For quite a while now, masturbation has been a gray area of Christian sexuality. It is fairly “accepted” for men and rarely discussed among women. It gets to sneak around under the name “natural sexual release.” Natural is not a synonym for godly, but for the most part, we are pretty content to leave it alone. We already have enough battles to fight, no need to add another to the list.
But this battle is worth our attention for many reasons. Here are three.
3 Reasons to Kick Masturbation
Sex should not be selfish.
Masturbation is very appropriately termed “self sex” because it is self-focused. Biologically speaking, sex is the union of two people, not one. Our sex drive is a desire to have that intimate union with another person. Masturbation does not fill that desire. It is our way of saying, “It is my sex drive and I want it appeased when I want it appeased.” Sex is about surrender and giving, not power and taking.
It does not honor God.
No addiction honors God. As Christians, we are not to be slaves to anything, even our bodies, which we are supposed to regard as the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). We are commanded to honor God with our bodies. Even those of you do not feel you are “addicted,” think about those moments you masturbate. Ask yourself if God is watching you and thinking, “That’s my child; I am so proud right now.”
It does not honor your spouse.
Remember, ladies, sex is about two becoming one. It is not about your husband using you and then you taking care of yourself. Whether you are single or married, masturbation can lay a groundwork for difficulty. You are training your body to respond to certain environments, stimuli, and triggers. These might be environments, stimuli, and triggers your husband either will not be able to recreate or will choose not to recreate (like watching pornography). You have separated yourself from him and, unintentionally, have limited the intimacy you can experience with him.
That being said, fighting this battle is not easy. It would be far easier to believe that this is an OK thing to do and that you will be able to recover from this later. However, sin is sin and habits are habits. The sooner you can get them out of your life, the better.
3 Practical Steps to Kick Masturbation
Here are some practical steps to set boundaries to keep yourself from falling.
Think on Truth
More often than not, especially for us ladies, masturbation finds its root in fantasy. Stop that chain at the very beginning by holding tight to the words of Philippians 4:8. One of the things we are told to think on, or meditate on, is truth. Truth is, you are not on some beach island with Casanova. Truth is, you have a life in front of you that needs your attention, and a Savior who has promised to help you through it. You do not need to run from it. When we run, we fall.
Know Your Weaknesses
Speaking of the chain of fantasy, know what situations tend to get you into the mindset to either fantasize or masturbate. For some women, stress is a huge trigger. For others, loneliness is a culprit. Some women don’t necessarily have a trigger, but a certain environment is more conducive to falling. Obviously, pornography or erotica can be a trigger. Sometimes, it is something benign. Even watching G-rated movies may start your mind wandering. Sometimes it is something that can be godly! Know your weakness. You cannot always avoid it, but knowing what it is will help you “pray up” and be on your guard.
Do Not Make It Easy
Romans 13:14 warns us against making provision for sin in our lives, specifically provision for the lust of our flesh. The battle for purity is already difficult enough without making sin convenient. Make masturbation as inconvenient as possible.
I debated putting this in here, because I thought it might be too suggestive. Just as I was thinking about it, I got an email from a single Christian young woman struggling with masturbation. She was guessing that a good step in the right direction would be to get rid of her vibrator. Yes, that would be a very good step in the right direction. Get rid of it. I will not speak definitively within marriage, but I believe that sex toys have no place in the life of a single Christian woman. Get rid of them, and while you are getting rid of those, get rid of anything that can be used in place of those. (If I’m talking to you, you know what I am talking about.)
Since the Garden, Satan has capitalized on gray areas, convenience, and human weakness. It is doubtful Eve would have eaten from that tree if she had a firm belief in the truth of God’s word. It is also doubtful she would have gone to the trouble if the tree were on the top of Mount Everest. Make masturbation your tree on the top of Mt. Everest, and stand firm on the truths of God’s word and His desire for purity. Most importantly, though, seek His strength and His wisdom. This is not a battle that can be won overnight, and the journey out can be marked even by physical pain, much like withdrawal. You will need Him every step of the way. The good news is, He promises to be there.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13