Question – Is self sex okay? – Kevin, 25
This is a great question and one that many godly Christian leaders have wrestled with and have differing opinions on.
To be honest with you, there is not a clear answer in the Bible whether or not masturbation is right or wrong. However, we can take principles from the Bible to navigate “gray areas”, including self sex.
According to Jonathan Daugherty, founder of Be Broken Ministries – a Life helping the sexually addicted, “Masturbation, if seen purely as a physical function, is not sin. It is simply an orgasmic release. But is there more to masturbation than just its physical act? Of course, because we are more than just physical beings; we have emotions, thoughts, and soul & spirit.” (See http://www.bebroken.com)
When a person masturbates, many times, it is a result of thinking on lustful thoughts and a desire to release that sexual energy. The Bible explains, “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28 NLT). Jesus shows us that a person is guilty of sexual sin not only by committing the actual act, but even by thinking those thoughts in his mind. Again, the Bible says, “Shun immorality and all sexual looseness [flee from impurity in thought, word, or deed]…” (1 Corinthians 6:18 Amplified). This simply means if a person dwells on sexually immoral thoughts in his mind or acts out on them, it is sin.
Another point to consider is that masturbation is self gratifying and can replace true intimacy between a husband and wife. Daugherty explains, “It (masturbation) is an isolated activity, disconnected from relationship and intimacy. All of Scripture points us in the direction of connected, intimate relationships…first with God and then one another. So, if we are masturbating, we are disconnecting from the true intimacy God wants to develop in us. Don’t allow masturbation to rob you of the joy of connecting emotionally with your spouse.”
Masturbation is also highly addictive and can lead to unhealthy marital intimacy. Focus on the Family states: “… it’s important to add that masturbation, due to the powerful hormonal and psychological components of human sexual behavior, can often become profoundly addictive. Individuals who fall prey to this addiction may end up carrying it with them into adult married life where it can become a serious obstacle to healthy marital intimacy.” ( See http://www.focusonthefamily.com)
Lastly, God wants to lead and control our lives by His Spirit. If we let our sexual desires control us, even if we are not thinking on sexually immoral thoughts, we are letting those desires lead and guide our decisions. The Bible says, “For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.” The key is to seek God and allow Him to guide you into what pleases Him and not allow your fleshly nature to take the lead. The Bible goes on to say, “…but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7 Amplified). God promises to help us have self-control and will always provide a way out from temptation.
God’s design for sexual fulfillment was in the context of marriage between a man and woman. If you are burning with sexual passion, ask God to bring the right person into your life at the right time. Until then, believe that God can help you overcome these desires with His power and strength. Playing sports, reading a good book, or hanging out with friends have proven to be good healthy alternatives to get your mind focused on other things. The more you dwell on those sexual desires outside the boundaries of marriage, the more you will want to participate in masturbation or find sexual gratification in wrong places.
If you find yourself falling short or are condemned for having wrong thinking that leads to masturbation or other wrong sexual activities, know that His mercies are new every morning and He understands your struggle. Just admit that you made a mistake and need His help. He will lead and guide you to victory through all of your sexual challenges.
Don’t give up and believe that God loves you and is here for you!
– Cory Nickols