There is much confusion regarding what the Bible says about masturbation.
Because the Bible says little or nothing on the subject directly, many ministers teach young people that masturbation is acceptable because it relieves sexual passions without engaging in a sexual act with another person.
As a pastor for more than two decades, I have counseled many men in this area and have observed how this activity causes serious problems in regards to their internal walk with the Lord and their spouse.
(It is especially important for youth leaders to be taught to counsel youth against asexual behavior because once in this habit, it carries over into their marriage years later.)
Masturbation is both unbiblical and harmful. The following ten points should bring clarity.I. Masturbation Trains a Person to Think Asexually Instead of Heterosexually
1. To teach a person to masturbate involves mentally training a person to be asexual; that is, to independently satisfy sexual desires as opposed to being engaged in a healthy heterosexual relationship.
2. The unfortunate consequences of this shows after an asexual person is married.
A. Because they have trained their brain to respond to their own well thought out and intentional touch, they have a hard time adjusting to their spouse’s unpredictable sexual actions and responses. Thus they have a hard time (if they are male) getting or maintaining an erection.II. Masturbation Involves Visualization
1. Since masturbation involves the extensive use of the imagination while touching one’s genitals, those that do so are training their brain to respond sexually to a virtual partner as opposed to a real-life physical partner.
2. The asexual sex partner has a hard time maintaining an erection with their spouse (especially after they are familiar with them physically).
A. The only way for the asexual to have good sex with their spouse would be to visualize having sex in their mind either with their spouse (while actually having physical sex) or worse: to visualize having sex with another person while having intercourse with their spouse. This amounts to nothing less than “vaginal masturbation” (if it is a man).III. Mechanical Masturbation
1. To teach a person to masturbate mechanically without thinking of another person is still an asexual act and violates the biblical purpose for sex which is to procreate and grant pleasure to a spouse as the highest expression of intimacy in marriage.
2. To teach a Christian to masturbate mechanically to overcome lust is teaching them is to bypass the blood of Jesus and the power of the cross (1 John 1:9; Romans 6:6).IV. Masturbation is a Form of Adultery
1. The Bible expressly teaches against lusting after another person in your heart (which would include the visual aspect of masturbation), calling it adultery. Read Matthew 5:27-28.V. The Meaning of “One Flesh”
1. Genesis 2:24 teaches that husband and wife have the privilege of becoming one flesh with one another.
A. “One flesh” is the highest expression of marriage denoting the act of sexual union, while in salvation we are made “one spirit” with the Lord. Thus marriage is the greatest symbol on earth of the union between the believer and Christ.
B. Since “one flesh” is speaking about the act of sexual intercourse between husband and wife , and intercourse involves the male organ penetrating the female genitalia, the male organ has to be pointed (focused) towards the most intimate part of his spouse in order to engage in the sex act. That is to say, “one flesh” implies the husband is to have only one focus in regards to sex and intimacy. Hence the asexual act of masturbation involves a person gratifying oneself vertically without the proper horizontal focus. So, while masturbation involves visualization of sex with a person other than one’s spouse (including one’s self asexually) they violate the “one flesh” focus they were created to express, in which sex should only be enjoyed in the context of focusing on and granting intimacy and pleasure to one’s spouse. Thus God balances the selfish individualistic aspect of sex with the condition that we should only enjoy sex in the context of granting pleasure to our spouse in the marriage bed.VI. Masturbation Violates the Spousal Authority
1. The Bible teaches in 1 Corinthians 7:4: “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”
A. A person doesn’t have the right to relieve themselves sexually because God has granted that authority only to their spouse.
B. One reason God grants this spousal authority is because masturbation robs the marriage of reaching it full potential in regards to sexual pleasure, because asexual behavior greatly dissipates the potential for sexual performance and attraction by the act of ejaculation.VII. Masturbation Perpetuates Generational Dysfunction
1. Since masturbation enhances both sexual and marital dysfunction, it can only hurt a marriage, and thus hurt the ability of a marriage to fully succeed as a model to children.
2. What parents do is recycled and reproduced in future generations unless it is broken off (Exodus 20:5; Galatians 3:13).
3. What was done as an act of pleasure will turn out to be a generational curse carried over to your children if you do not repent of it (in this case, masturbation).VIII. Masturbation and Demonic Entities
1. Since masturbation causes all of the problems mentioned in the previous seven points, demonic entities notice and are attracted to people engaged in it.
2. Ephesians 4:27 teaches that sin we commit in the natural realm opens a legal door for the devil to enter into our lives. That is to say, whatever we struggle with in regards to sin in the flesh, demons now make worse in the spirit realm by attacking our minds and hearts (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
3. What originally became an autonomous act of one’s will (masturbation) now becomes an uncontrollable addiction. Read Proverbs 5:22, which teaches that our own sin enslaves us.
4. Because the door to the demonic has been opened up, masturbation usually leads to other more harmful sins such as pornography, sex talk on internet chat rooms, the solicitation of prostitutes, adultery, and the like.
A. Satan is not just interested in getting you to masturbate; his ultimate goal is destroy your marriage and future generations either with sexual dysfunction being carried over into a new marriage or by adultery after you are married.IX. Masturbation Hurts a Single Person’s Preparation for Marriage
1. Those who think marriage will eradicate the desire to masturbate and lust are in for a rude awakening.
2. I counsel people to be sexually chaste before marriage as a single because whatever is not dealt with when you are alone actually gets worse and is magnified once you get married. That is to say, if a single person can’t control themselves sexually before they are married, they will not be able to harness their passions after they are married!X. We Are Called to be Holy and Selfless
1. The Bible tells us to be holy in all our behavior (1 Peter 1:15).
A. Since holiness means to be set apart to the Lord in all we do, we are expected by God to be committed to the biblical principles in Scripture regarding sexuality.
2. Since Jesus didn’t come to be served but to serve (Mark 10:45), then we who follow Him should not allow ourselves to be addicted to behavior whose end result is only for self-gratification and not for the mutual benefit of another person (for example, your spouse).
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