Is masturbation wrong? I am a 25 year old male who finds pleasure in masturbation. I want to marry someday soon and do not want this to interfere with my sex life in marriage. This has been a real set back in my spiritual life. Please send help soon.
Signed, a pleasure seeking male
Dear Pleasure Seeker:
Masturbation is wrong when, for instance, a group of guys get together and experiment in a group setting. Second, masturbation is wrong when it slips into what is called “lust” when a person fantasizes or imagines that he (or she) is having sexual relations with a member of the opposite sex, someone he (or she) knows or who is pictured in a magazine or on the Internet. It is wrong because sex should be for showing love and giving pleasure to another person–not just in pleasing oneself.
Third, masturbation can help produce a callous conscience. Although many people insist that masturbation is normal, fun, and OK to do, most people feel guilty about it. It’s not helpful to persist in doing things that violate your conscience. Living with guilt is not healthy.
Finally, masturbation, like drugs, can be a way of withdrawing from the world and refusing to face problems. It becomes a crutch, a way of dealing with feelings of loneliness–but a poor way. Sex is meant to be shared.
One thing is for sure. Masturbation is not the unforgiveable sin. The Bible has little or nothing to say about it. In fact, the Bible has much more to say about overeating or gossiping. If you sincerely want to stop, you must learn to control yourself so that you won’t feel the need to masturbate anymore. Since it’s always better to control our sexual desires rather than allow them to control us, let’s talk about some ways of managing these desires.
First, a guy can rely on “wet dreams,” or nocturnal emissions, as a release for his sex drive.
Second, both sexes can drain off much sexual energy through a vigorous and varied plan of physical exercise, interesting hobbies, social activities, work and projects that will help them keep busy, happy, and content.
Third, I suggest you cut down on how much time you spend masturbating. Let’s say you’ve been masturbating once a week on the average. You could lengthen the frequency you do this to once every two to three weeks or longer. This could be a step in eventually gaining complete control over your sexual desire.
Finally, if you try all this, but nothing works for you, then you’ll need to talk with a pastor, teacher, counselor. It won’t be easy to tell these persons about this problem, but it may be the only solution if you wish to receive help. Remember also that true help comes from the great Advisor, Jesus himself. Turn to him morning noon and night. He can and will help you gain self-control. Once you are married you will not need to masturbate. The problem is
if you are masturbating extensively now, you could become addicted to it. Then there is a real problem in breaking the addiction.
(adapted from The Compleat Tween by Nancy Van Pelt)