During this three part series I’m doing on sex, I wanted to write about a subject that you won’t hear many people mention; masturbation. This can be a controversial subject. Is it a sin? Is it acceptable in marriage? Can it affect your marriage? Does the Bible talk about it? I want to answer all these questions to the best of my ability in hopes that it will give you some clarity on the subject.
No where in the Bible does scripture refer to masturbation. This might be the reason you don’t hear preachers talk about it. The Bible does however say, “Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt 5:28). From reading this scripture, I believe that if a man or woman masturbates because of something they’ve seen on television, in a magazine, or in person, it is considered sin because it was done out of lust.
But what about in marriage? As I was thinking about this subject the other day, I thought about spouses who may be off at war, traveling for work, or may not be able to have sex due to a physical condition. I don’t believe masturbation would be wrong in these circumstances as long as your thoughts are pure. For example: If my husband is off on a business trip for a month, and during one of our phone conversations we both start to talk about sex and begin to touch ourselves while thinking about each other, I don’t believe that’s wrong. But if my husband was alone, looking at pornography, and meeting his own sexual desires, I would consider that adultery according to God’s word.
My husband used to be addicted to pornography, and because of that he masturbated a lot. You can read his testimony here The Truth About PORN He met his own sexual needs, and our sex life dwindled down to nothing. Masturbation should never be a replacement for your spouse! If you find yourself masturbating and not having sexual relations with your spouse something is terribly wrong. I can’t tell you the number of wives who have reached out to me devastated because their husbands have been looking at pornography and masturbating. The wife is left feeling hurt, confused, and insufficient. And the same goes for a husband whose wife may be addicted to pornography.
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Heb 13:4).
After God delivered my husband from his addiction to pornography, he admitted to me that he still masturbated a few times. Although he wasn’t thinking of anything impure when he done it, he still said that he felt it wasn’t right because he was meeting his own sexual needs instead of letting me meet them. I think he felt guilty because I was just in the next room. My belief has always been that if you aren’t sure if something is wrong or not, and the Bible doesn’t give an answer on it, then you should pray about it and ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of anything wrong that you are doing.
Years ago when I was in nursing school, a friend of mine who really looked up to me wanted my advice on this particular subject. She said, “Do you think it’s wrong for me to masturbate?” I replied, ” I think it’s wrong if you’re thinking about guys, or something you’ve seen on television, or lusting.” Then she said, “I don’t think about anything, I just do it.” Thinking about that comment now, it makes me wonder how natural it comes for some people. I’ve not done a lot of study about it, but I know that doctors have always told me not to stop my kids from exploring their genitals, and I know from my experience as a nurse that even patients with Alzheimer’s and in their old in age still do it. And when it comes to unmarried people, I would think it would be better to masturbate than to commit fornication. The Bible says, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside of the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1 Cor.6:18).
I had a wife tell me once that in order to get an orgasm during sex with her husband, she had to touch herself. Do I think that’s wrong? Absolutely not. If she stopped having sex with her husband and just started touching herself, then that would become a problem for her marriage and it would be selfish on her part. I believe it all comes down to what’s inside your heart, what’s inside your mind, and how does it affect your marriage.
I would love to know your thoughts on this subject! Do you believe it’s right or wrong? Feel free to comment below or email me at Rachel@transformedwife.com
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