Q&A: Can Masturbation Ever Be A Good Thing?

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This important question comes from a reader:

" In your professional opinion, can masturbation ever be good? Can it be something that lets off steam in terms of sexual tension or something that helps you learn your body?"

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  • kw

    kw

    This is full of wisdom. Thank you for continuing to examine sexual issues rooted in the teaching of the Bible and its wholistic wisdom! God continues to guide and lead you as you lead in this area. Thank you for your faithfulness to Him!
  • Andrew Brassyhub

    Andrew Brassyhub

    Thank you for not giving a blanket condemnation of masturbation. My wife, my life-partner of 40+ plus years, has now come out to herself and me as a lesbian. So there is no desire, and no possible hope of desire or any change. So this seems to be the only possible expression now of my sexuality. Indeed, for us both, our sexuality seems to be an unadulterated curse and not a blessing. Though we ticked all the boxes, were both virgins when we married. And have remained faithful to our marriage vows all these years. Where is God and his love and his loving gift of sexuality in all this?

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“Is Masturbation a Sin?” You May Be Asking the Wrong Question
(Presione aquí para leer en español.)  Whenever I speak to a group of people about sexuality, I try to include time for an anonymous Q&A session. No matter who is listening, young or old, male or female, married or single, I am sure to be asked about masturbation: Is it wrong? What does the Bible say about it? Many Christians have spoken and written on the topic, some of them with sincere disagreement.  If you want to know how I’ve answered this question in the past, you can read it right here. Rather than repeat those thoughts in this blog post, though, I want to suggest a new angle. What if the question itself is shortsighted?  Have you ever noticed that when people asked Jesus a moral question, He often sidestepped it and brought up a different question? It wasn’t because He didn’t know the answer. It was because He knew the heart of the person asking the question and was more concerned with ministering to their heart than responding specifically to their inquiry. 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As you grow in your Christian walk, the rules become unnecessary because you have internalized the law of love for God and for others.  Christians have freedom to masturbate, just as we are free to choose a lot of things that may or may not reflect God’s goodness. As our journey with the Lord deepens, we should be moving toward the fullness of His design for sexuality. As long as we stay stuck in asking the question, “Is masturbation wrong?” we will never push toward a grander vision for sexual wholeness that helps us outgrow the question itself.  You were created for intimacy: A deep, abiding connection with God and with other people. Masturbation is a temporary way to experience a faint glimmer of pleasure and comfort, devoid of the true intimacy you long for. Like cotton candy, it tastes sweet for a second and then dissolves into a sugary nothingness. Children are drawn to cotton candy. They don’t have the experience to know that the large, colorful appearance is a mirage of substance. Grown-ups know better. Imagine if there were countless blogs debating the wisdom of eating cotton candy. It’s a non-question if you are older than ten.  Although it may not be inherently wrong, masturbation is intrinsically immature. We all begin as children in our walk with the Lord, including how we understand His design for sexuality, but we don’t want to stay there. As the people of God, let’s look past the question and into the deeper longings of our hearts. Does masturbation serve your loneliness? Your anxiety? Your self-contempt? Masturbation is at best a temporary measure aimed to combat temptation. Or perhaps it is a tool to rediscover safe sexual touch and response after sexual abuse. Even so, what is the source of our sexual longings? 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(video) Java with Juli #160: Why God Created You to Be Sexual  You Can Be Single & Sexual (blog) How Do I Talk to My Kids About Masturbation? (video) Photo by Ben Blennerhassett on Unsplash