Masturbation... we must dare to talk about this topic and no longer consider it taboo! Unfortunately, our reluctance to address it has sometimes caused some young believers, who were trying to fight against it without being able to find help, to lose faith...
Is masturbation a sin? No and Yes! It all depends on the reality that exists behind the word.
Masturbation is the self-stimulation of the genitals. But we must not confuse masturbation with discovery of the body. (Side note: Here, I want to refer you to my wife's excellent book "Hurray for the Va-Jay-Jay" which deals extensively on the issue of discovering your body in one of its chapters.)
From childhood to adolescence, a boy or girl will face sooner or later a natural mechanism that will lead them to discover this part of their anatomy.
God created us with genitals so that we can know pleasure. Parents, if you catch your child discovering themselves by touching these sensitive parts of their body, do not tell them that what they are doing is dirty, rather explain to them in simple words, appropriate for their age, and without embarrassment, what their genitals were made for.
Sexuality is God’s creation, not a snare of the devil. It is pure!
All little boys, for example, will wake up one morning with their penis erect, and even followed by an ejaculation, without understanding what is happening to them! May these boys be able to find in their parents a safe and caring place where what has happened will be explained, without any heavy weight of shame and guilt being placed on his heart!
Let us clarify something: No, the Bible is not condemning masturbation in Genesis 38: 9-10.
This passage is all about the sin of Onan. God is punishing him here for his refusal to give an offspring to his widowed sister-in-law by spilling his semen on the ground, during his sexual intercourse with her.
Can one live as a fully fulfilled and contented adult without practicing masturbation? Absolutely, Yes!
If it happens accidentally, is it a disaster and a sin that will separate us from God? No, I do not believe this at all. Because it can also be a natural process that sometimes allows the body to release too much pent-up tension.
On the other hand, yes, masturbation can lead to opening up doors to sin when it is fed by erotic thoughts with a person, real or not, and pornographic images. It can also lead to an addiction that will be a real handicap in a couple, even after marriage including a tendency to ejaculate prematurely, difficulty finding pleasure with one’s spouse, as well as many other problems that are much better to avoid.
So as a married couple is it a good idea to avoid masturbation and focus on providing pleasure to each other? Yes. But let's stop terrorizing our youth with Hell’s fire on this issue. Instead, let’s educate them and help them understand and respect God's gift of sexuality!
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