Before I answer the question, let’s consider a couple of things…
Masturbation almost always involves lust or fantasy. Biblically we are to overcome our lust, not be overcome by it. We are to walk in self-control and live with contentment in our lives. If we are overcoming our lust, there is no need to masturbate. We know that masturbation is very habit forming and quickly enslaves most who do it. Sexual self-control is a work of the grace of God in our lives (Eph. 2:10). Masturbation is like pouring gasoline on the fire of lust. Our lust will burn more, crave more and seek more satisfaction. This will lead to more lust, fantasy, pornography, and masturbation.
Masturbation is lousy preparation for marriage. It is born out of satisfying our own needs and not the needs of others. It is selfishness! It looks after me only and doesn’t “esteem others as greater than ourselves” (Phil. 2:3). When a single man or woman begins masturbating before marriage, it conditions them for self-satisfaction and not their spouse’s satisfaction. If the only sexual experience a man has had for the last ten years has been without a woman, when he gets married, his wife won’t be nearly as quick to respond as he is. This will lead him to wonder, “What’s wrong with her?” When the truth is, he is the one with the problem. His unbridled lust has left him selfish and lacking self-control.
Masturbation is all about you and your needs being fulfilled. I sometimes tell men, (most don’t appreciate me saying it) that it is an odd form of homosexuality. It really is sex with yourself. The activity done repeatedly contributes to training (teaching) your brain incorrectly about sex God’s way.
Masturbation defies God’s creation order. The creation pattern is male and female together. Not man satisfying himself. God created the sexual union to be the highest expression of “oneness” imaginable. We are to give ourselves to our wives in the same way Christ gave Himself to the church (us), sacrificially denying self. The sexual union should be about giving and not taking. Masturbation conditions you to be a taker and not a giver.
I am often asked, “What have you told your sons concerning masturbation?”
I have explained to our older sons that if they choose to not use self control and give in to masturbation, they will end up like many of the men I counsel. These men come to me because they cannot have a normal sexual experience with their wives. Over the years these men have trained their bodies and their minds to respond quickly to their own lust. Therefore when they get married the joy of sex has been diminished to a quick act of taking and not giving. Instead of sweet times of intimacy that brings oneness, they experience frustration due to their inability to fulfill their wives. Love making for them last for only a few minutes and ends with a lack of fulfillment and emptiness.
This usually leads to a marriage full of bitterness. The wife has spent years making herself endure the sex act she has grown to hate! She feels she must in order to keep her marriage together. Almost always she becomes bitter at the man she once fell in love with because she feels used and sees herself as nothing more than an object of his lust. He on the other hand feels like a total loser, inadequate as a man because he cannot bring his wife to sexual fulfillment & oneness. These feelings of failure in this area strike at the core of who he is as a man. What man wants to live with that? Many times a man will balance his feelings of guilt by blaming his wife for her unresponsiveness to him. It becomes a vicious cycle of bitterness and blame for both people who years ago, stood at an alter pledging their love to one another. Never in a million years would they have ever dreamed that 15 years later this is how their marriage would end up. It all started with a choice for a young man when he was but a teen. Do I give in the burning passions I have today and lose the joy that awaits me tomorrow? God has always allowed men the freedom to choose sin ….but what they do not get to choose is the consequences of that sin.
God created the sexual union for oneness! Nothing makes a husband & wife closer than when they are experiencing oneness spiritually, emotionally and then physically. God created it that way! He designed it to be a perfect picture of the oneness that he desires with his church, The Bride of Christ. God is awesome! And marriage is awesome when both husband and wife have yielded their bodies to Gods control.
Young men and women…It starts when you are young! Don’t wait until the damage has been done and the strongholds have been established. Make the right choices today!
So, does the bible say that masturbation is wrong? I think it would be a stretch to find a particular verse or passage that says it is wrong. But there are many activities that are not specifically mentioned in the bible, yet are still wrong or unwise to participate in. I do believe it is extremely hard to defend masturbation as biblically okay because of the following …
1. It is not profitable or beneficial to your life – 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.”
2. If you can’t do it by faith, don’t do it. – Romans 14:23 “But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.”
3. It does not exhibit self-control (a fruit of the Spirit) – Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
4. I can’t find any thing in the bible that God says is okay to do that brings as much guilt into ones life as masturbation.
To me the best response is to stop excusing the behavior and find out how you overcome it.