Masturbation- a subject that many churches won’t dare to talk about, but needs to be addressed nonetheless. As a fellow sister in Christ, I want to share with you ladies what I’ve come to find in my own walk with Christ. That being said, I encourage each and every one of you to prayerfully seek God’s wisdom and counsel as well as this can be a difficult subject for some. Let’s begin! 🙂
Let’s Start With The Basics
Although the Bible doesn’t specifically mention masturbation, we can still make a pretty good conclusion on whether or not it is sinful by looking at some key scriptures surrounding sexual activities and their purpose.
- Sex was used a means to produce offspring. (Genesis 4:1)
- Sexual pleasure and intercourse was used for intimacy, affection, and love between a husband and a wife (Proverbs 5:19-20; Song of Songs)
- Intercourse is symbolic of two becoming one before God in a marriage covenant (Mark 10:8).
“Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.”” – Genesis 4:1
“Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.” – Proverbs 5:19-20
“and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” – Mark 10:8
Since masturbation (self sexual stimulation) does not appear in the Bible, I think it is safe to say that we can rightfully infer that it is not ordained by God. Not convinced? Let me explain further.
We know for certain that God commands us to abstain from sexual immorality. It is also a sin to lust for someone who is not our spouse. The Bible tells us that people who regularly (unrepentantly) practice sexual immorality will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:20-21) Masturbation almost always includes lustful thoughts or fantasies. Some watch or look at pornography or read erotic literature. (To read more on the issue of pornography, click here.)
Wrongful lust is considered a sin in the Bible (read more about what lust is here). We shouldn’t confuse lust with a natural attraction or desire towards someone of the opposite sex or temptation. Thinking someone is attractive is natural and normal, and if temptation were a sin, then that means Jesus would have sinned. However it is clear that Jesus was without sin, but still faced temptations of all kinds. (Mark 1:12-13)
While on the topic of lust, I want to make something clear real quick. Many misinterpret Matthew 5:28 (posted below under Important Scriptures) as meaning that looking at someone and recognizing they’re attractive or feeling attracted to someone who isn’t your spouse is sinful; this isn’t what Jesus was saying though (although it could be temptation- be careful not to fall).
Jesus was saying that adultery was committed already in the heart if a man looked at a woman (who wasn’t his wife) with lustful intent. This means that when a man looks at a woman to willfully lust for her, adultery has already polluted his heart because he is sexually desiring a woman on purpose who is not his wife. Wrongful lust means wanting something that is not right for you; it must involve a conscious intention to do so. (For example, a man who watches pornography and objectifies and lusts after the women he’s watching is committing adultery against his wife because he is purposely, intentionally and willfully lusting after those women). Wrongful lust is much more than sexual arousal or attraction, which is a normal, healthy part of being human.
Therefore, I think we can make the conclusion that when a woman (or man) intentionally and purposely lusts after and fantasizes about another who is not their spouse, they are guilty of adultery in their heart.
1 Corinthians 6:18
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.”
“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
1 John 2:16
“For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world.”
“He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” – Ephesians 5:3
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;”
Things to Consider
When a woman (or man) masturbates, they usually look at something sexual (such as pornography) or have lustful fantasies about someone- leading to impurity if this person is not your spouse, which is sinful. People get addicted to masturbation easily because it feels good. It feeds lustful and unclean thoughts into our hearts and minds, which can pave the way for other sins to grow. It is also important to note that masturbation is a method that Satanic cults use to summon evil spirits (demons). Masturbation has the possibility to become a gateway for demonic oppression in your life.
The Matter of Marriage
Masturbation in a marriage can be unhealthy. When we pleasure ourselves all the time, we have no need for our spouse to pleasure us. Abstain from masturbation, and only let your spouse give you pleasure. You will find that it is worth it. On that note, using masturbation consensually together as a means to become more intimate with each other is okay; God encourages us to be intimate with our spouses! Just read the Song of Songs (or Songs of Solomon) in the Bible.
However, this different than if a husband were to go off and masturbate in the bathroom alone every day. He no longer has the need for his wife to bring him pleasure or needs to be intimate with her. Also, he may or may not be keeping his eyes or thoughts on his wife. In the same way, a wife may get angry at her husband, deny him intimacy and masturbate, and she no longer needs him to pleasure her. This is what is not healthy in a marriage.
When you let your spouse pleasure you instead of just pleasuring yourself, you will find that you will receive the pleasure probably even more powerfully than before. This is how God designed the marriage bed to be. A consensual, mutual giving and receiving of pleasure and love between a husband and a wife.
“The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” – 1 Corinthians 7:4
Single Ladies & The Unmarried
It can be a struggle sometimes when hormones are raging and you are single or in a relationship waiting to get married. I get it, I understand! Because whether we are single or in a relationship, God made us sexual creatures; it is natural. However, just because we are naturally sexual creatures, doesn’t mean it is necessarily okay to masturbate. A fruit of the Spirit is self-control and we must learn to control our bodies with honor and purity.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
It is also important to remember these verses:
“But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.” – Romans 14:23
“”Everything is permissible,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything is edifying.” – 1 Corinthians 10:23
Even if something might be permissible, it still may not be beneficial to do those things. Also, if you are having doubts on whether or not something is sinful, abstain from it. Paul is telling us that if you are doubtful (having convictions) about something, then to go ahead and do it would be sinful for you because you aren’t listening to your convictions.
Let’s cut to the chase… would you masturbate in front of Jesus? Do you think that it is glorifying Him in any way when you do? Because let me just get this out there- God knows when you masturbate. It isn’t a private act, sisters! Jesus sees, and He knows exactly what’s going on. He is God! His Word tells us to control ourselves with honor and purity, and to glorify Him with our bodies. The desire to be sexually pure and holy to God should motivate the Christian to avoid masturbation. Masturbation (which is all about self) does not glorify God.
In that case, the argument that you are glorifying Him by celebrating the way He made you (a sexual creature) by means of masturbation is invalid, because that is what He made sex within a marriage for! Sexual pleasure in a heterosexual marriage (between one man and one woman) is a beautiful thing and ordained by God. That is how we celebrate our sexuality, ladies; not through masturbation outside of a marriage.
And if you have failed to do so, join the club. The struggle with masturbation is not an easy one, but we can overcome it and be victorious in Christ. He sympathizes with our weaknesses. He Himself was tempted in every way that we are, but was without sin. Through His shed blood, we can come boldly to the throne of grace to find mercy and help in the time of need. Our Savior is so faithful! If you have been struggling with masturbation, you are not alone. Seek Him and His strength to carry you through. You can overcome with Him!
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 4:15-16
Don’t Be A Slave
“ For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” – Romans 6:14
The apostle Paul teaches us that we shouldn’t let anything master us. We are to be slaves of righteousness, not sin. Masturbating to escape negative feelings or emotions, boredom or loneliness, or simply because of physical cravings for pleasure isn’t healthy or holy. It can easily become an addiction, and at the very least, an idol. How can I say that? Because when we put our own physical self-pleasure above God and obeying His Word, it immediately becomes an idol to us. When we do that, we are essentially saying that we know better than God and we care more about our own fleeting pleasure than loving and obeying Him.
Masturbation is all about self and lustful feelings. That is the problem! Some might ask, “what if I’m single or in a relationship and I want to have sex?” Girl, you are not married yet… pull yourself together! You CAN do this! Do not remain a slave to fleeting feelings of sexual pleasure! God has work for you to do for His kingdom, you are a child of God! You cannot keep calling evil, good, and good, evil. Ladies, if you are in Christ, you are called to self-discipline, self-control, purity, and faith! You CAN overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit! Read more about how to overcome sin and tempations with this S.T.O.P mnemonic + 20 encouraging Bible verses.
God doesn’t tell us to be holy and abstain from sexual immorality and uncleanness to be mean or deny us pleasure, He does it because He wants what is best for us. He created us. He knows what is truly best for our well-being; for our hearts, minds, and souls. He doesn’t want us to take any part in sin because He loves us more than we could ever fathom, and He knows that sin will ultimately destroy us. The Bible is clear that the consequences of sin is destruction and death.
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” – James 1:14-15
“Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” – Galatians 6:8
The Bottom Line
“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
We are to honor God with our bodies and strive to be holy and pure in our heart, mind, and body. We should seek to master the body and not give into its fleshly desires. The fight against masturbation can be a tough one, and it will take you walking in the Spirit and staying close to Jesus in order to win it.
Learning to control our bodies can have great spiritual benefits. Giving in to masturbation can have toxic spiritual consequences, including opening up your spirit to demonic oppression in your life. It is a real thing, and we can’t act like it can’t happen to us. While (if we are born again) we can’t be possessed by any means, demons can still bring oppression into your life. Just as God is very much real, so is Satan and his demons. We must guard our hearts, minds, and souls against any attacks from the enemy by walking in the Spirit and taking up the armor or God (Ephesians 6:13). Masturbation can certainly enslave you and make you vulnerable to oppression. Be wise, ladies. The devil walks around like a lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Don’t let him get a foothold on you by such a thing as masturbation.
If you have been struggling with masturbation, know that Jesus loves you and He wants to set you free! It is for FREEDOM that Christ came and died for us, sweet sister. Cry out to Him, ask Him to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Ask Him to deliver you from sin. He is full of grace, mercy, and love.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” – Isaiah 55:6-7
The next step is to SHUT those gates that invite sin into your life, girl. Throw out those provocative dresses, skirts, and shirts. Delete that sexual, perverted music off your phone and laptop. If you are involved in fornication, get rid of any and all guys (or even girls) that contact you for sex. If you have to change your number, so be it! Block em’, delete em’, do what you got to do, friend! CUT OFF all people, places, and things that tempt you into sin. Feeling tempted to watch porn or masturbate? Turn off that computer, get up, walk away, distract yourself, pray. In Christ, you are a daughter of the King! You can do this. Be free, sister!
The following are some tips from Singes Pleasing the Lord:
- Grow in your ability to trust God to take care of all your needs, including your sexual longings and passions. Because you have the indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit, you have access to the supernatural power of God working in you. God can and wants to supersede your natural cravings and preserve you and keep you happy and content in His own miraculous way. 1 John 4:4 says: …because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
- Don’t live under guilt and condemnation. Receive God’s forgiving mercy when you succumb to the temptation to masturbate. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV) says: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- Pray to receive God’s grace to help during times of temptation. God’s grace and mercy are available during these times when you are tormented to satisfy sexual cravings through masturbation, and Jesus understands and sympathizes with all your temptations. Hebrews 4:15-16 says: For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
- Remember your times of greatest weakness are actually the times when the strength of Christ is most readily available to you. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says: And He hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
- Avoid activities that stimulate you sexually, for example, movies and videos with vivid love scenes.
- If your masturbating is addictive and compulsive, seek deliverance, because this could be indicative of demonic activity.”