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What The Bible Says About Masturbation

What Does The Bible Say

No Sex Marriage Masturbation, Loneliness, Cheating and Shame | Maureen McGrath | TEDxStanleyPark

If we listen carefully to what the bible says, we will find that when it comes specifically to the topic of masturbationGod is silent. Thats right you could read all 1189 chapters in the bible, and not once does the bible mention masturbation. Thats significant, given the fact that the bible deals with a whole lot of topics, many of which are just as personal, and just as explicit as masturbation. What that means is that we have to be careful about making blanket statements about masturbation being a sin.

When it comes to masturbation, this means that there is a sense in which it falls short of Gods ideal for our sexuality. Solo sex is focused on my needs, my gratification, and my pleasure, perhaps to the exclusion of my spouse. Thus, to borrow again from Paul, masturbation may be permissible, but not necessarily beneficial.

So Is Masturbation A Sin Or Not

Ephesians 5:3 says, “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity.” Thinking about how we have to conjure up or seek out sexual stimulation in order to masturbate, it’s pretty easy to see that we might fail that purity test.

Does masturbation or the things we do in order to be sexually stimulated glorify God ? If you aren’t fully certain that what you’re doing is something God would smile upon, then it is likely a sin .

Also, don’t forget that your body belongs to God . He gave it to you, and you really should take care of it as though you are taking care of it for Him by keeping it holy and pure .

Even though the Bible doesn’t specifically say that masturbation is a sin, there is absolutely no doubt that the actions which lead to masturbation are soaked in sin. Masturbation is almost always an action preceded by lustful thoughts, stimulating the body sexually, or viewing or reading pornographic materialor all of the above.

Is Masturbation A Sin In The Bible For Married Couples

People are most often divided in this area of sexuality. However, lets go back directly to the point that masturbation is a sin, for it is self-stimulation to achieve sexual satisfaction. Masturbation without ones spouse is a sexual sin.

Gods design of the genital organs includes the need for a husband and wife to have foreplay to achieve sexual arousal. Hence, caressing your wife or husband is not considered sinful. Biblical principles also tell us that couples do not violate sexual purity so long as intercourse happens in the marriage bed.

Argumentatively, some define masturbation as no longer needed in any marital relationship. However, others suggest that masturbating with your husband or wife is not the same as giving in to the lust of the flesh, which disrespects Gods word.

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What Do I Do If This Is An Issue

If masturbation is causing you to lust, if it is replacing sex in your marriage, if it has become a habit that you have trouble breaking, what should you do? As difficult as it may be, the most helpful option would be to confide in someone you trust a pastor, a close friend, a counselor, or a mentor. They can help you by asking you every few days how you are doing, and by encouraging you, and praying for you. They can help you form a plan to get through a day or two at a time, and they can be there for you when you fail. If masturbation is causing pain in your marriage that isnt resolved, speaking to a marriage counselor can help you work through this area. Again, one of the assurances that we have in the bible is that our Savior is not one who is unfamiliar with our temptations and struggles, but one who was tempted in every way as we are, yet was without sin. Jesus can relate to our weaknesses. And because he knows our weaknesses, and because he has conquered sin, he is for us both an advocate who defends us before God, and a Savior who gives us strength to break sinful habits.

Masturbation is a tough topic to tackle. At best, its embarrassing to talk about, even with our spouse and at worst, it can be a cause for guilt and shame. Yet it remains a very real matter for nearly everyone. Gods word says nothing specifically about this subject, which gives us freedom within boundaries to find the place that it may have in our life.

What Does This Mean For Us Today

What Does The Bible Say About Masturbation?

Masturbation is a tough topic to tackle. It’s the cause of guilt and shame and is still oh-so-very taboo. If you’re struggling with this issue, talk to someone. Talk to a counselor, a pastor, or a trusted friend who is rooted in Gods word. If youre married, definitely have a conversation with your spouse. Gods word says nothing specifically about masturbation. This gives us freedom within the boundaries of, possibly, marriage for it to have a place in our lives. And even then, we must tread carefully. Here are some Biblical principles we can apply when considering the questionable activity of masturbation.

Bible Verses about Self-Control

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

Since an overseer manages Gods household, he must be blamelessnot overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.

The end of all things is at hand therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace .

For freedom Christ has set us free stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

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How Can Christians Encourage Others Who Struggle With Sexual Sin

The Scriptures are very clear about what to do when someone is caught in a sin of any kind. Galatians 6:1 directs the ones who are walking in the Spirit to restore the sinner with gentleness and humility. The sin must first be exposed and/or confessed. If a Christian, they might have a sinful season, but ultimately the love of Christ will cause them to reveal their sin so it can be cut out of their life. It is imperative that the one who comes alongside the sinner is spiritual . Furthermore, it is most helpful to be in close contact with other believers who have overcome the same struggle .

What About Phone Sex With My Spouse

Where there tends to be shame associated with masturbation, the marriage bed was designed as a place where shame does not exist. God designed sex as a gift and what an amazing gift it is! With that said, the marriage bed should be honored, cherished, and enjoyed as the gift it is . The marriage bed is a place to be visited and enjoyed often and it is the place where our souls intertwine, the place where unity happens a place where two become one . In other words, the marriage bed is a place for exploration, pleasure, unity, and delight.

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The Role Of The Holy Spirit

Yet there are many situations where it is not immediately clear how Gods commandments apply to our situation. We can learn from our church how Christians in history have understood what it means to obey God. But we also have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has many roles teaching, leading us to understand the truth, remember things that we have learned etc. But the one I want to highlight is conviction. John 16:8 says When He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgement.

When we sin the Holy Spirit will make us feel uncomfortable about what we have done , as a result we should rush to confess, and ask for Gods forgiveness. If someone else is involved we may need to confess to them, and ask for their forgiveness too, or as in the case of stealing or breaking something belonging to someone else we may need to replace it. The Holy Spirit constantly guides us so that we can be cleansed of sin. If we refuse to listen to His prompting, then gradually He will be silent, and we will cease to grow and be strong because we have ignored God speaking to us.

Is It Wrong For Girls/women To Masturbate

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What the Bible teaches us about masturbation does not change based on gender. Whether you are a man or a woman, we should apply the same principles. It is not okay for a man to look at another woman with a lustful mind, and it is not okay for a woman to look at another man with a lustful mind either.

Ephesians 5:22-32 says:

It is the living out of the divine purpose and beauty of human sexuality, which is to prefigure and embody the marriage between Christ and the Church. The action of self-gratification can harm the beauty of sexual satisfaction within a marriage.

This verse tells us it is our purpose as a man and woman to live out the beauty of our creation by procreating and maintaining a heterosexual relationship that glorifies God and represents the Church. Self-gratification is merely a way to bandage what we might be lacking in our personal lives.

For a woman, masturbation might work as a temporary mechanism for satisfying sexual desire. She might turn to masturbation instead of seeking male partners, one-night stands, and other random sexual encounters. While this might seem like a better solution, the Bible tells us that masturbation is no different from other sexual temptations, and we should abstain from all of them.

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Dr Kellogg Versus The Bible On Nocturnal Emissions

Dr. Kellogg even categorized male nocturnal emissions, wet dreams, as one of the consequent diseases of masturbation:

The masturbator knows nothing of this disease so long as he continues his vile practice but when he resolves to reform, and ceases to defile himself voluntarily, he is astonished and disgusted to find that the same filthy pollutions occur during sleep without his voluntary participation. He now begins to see something of the ruin he has wrought. The same nightly loss continues, sometimes being repeated several times in a single night, to his infinite mortification and chagrin. He hopes the difficulty will subside of itself, but his hope is vain unless properly treated, it will probably continue until the ruin which he voluntarily began is completed.

Had Dr. Kellogg read Leviticus 15:16-18 in the Mosaic Law, perhaps he would have moderated his view. There God said:

Now if a man has a seminal emission, he shall bathe all his body in water and be unclean until evening. As for any garment or any leather on which there is seminal emission, it shall be washed with water and be unclean until evening. If a man lies with a woman so that there is a seminal emission, they shall both bathe in water and be unclean until evening .

Is Masturbation Mentioned In The Bible

Masturbation as a term or a specific practice does not appear nor is it described explicitly in the Bible. The Bible is essentially silent as it relates to masturbation.

Some pastors and biblical commentators throughout history have incorrectly pointed to Onan . In this narrative, Judahs firstborn son married Tamar but died soon after leaving Tamar a widow. Judah than commanded his second son Onan to enter into a levirate marriage with Tamar, which is where the brother of the deceased man marries his brothers widow for purposes of an heir or offspring. However, as Onan and Tamar had intercourse, because Onan knew that the heir would not be his, he chose to ejaculate on the ground. As the narrative continues, the Bible says, And the thing which he did displeased the Lord therefore He killed him also .

Some point to this text to suggest that Onan received punishment by God because he ejaculated on the ground. Thus, they refer to this as a reference to masturbation. However, Onan died because he his unwillingness to enter into a levirate marriage with Tamar. He selfishly chose to disobey both God and his father Judah, which also left Tamar without an heir. Contextually, this is what displeased God and for which he was disciplined, not masturbation.

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Bible Verses About Masturbation

Is masturbation a sin? Can Christians masturbate as an alternative for sex? The answer to these questions are yes and no. There is no verse in the Bible that clearly says that masturbation is a sin. Jesus did talk about tearing your eye out and cutting your hand off if it causes you to sin, which to me sometimes sounds like a prophesy of the huge epidemic we have today.

First, I would like to say that masturbation is extremely dangerous. It has negative side-effects. It might be pleasurable for the moment, but it has serious mental, physical, and spiritual consequences. Sex is good and it was made to be between husband and wife for intimacy, enjoyment, and for making babies. Masturbation is essentially rejecting and twisting what God intended between husband and wife. You find a way to do your own thing with self-stimulation.

My righteousness is going to be their righteousness. My obedience is going to be their obedience. Despite Israels sin God promised to save Israel. Not because they deserved it, but because of who He was. You are Israel. God promised that you will be with Him through Jesus.

Hold onto Jesus and think about Gods love and grace because that is what makes us want to fight.


Scripture tells us to be on guard against sexual immorality.

1. Ephesians 5:3 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 Gods holy people.

Sin grows larger overtime.


Hidden Side Effects Of Masturbation

Masturbation!: What Does The Bible Say About Masturbation? by Pete Holmes

Many people feel guilty or dirty or ashamed after masturbating or when they think about it later. They feel alone, like they’re nasty and untouchable. But the truth is, masturbation is not the issue. The issue is what has driven the desire to masturbate. THAT is the problem that needs to be addressed. The sin begins even before we get to the masturbation part. Honestly, once those deeper problems are addressed, masturbation will no longer be an issue or a temptation.

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Is Masturbation Sinful

What makes a particular act sinful?

  • If the Bible prohibits it , it is sinful. In this case, the Bible does not prohibit it by name. or description.
  • If you answer Yes to any of the questions two through five, then the act is sinful. In this case, it is not unnatural, unhealthy, unkind, nor unloving. Although, it possibly could be against the conscience of the spouse.
  • If your motive is wrong , then it is sinful. Self-masturbation reflects the lusts of the flesh and is not consistent with the fruit of the Spirit. The motive is wrong.

Is self-masturbation sinful? Yes, but see below

Is mutual masturbation sinful within the confines of marriage? No, but it possibly could be depending upon answer five

How Can I Stop It

The first step is that you must to want to stop. If we dont have a conviction to change our behaviors, then nothing anyone says to us will make any difference. If you’re having a half-hearted notion that you might want to stop, then ask God to convict you through the Holy Spirit.

Confess to God: Think about why you do it. What need are you trying to fulfill? Maybe you were bored or lonely or curious or just wanted to experiment and see what happened. Maybe the good feeling you got afterward is what makes you go back and do it again and againjust to feel something exciting for once. Maybe it’s grown into an addiction, and now you find that you need to masturbate in order to feel good at all, feel special, or even just to fall asleep in pseudo-happiness.

Find a Healthy Distraction: This is the practical part. If you know what the underlying problem isbe it boredom, loneliness, or whateverthen you can start to consider what else you can do to fulfill that want or desire. Every solution will be unique to each person’s situation, and only God knows what an appropriate, healthy alternative is for you. Ask Him! He’s not embarrassed to hear from you, and He won’t shame you. He loves you dearly and wants to help .

Pleasure for pleasure’s sake is empty, worthless, and only lasts as long as it takes until the next time. There are much better things to fill you up than this. But don’t despair, my friend. You really aren’t alone. God will give you strength to overcome .

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Thessalonians : 19 And Ephesians : 30

We also know sin by the witness of the Holy Spirit within, provided we havent quenched that witness through ongoing rebellion. And who doesnt live with guilt over the practice of masturbation even those who have convinced themselves that it isnt sinful?

Here we see a bit more of a direct conversation regarding masturbation. Do we feel guilty about it, or do we let it slide because we dont consider it sinful? While God never directly comes out and tells us that were sinning, its clear that the act contains impure thoughts that can lead to an impure lifestyle.

Some of us walk through life with an unquenchable desire for sex, and as mentioned, its a challenge in our society. Everything is sexualized from billboards, to music videos, to clothing. Everywhere you go, sex is front and center, and it becomes difficult to manage.

For this reason, its important to understand Gods intent for us. He wants us to find a partner, get married, and enjoy sex as freely as we like. But, we must maintain a pure mind that stays true to our partner, and masturbation can lead us away from that.

1 Peter 2:11 also tells us that its sinful to wage war against our pure soul, so by engaging in masturbation and any other impure thought, were waging war against ourselves. By doing this, were waging war against God because were merely living in Gods temple waiting for him to call us back.


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