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Defeat Lust & Pornography 2 minute read

Why I’m Sharing About My Masturbation Struggle

Last Updated: May 18, 2021

A little over 12 years ago I read an amazing book by Joshua Harris called Not Even a Hint. The title was based off Ephesians 5:3, which reads, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality…” (NIV). In the book, Harris opened up about his previous struggle with masturbation. He shared that many people masturbate, but hardly anyone talks about it. He then joked how most of his readers, upon seeing his open confession of masturbating, likely thought, “Better you than me!”

I also struggled with masturbation, and I began weeping as I wondered why no one was willing to be brave and open up about this subject. I decided that if God set me free, I would be willing to share the truth about this bondage so others could step into freedom too. So, today is the day that you get to read about my struggle and think, “Better you than me!”

I was exposed to pornography at a young age, and masturbation and a fantasy life developed from there. It soon became a compulsive and addictive activity for me. I often engaged in this several times a day and became enslaved. I tried to break free many times, and even after becoming a Christian filled with the Holy Spirit, I was still trapped. I went back and forth as to whether or not this behavior was wrong, although I really did know deep down this was not God’s plan for me.

Related: Porn and the Desire Dilemma

One day the Lord dealt with me regarding my sin through the following Scripture, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…” (Col. 3:17). Now to be honest with you, I’ve always prided myself in being an intelligent person. But even with all my smarts, I still couldn’t figure out a way to masturbate “in the name of the Lord Jesus.” That wasn’t the end for me, but it was the beginning of the end.

I knew my actions were a coping mechanism, and the Lord spoke to me from Jeremiah 2:13.

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

Wow! God showed me I was trying to meet my needs in my own way instead of allowing Him to meet them. This was another step on my journey to freedom. Lasting freedom came as I began to relate with God and others; true healing from any type of sexually addictive behavior comes when we learn to be intimate.

I can honestly say it has been over ten years since I have masturbated. Yep, I’m currently single and haven’t physically been with anyone–so that means ten orgasm-free years. Our society values orgasm as the pearl of great price, but I’ve survived to tell my story nonetheless. Much to the shock of society, I didn’t die or kill anyone from not having an orgasm. It really is possible!

Related: 3 Steps to Kick the Habit of Masturbation

There is hope for anyone struggling with this issue! I was bound for 23 years, and Jesus set me free–He desires you to experience this freedom too!

  1. MR

    Reading about on the honest remarks on the difficulties of totally stopping masterbation has humbled me greatly. I’m in the same boat. Here are some scriptures I would like to share. [The brackets are my comments.]

    James 1:4 — But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.

    [Notice it doesn’t say we are drawn away by demons.]

    Matthew 26:41 – Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

    [It appears the power of prayer helps the flesh which is weak.]

    Luke 22:40 – And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.

    [The power of prayer appears to be a guard against temptation.]

    1 Corinthians 10:13 – 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.

    [I didn’t know how to pray until I read Philippians 4:6. After reading that scripture over and over again, I finally realized what was missing in my prayer. I have learned when I pray to God, nothing is off the table. Nothing is too embarrassing to talk about with God. I repeat, nothing is off limits. Praying to God about everything you are going through, whether good or bad, is better than holding back. Tell God everything. Our inner most darkest secrets? God knows us better than we know ourselves. If a thought of desire and enticement enters my mind, I instantly pray to God about it. If I get the urge to do it, I tell God at that moment I am going through temptation. I tell God plainly that I am tempted and I have a desire to act on it. I noticed when I prayed at that moment, I did not give in to the desire. It’s like God took it away. It’s like (1 Corinthians 10:13) has been fulfilled in my life and I got to experience God’s power supernaturally. God took it away. But do I always succeed? No. There are times when my selfish desire is greater than my need to pray. Is God going to strike me with lightning because I failed and entered into temptation and gave in? Anyone who has been doing something habitual for years, it is called a habit. It takes time to change and remove it from your life, whether through a form of therapy or by the grace of God. Either way you decide to go, it’s still going to take time to be set free from it. It can take months or years, and no matter what the desire, temptation is always going to knock at the door. Show me one person alive who is perfect, who has always lived a resistant life from temptation?]

    Galatians 5:17 – For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

    [The desires of the flesh opposes the Spirit. We struggle to always do what’s right in our lives. Is there anyone you know who as it all together and does not have any faults?]

    James 1:13 – Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.

    [Thank God he doesn’t tempt us. Thank God for his loving kindness and forgivness. Thank God for his only begotten son, Jesus Christ.]

    Romans 3:11 — As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;…”

    [This scripture helps me stay grounded when I start to think I have it all together and I get in that mindset of self righteousness.]

    Romans 3:22 — We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

    [We have to believe that no matter what struggles we may face in this life that we are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.]

    James 5:16 — Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

    [In conclusion, nothing is hidden from God. The struggles in our lives, addiction or habits. May our Lord Jesus Christ help everyone to be set free.]

  2. Owo benjamin

    My name is benjamin i have been strugling with this evil act for five years now. I dont have much to say but no matter what i will never give up. Falling down is a mistake but staying down is a choice. Only God can save us just tell him to take over and also be putting effort and he will help us because his love is greater than our sins. God loves you.

  3. Jk

    Nice article! Thank you for sharing. I am struggling with the same on and off for now 15 years.
    But now I am sure that I will overcome it too in Jesus’ name.

  4. Jk

    Nice article. Thank you. I am struggling with the same on and off for now 15 years.
    But now I am sure that I will overcome it too.
    .

  5. Eugene

    47 yrs today and am so ashamed inside but I know Christ will help me if would only yeild more to him, I believe hoping after all these yrs I am be free of this hidden sin but not from God, except I know all our sins are hidden in Christ and wash away from his shed blood, but the struggle has been long hoping in find the desire to stop forever in Jesus name Amen

  6. Xx

    I’ve been struggling for 6yrs now. I keep repenting n falling, each time I repent I’m always scared I will fall again. I fast and pray and sometimes while fasting I even masturbate 😓. I’m really believing day one day I’ll be healed. I actually communicate very closely with God such that the Holy Spirit is like a friend to me. Anything I pray God gives it to me while I’ve repented and livinga holy life before I fall again, I just know I’m special to him but I’m tired of dissapointing him😞. Each time I masturbate I just see things go wrong in my life, and I’m tired of this peril but I haven’t given up and won’t give up. When i repent I feel very strong in d spirit after some days of closeness with God, I overcome many temptations until d big one hits me, and at that point I struggle so hard to get it out my mind I can’t just get it out. There’s a prayer I normally pray when tempted “Holy Spirit takeover my heart” immediately I say that I feel peace in my soul n d temptation is gone, but when this big one hits me i say that d temptation goes and bfr the next 10secs it’s back and my heart will be beating so fast I see myself picking up my phone and typing pornographic sites on Google I know what I’m doing is wrong but I can’t stop it’s as if I’m being tempted and bfr u know it I’m done masturbating. I start feeling guilty, I feel the Holy Spirit away from me, I start cursing myself. But my loving Lord forgives me immediately I repent and I’m back on track again, but starting all over again not just in my relationship with Him but in some other areas of my life I feel d serious set back. For example if I’ve read a topic in physics let’s say Gravitational Field I found out I’ve forgotten almost everything I’ve read, I begin reading from the beginning again. It’s really giving issues but Godbjust knows a way to always help me out and I keep advancing in life but not excellently though. I know there’s something about me when I’m fully in God’s presence and hasn’t yet fallen, I see myself doing excellently well but once I fall I have serious set backs
    I curse the day I began this.
    God help me I believe I can stop this

    • Keith Rose

      Thanks for sharing your struggle! We’re here for you. I want to encourage you to seek help, and to get some allies to come alongside you. Here’s a helpful post that gives the six essential steps to quitting porn. Remember, a setback is NOT the same as failure! Failure to quit is when you quit trying. God bless you on your journey!

      Keith

  7. Shervonne downs

    I want To Be Free Everytime I Masterbate I feel guilty I Have struggled with this Since I was a kid like 12 I’m 41 I can control it For A little bit then I erges I’m not Sexually Active Right Now My I Just Was To Please God with Obedience and this a Struggle It Must Go I cant do this anyway Jesus Help your Child

    • Kay Bruner

      Hey there.

      I’m going to say some shocking things here, so hang on!

      Masturbation is normal! It feels good, and it’s a part of your whole self, which includes your sexuality. It’s private, but it’s not shameful. It shouldn’t take over your life, but it’s fine as a part of your healthy physical self.

      Problems arise with masturbation, as with many other good things, when we use it as an unhealthy coping mechanism when we are overly stressed, upset, etc. We can all be vulnerable to using good things–food, wine, exercise, Netflix–to cope in unhealthy ways. Instead of feeling our feelings and processing through them, we substitute a behavior that feels good in the moment but didn’t actually solve the problem and may in fact produce more problems.

      Unfortunately, there is huge shame around sexuality in Christian circles. Often, shame itself becomes the problem, as you feel distressed over shame from masturbation, you then masturbate to feel better in the moment.

      You might like this short animation I made recently, Interruping Shame Cycles.

      You might also like to read a couple of books by Christian authors that address the issue of needless sexual shame in more depth: Pure by Linda Kay Klein, and Shameless by Nadia Bolz Weber.

      I know this is a big shift in thinking in this area, but I hope you’ll consider this and try working on the shame piece instead of trying to force yourself to cut out a normal and healthy part of your physical self.

      Peace to you,
      Kay

  8. Anonymous

    Thank you for the story, and truly inspiring.
    I would be sincere and plain. I was born into a strong Muslim background. I am the firstborn and only male child. At the tender age of 6, the housemaid that time lured me into the act of sex. She maltreated me if I refused, so I always lived in fear. As a result of that constant event, I became fully intrigued about sex. I thought I was enjoying it, but I was going deeper into bondage. I am 36 years now and not yet married, and I still masturbate. I am not proud of it, but the addiction is really, really deep. I need help out of it.

    When I was in the university, I read in the bible the verse that said, ” However hides his sin, will not prosper but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall obtain mercy” I went and opened up to my pastor that I masturbate. The man responded and prayed for me as if I was one of the dirtiest sinners on earth. So I left more hopeless. I have confessed this sin to three different pastors but noticed these pastors don’t follow up, and I find myself still committing this sin. I have stood up for altar call several times but still, go back to this sin. I am afraid that I am hurting my health and want to stop the habit.

    Please, I need your prayers.

    • Keith Rose

      Thanks for sharing your comment! I’m so grieved to hear about your experiences and the ongoing pain you’ve faced in this struggle. Our team is here for you, and we’re praying for you. I encourage you to keep going through our resources. We have a lot of free e-books that are packed with wisdom and helpful information. See here.

      God bless,

      Keith

    • Keith Rose

      One other thing. Since you have experienced sexual abuse and serious trauma, so I strongly recommend you seek out counseling from a professional. You can call Focus on the Family for a phone consultation with help from licensed Christian counselors and pastoral counselors.

      God bless

      Keith

  9. Joe Jenkins

    I’ve been struggling with this horrible addiction for nearly 30 years. I had periods where I managed to stop but it was at the expense of all sexual desire meaning my wife suffered for a while. It was only a few years into my marriage that I even realised I had a problem! It is fulfilling to know that none of us are alone in this battle and even better to see people who have conquered their sin. I kept kidding myself it was ok if I didn’t look at porn or even worse if I looked at porn without masturbating. I try really hard to save myself when my wife is ‘on’ so I can honour her when she is off but I just use that as an excuse to self-harm again.

    This time I want it to be for good. As I approach 40 I do not want to be a slave to my addictions any more and it is only through God and intimacy with my wife that I can conquer it. I realised years ago that it was the intimacy I had been craving all these years and not just sexual desire.

    I apologise for rambling but thank you so much for this page and letting us know we are not suffering alone.

  10. Solomon

    My name is Solomon and for over 10 -15 yrs I’ve been a consequent addict I even watched porn and masturbated before viewing this. Thanks for ur story, but why am I still in chains?

    • Keith Rose

      Hi Solomon,
      Thanks for reaching out to us, I’m sorry to hear about your struggle – you’re not alone! I’d like to recommend our free ebook, The Porn Circuit. There are many in your exact situation, and this book explains why porn and masturbation are so difficult to stop, and gives a lot of practical insight for the steps you can take to quit! There are a lot of other helpful resources on this page as well.
      Blessings,
      Keith

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