I would simply define masturbation as touching your own body for sexual gratification, or to manipulate one’s genitals sexually with the aim of sexual satisfaction. Masturbation has either mastered us, or we have mastered it. The question raised by many is whether or not masturbation is a sin. Unlike other sins, the Bible does not explicitly pronounce masturbation as a sin. Remember the Bible is not a rule book, but a book by God to give us the principles of life. For example, the Bible does not say driving past a red light is sin; however, it is sinful. It’s sinful because it is disobedient to authority (Romans 13:1).
In the same way, we can look at the principles that the Bible has about matters sexual and from that determine whether masturbation is a sin or not. Firstly the Bible admonishes the believer to “flee from any form of sexual immorality… (1 Corinthians 6:8).” Jesus state that sexual sin is not actually doing the act, but also thinking of the act (Matthew 5:28). What makes the sexual activity to be holy? The bible state that if it is done in the confines of marriage (1 Corinthians 7:1-5).
Masturbation is an indication of lack of self-control, without self-control on indulges into whatever the body demands whenever, and however. Self-control trains you to say ‘NO’ to yourself and more so to your desires (Titus 1:11-12). A man without self-control is like a city without walls (Proverbs 25:28).
Relatives of Masturbation
Masturbation, most of the time, has a close relative called porn. Masturbation, lust and pornography are like kissing couple; they are always together. Those who lust watch porn and have the propensity to masturbate. The reason, when you are viewing porn, you get sexually aroused, and so you need a quick way of satisfying that need, and as such, you would yield to masturbation.
I got myself into masturbation; nobody taught me how to do it, my sinfulness taught me how to masturbate. And it all started with watching movies with sexual senses and nudities. I wanted what I saw, I eventually stumbled upon a porn tape, and I got caught in it. As a result, I masturbated and enjoyed it until I became an addict. I hated myself; I hated what I was doing to myself. It was not just the act, but the lustful thoughts in my mind also.
Challenges in Marriage
Masturbation, however, pauses a challenge to the married as well. It is when one spouse deliberately chooses to gratify his or her sexual desires, independent of the other spouse- This breeds another sin, the sin of selfishness. Masturbating partners in a marriage are dishonouring their spouses. They are saying that they don’t need their spouses and they won’t agree with God creating a man’s body for a woman and woman’s body for a man (1 Corinthians 7:4). Therefore since sexual desires are to be gratified in the marriage context with the partner you are married to. Any other act, including masturbation done for sexual gratification, is a sin against God. God made woman and man to be married and enjoy sex. He made man for woman.
Like any sin, it begins with God reviling to us our sinfulness by pointing to us the very sin that we are in, and how much we are enjoying it, and even how much we are justifying it. David didn’t know how much he had sinned against God by sleeping with Uriah’s wife and killing Uriah, then taking Bathsheba as his wife, until God instructed Prophet Nathan to go and tell David of the sins he has committed against God (2 Samuel 12:7-14). That’s when David repented (Psalms 51). Without God, you will never know how ugly sin is, you will not hate it, and you will even prove those who are doing it (Romans 1:32).
We are to have a total and complete change of our desires so that we can hate our master sin so that we can follow a better master, Jesus. Sexual desires are good, but they should be mastered (Colossians 3:5). God gave us sexual desires, and after he created man, he said it is very good when he looks at everything he created in man, on man and around the man (Genesis 1:31). Part of that good was the sexual desire that Adam would have had for Eve.
God showed me how sinful I was; he showed me that I enjoyed masturbation as a dog that enjoys eating its own vomit. I tried to abandon it by my own means, but all I did failed me miserably, I found myself back in masturbation over and over again. I know a lot of us are in a rollercoaster-like the one I was in. Don’t despair. We are to remember that since were have been saved by the grace of God through faith, which is a gift from God and not by works that we should boast, so it is that same grace and faith that comes from God that are the means that God uses to deliver us from such bondage.
When God changes our nature from a sinful one, he gives us even better affections (Colossians 3:10). We desire to enjoy him in his glory, get ourselves mind blown with his infinite beauty and grandeur. Finding a more satisfying food will make you loathe the vomit of sin, masturbation.
The Way Forward
The First thing to do if you are struggling with masturbation is to ask yourself what your hearts desires are? This is something that you need to dig deep and hard in prayer, if you establish it is something other than the Glory of God, then you will realize how easily you will fall back to masturbation. Make God your most treasured goal. Pursue him to certify all you desire. Sin’s desires are contrary to ours; let us not allow it to get us because it encroaches on us (Genesis 4:7).
The second thing you should establish who you master is. If it is not God, again, you will fall into sin over and over again. God is a good master, he is the only boss whom you work for his Good, yet you will still inherit his fortune. Just think about it, working for Bill gates and then he makes you one of the heirs of his business empire. God is greater than Bill Gates, and obeying him means we are his children, and we stand to gain more than we ever think of or imagine. Masturbation doesn’t offer such great rewards to us; it only gives us a five seconds fulfilment in the expense of eternal glory with the Lord of the earth (Ephesians 1:15-23).
The third thing to do is to be vulnerable. Find a man if you are a man, and if you are a lady, find a lady, that is a believer and talk to them about your struggle. Treat masturbation or any other sin as cancer, do all you can to overcome it, winning a fight when you are overwhelmed will require you to call for back-up. The fellow believer is our quick respond unit to come and help us when things are tough, especially when it comes to sin (James 5:16).
In conclusion, keep up the good fight with sin, for we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. Don’t lose hope even when you stumble, pick yourself up and keep moving, run if you can, walk if you want, crawl if you will, don’t lay there defeated, keep moving. God has given you the power, and so you can fight on (2 Peter 1:3). Apart from our efforts, God keeps us from falling and presents us to his glorious presence with exceeding joy (Jude 24). Marvel at this, God is having exceeding joy as He is keeping me (a weak, sinful man)from falling, and as He will be presenting me before his glorious presence. Keep fighting and fight with hope.