Let’s talk about masturbation. From time to time I get asked about it, and on occasion, by very prominent people. There is a lot of messed up thinking on it, so if you are one of those men that has thought about it incorrectly in the past, that is about to change. Let me clear things up for you.
First of all, there are over 500 blogs on this site over the last 9 years. I have never written about it directly, but any thinking man will get the picture in a short amount of time without me having to say it in black and white print. But now is the time, so here it goes. I am not, or do I ever wish to be the masturbation or penis police. If you want to spank it, go for it and don’t let me know how that goes for you because I already know.
I get asked, “Is masturbation okay?” What they mean is, “Is it sin?” The answer is almost always.You fantasize when you do it, so you are breaking the 7th commandment, and the Biblical mandate Jesus speaks of in Matthew 5:28 when He says, “Do not look at a woman lustfully because if you do you have already committed adultery in you heart.”
“But I have a higher sex drive than my wife, isn’t it okay to level things out a bit?” Suck it up, sex is not a need. You have been lied to about that forever, you bought it, and now you don’t enjoy your wife to the fullest because she can never live up to your fantasies or your hand.
“But I’m single, I will stop when I get married.” What you do when your single, you will do when you are married. Marriage doesn’t fix things sexually, it will only make it worse, and now you have enrolled another person in your mess. You will take all that porn in your brain into your marriage bed, and it will take many painful years to get free of it. It will cause you pain and disappointment. It will hurt your wife, steal from your life, your time, your finances, your children, and your relationships. Masturbation is an act of selfishness, it’s an act of isolation, an act of loneliness, an act of poverty, and it leaves you empty. Why do you feel bad after you do it? That is conviction willing you to change, the Holy Spirit directing you, drawing you toward holiness.
All you single women reading this, and I know that there is a lot of you, should ask very early in the relationship (if your father has not already, and he should have before you ever went out), when is the last time he has looked at porn? That will tell you a lot. It will tell you what you will get. If it’s been less than a year, walk away, and don’t look back. He is not good enough for you. He’s not man enough to save himself for you. You are out with a boy, you need a man. A man who is holy, a man who is pure. A man who will protect you, a man who is good, a man who is faithful.
Side note: I have a friend whose wife is disabled, so he will bring himself to orgasm with his wife beside him. This is very different as they are together and intimate inside the context of their relationship.
I attend a large and very influential church, and my senior pastor agrees with me, as has every other senior pastor I have ever had in my life. However, one of the other main pastors here does not, nor does James Dobson, whom I have a lot of respect for. On the latter two, let me explain their position and what influenced them. One was masturbating as a teenager and and his father didn’t shame him for it. It was a huge relief, he never forgot it, and now doesn’t push that on others.
The other had a large youth group and an outsider came in and spoke telling the youth there that masturbation was a sin that they would burn in hell for. He lost half of his youth group and it took him months of hard effort to get them back. Both of these men, good men, are speaking of youth, boys, and I would agree with them that when dealing with young boys, it is good not to shame them or preach to them. If they ask, tell them in story form, tell them your story, tell them why, answer the questions they ask and do not go much beyond that.
The best thing you can do for your boys, boys in your life, or youth group, is to live holy, live alive, be interested in them. What you will find is that you’ll be doing a regular, informal small group with them without any pressure or schedule. You will represent to them how a man should live, how they will want to live.
The best thing a man can do for his sons is to be and live sexually pure. One birds and the bees talk doesn’t cut it, it’s not close to enough. That talk should be ongoing. Be ready to have it whenever they ask about it. Articulate what is in your heart. Your holiness is their inheritance. It starts with masturbation and builds into every last detail of life. When you are able to go to that place comfortably, it will bring them comfort, give them hope, free them of shame, and start them on the the path to manhood.
I have seen some very masculine young men as young as 12, and I have seen many boys as old as 65. ManAlive is making men. We have chosen the age of 18 for both legal and developmental reasons and we do not let anyone younger in the room. If you are 18, it is time to pull your hand out of your pants. The step away from masturbation is the step toward manhood. It’s the beginning, it’s foundational. Freeing your mind from pornographic images is a game changer. You will feel like you just got saved, because you did. You will think clearly, you will find out who you are, what you really need, what really brings you alive. You will make real friendships, you will be honest, you will learn to talk, to touch, to feel. Your life is about to begin. You are about to become a man.
It’s amazing how, when a man stops masturbating, that coffee dates with women aren’t good enough anymore. He wants to get married. He starts pursuing women, not girls. He is better, he is good, he is clean. He is thinking clearly, working hard, living holy, and he want’s someone who is doing the same. He wants a mother to his children, a friend, a companion, a wife he is proud of, a partner, a woman he is happy to bring home for Christmas.
Women: Let men pursue you. Be who he is looking for, and let him find you. Do not pursue boys. You are looking for, praying for a man. Men will not let you pursue them. He knows what he wants, and it is not a girl who flirts, it’s woman who knows who she is, knows what she wants, who is pure, ambitious, godly. She is prepared, she is good, she is beautiful, and her inward beauty overrides the outward. He will know it when he sees it and it will draw him to you, and you will do more together that you ever would have alone.
Back to masturbation. God isn’t breaking up the party, He created sex and wants you to experience it to the fullness of what it was created for. He wants you to wait, not to arouse your love until it’s time (Song of Solomon 2:7), to bring the whole you into the relationship. He wants you to have great sex, to be known, and to fully know. Begin the practice of delayed gratification, the better is later. If you waited, the better is now. If you didn’t, you are still trying to crawl out of a hole and it hurts everyone you are in relationship with.
You are better than masturbation, you don’t need to work out a time to be alone, a time you won’t get caught. You will no longer masturbate until you bleed then keep masturbating. You will no longer use it as pain management, as failure control, as the one thing you’re good at, because you are better than that. Your time is valuable. You have been wasting it for years, but now you are done. Life is before you; it will hurt at first, it will be hard to stop, but you can. Many men have, and the fruit of their life is fantastic.
Jesus is the model. Everyone who says they abide in Him should walk as He walked (1 John 2:6). He didn’t go bust one out behind the wood shed. He didn’t catch a glimpse of Mary’s nipple when she was washing his feet and take a trip to the bathroom. He didn’t give into false comfort when he was about to be crucified and tell his disciples to wait here while I go masturbate, oops, I mean pray. He was pure, He was holy, He is God. Walk as he walked. You can, He is in you and has given you the power to change.
The end of masturbation is the beginning of the rest of your life. You will start to think clearly, act aggressively, pursue what you want, find what you need, have the friendships you want, find the woman of your dreams, travel to exotic places and laugh to yourself about how cool it is to be there. You will feel like the only sane person alive, but others will treat you like you are the one who lost his mind. They are wrong, and you are losing your care bone because what people think doesn’t control you anymore. You can see the future, and it’s good. You will begin to love yourself, you will make money, you will be full of hope, you will get revelation and ideas, your wife and children will be awesome, you will have encounters with God and the character to hold on to them. You will be at peace, yet ready for war.
You are a man, and men don’t masturbate.