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Christian Life

Girl to Girl Talk: Is Masturbating a Sin?

Project Inspired started a group specifically for the Girl Talk questions, which typically come from the Girl Talk chat wall on Facebook. Click here to safely join our chat group.

Many young people struggle with their hormones, growing pains and maturing as an adult. There is a strong sexual drive that wars against the spirit and can be heightened during the teenage and young adult years of development. There is a lot of pressure in our society and culture, and we all know “sex sells.” There are constant blatant and subliminal messages shoved in our faces through music, television, films and social media. How can a Christian stay pure in such a perverse culture that does not always honor purity and the Word of God?

This week a PI Girl asked specifically if masturbation is a sin, and I actually had another person ask me about this, which I felt was confirmation in order to address this even if it seems super personal or awkward to discuss online.

We know that God says to think on whatever is pure and holy, so my answer would be yes, it can be a sin – but it is not always such a black and white subject. If your thoughts are not honoring God, then you are most likely in a state of sin. There is hope, though, God’s grace can help us to overcome any struggle, amen girls?

 

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? (Romans 6:1)

 

No one is holy or righteous on their own merit, of course; it is only through the blood of Jesus on Calvary 2,000 years ago on the cross. We know that only the power of the Lord can save us and that faith is what can change our hearts and minds to WANT to honor God (Romans 6). When you are born again, the old man (old nature, self, habits, behaviors) is dead and the new man is raised to life with Christ and operates out of the reflection of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. No we aren’t perfect, but we aim for holiness.

 

For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)

 

For most people, masturbation is an act of lust. In some special circumstances, such as healing from sexual abuse or overcoming sexual disfunction – it is much more of a gray area. Check out this article from Christianity Today, “Masturbation: Is It Wrong?” which goes into more detail on those specific situations. The author, Dr. Juli Slattery also defines that your thoughts and intentions during the action are also part of the equation.

“.. 1. What are you thinking about?

While masturbation itself isn’t immoral, the sexual fantasies that usually go with it may be. Most women only masturbate when they are thinking about or looking at something sexual. Sexual fantasies about someone you are not married to are, as Jesus stated, “adultery of the heart.”

“But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman [or man] with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)

If you are single, fantasizing even about some fictional sexy guy is promoting lustful thoughts. If you are married and fantasizing about another man, you are violating, in your mind and heart, your promise to give yourself sexually only to your husband. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with a married woman fantasizing about her own husband…

2. What is your motive?

The Bible makes it clear that God is very concerned about our motives. For example, giving money to your church might be a wonderful act of worship or an empty gesture, depending upon the attitude of your heart. The same can be true of masturbation.
….
3. Is it mastering you? (No pun intended.)

The apostle Paul taught that “nothing should master” us. In other words, we shouldn’t be controlled or addicted to anything…

4. Am I honoring God with my body?

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20)….

 

If masturbation for you comes from a place of lust, that is always a heart issue and is because we don’t really know who we are as daughters of the King. Sin is birthed out of the impatience of believing in a good God and also birthed out of deception of the lie that God is not good. We must believe Jesus (Yeshua, the Messiah) is enough. Do you know that God can only satisfy your heart and deepest longings? He desires a relationship with you, not perfection. He loves you in your struggle, just where you are, and wants to help you. Cry out to Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to help you in your weak areas of life.

In the booklet “The Problem With Masturbation” by Winston T. Smith from the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation, Smith says, “People play God with other people in their fantasy,” and he said it is a “world where you practice selfishness and manipulation. Would you honestly describe any of this as love?” Wow, so true, I couldn’t agree more with Smith. He also adds this “habit will contaminate your relationships, and in all likelihood, it already has.”

Project Inspired Girls, we must guard our hearts and minds. It has been said in a quote that what you think about, you act out; what you act out, you become; and what you become is who you are and is the essence of your character. Who do you want to be like—the world after the flesh or like Jesus?

Our thought life drives us, and it’s good to think about where we’re going in life and in our walk with Christ. Let us examine if we are in the faith by our thoughts and behaviors. We don’t want to just be hearers of the Word (James 1:22), but we also want to be doers of the Word, amen?

Girls, remember too that if you struggle with those things, don’t walk in shame. We are not judging—we want to help you and encourage you to aim toward purity and holiness. Just ask God for His help. God bless you. Jesus loves you so much!

If you have more questions on the article topic or for personal prayer requests, message Christ Given at facebook.com/christigiven.

Image: Lightstock | Ezra Jeffrey

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1 Comments

  1. martial_artist_for_Jesus

    Posted by martial_artist_for_Jesus on December 10, 2017 at 15:53

    OK. First off…

    Confession time.

    *deep breaths*
    This has been something I’ve been struggling with, on and off, for a very, very long time. To give you a nice picture, three years old.

    I’m 22 right now.

    Yup.
    I can verify it’s a sin in many ways, even though my first several thoughts that originally triggered the horrible, DEEPLY rueful habit were not sexual ones (they were still harmful though, and I would rather not discuss them on a public forum.). The Spirit kept telling me, over and over, “You know this is wrong,” but, like God’s chosen people in the wilderness, I refused to listen.

    And I paid the penalty dearly.

    At age 12, I started getting urinary tract infection from it (THAT goes out to all the gals who think it’s “healthy” ). This would haunt me the rest. Of. My. Life.

    My little “pleasure spouts” would become shorter and shorter, until I became seriously worried. What if I felt nothing the night of my marriage? No pleasure, or, worse than numbness– that bitter, stinging pain that came from the UTI?

    For a while, this was enough to deter me. For nearly a year, I did very well off it; it was NOT easy, but I did it, and for one of the few times IN MY LIFE, I actually felt FREE from my wretched sin. In Bible quizzing, one verse out of MILLIONS spoke to my heart and to MY SOUL, and I KNEW that, right then and there, God was speaking to me:

    “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom. 12:1, NKJV.) (I used the NIV at the time, but it means the same exact thing.)
    This struck a strong chord with me, because out bodies are actually NOT ours (this be my argument against the “my body, my choice,” argument, so I can see people getting riled up about this right about now :P). They were GIVEN to us ON LOAN by GOD. The ONLY thing we possess in this world is OUR SOULS. Our bodies are meant to be our temples to God. To deface a temple and sin against God and is deeply blasphemous, is it not? So why are we doing just that? (all atheistic arguments aside, I mean– 😛 I just finished Dostoevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov,” so I don’t need ANOTHER lecture on intelligent atheistic philosophy rn. I got ENOUGH of that from Ivan and Smerdyakov. 😛 This is more of a lament of my sin, if anything.)

    Yet, it came back to haunt me in my early college days. I will not discuss details here, only to say that nothing physical happened except my return to sin after a severe struggle with temptation. Even after I severed that temptation off my life, the damage had already been done. I still reek with sin, sometimes literally, and I pray about it. A LOT. I pray that God gives me healing, that He provide a way out for me.

    For those who struggle with this particular sin, know this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I have walked this path out, IK the temptation is severe. One thing I’ve learned is (from my martial arts instructor, no less) is that sometimes, the best defense is NOT TO PUT YOURSELF IN THAT SITUATION. I’m always tempted to do *it* when I’m laying face down, or when my lap’s warm bc of a blanket or pillow. This can be easily remedied– I can literally at least downplay that temptation, which makes it a LOT less strong. Another thing I’ve found helpful is to divert your thoughts. Get in the habit of doing this whenever those sneaky ones attempt to slip into your mind; one thing that helps me is to recall that, even if it seems like you’re alone and free to do as you please, angels or demons may be in that room with you (for all you know, they ARE– you CAN’T see them, after all!). I realized the demons could very well being playing up that temptation (and after reading that one bit directly preceding the Noah’s Ark bit in Genesis, that makes it all the more uncomfortable), so this gives me more courage to resist– “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7, NKJV)

    Again, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Contact me if you still struggle, and we can team up and face this together!! 🙂

    Confession over and aside, I have read this article before. It was when I searched my struggle in a Google search engine (looking specifically for a CHRISTIAN article on the matter), and I thought, “Huh, this is actually really good. I think I’ll save it for later.” Imagine my surprise and delight when PI itself reposted it!!! 😀