashamed because you gave in to natural desires. Know that there is victory. More are stronger than one. Together we can achieve it!
Discussion is open in the comment box, and I’ll encourage you in any way I can. Remember we’re in this together. You’re not a weirdo, you’re not perverted, you’re not going to be separated from God. And above all, you’re not alone.