What Does The Bible Say About Masturbation?
"What does the Bible say about masturbation?" is one of our most
frequently asked questions. Many Christians have found it difficult to answer this
question according to the Bible, because the Bible never mentions masturbation
specifically. To understand how God feels about this subject, we must examine other verses
that deal with issues such as lust, self-control and purity. Also, we must examine its
fruit to see if it is from God. We have tried to address this issue by answering some of
the most frequently asked questions. Our prayer is that God will use this page to bring
freedom and deliverance.
"Does God care about
what we do in the privacy of our bedrooms?"
Sex is God's invention. He is the mastermind behind itand His creation is worth
far more to Him than it is to us. This beautiful expression of love was created out of His
own heart, as a gift to be experienced between a husband and wife. It is only in marriage
that this manifestation of intimacy can be fully enjoyed in the depth for which it was
"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed
kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral" (Hebrews
"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed
undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4, KJV).
The more beautiful and unique something is (like sexual
intercourse), the more power it holds over our lives, either for good or bad influence.
That is why it so easy for the devil to corrupt the most precious of God's gifts. When we
become more in love with the gifts than the One who endowed them, the things that were
designed to bless us begin to destroy us instead. Yes, God cares about what we do with our
bodies, in public or in private. He doesn't want us to abuse ourselves in any way.
In fact, an older definition of masturbation is "self-abuse."
Although more modern dictionaries may no longer carry this definition, they are still
linked together under self-abuse:
1. Abuse of oneself or one's abilities.
1 Corinthians 6:18 (NIV) further confirms this, saying that unlawful sexual relations
defile our own bodies. "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are
outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body."
"Isn't it still better to masturbate than to commit fornication?"
The easy answer to this question would be, "Yes, it is better to masturbate,
because at best it corrupts only one person. It certainly is the lesser of two
evils." However, why would a loving, holy,
all-powerful God abandon you to a situation in which you have to choose any evil,
whether it be "lesser" or "greater?" To really answer this
question, we must again go back to God's original plan for sex.
First of all, masturbation will not truly relieve the sexual
pressure that one may feel. It may for a short
moment, but in the long run it only creates a deeper desire and capacity for sex, which
will lead to more masturbation. If you let yourself become enslaved to a sexual high, you
will find that you need to go to increasingly extreme acts to maintain the same degree of
excitement. There are even ungodly sex therapists who recommend masturbation as a way of increasing
sexual desire, not lessening it. This creates a vicious circle, like the junkie who craves
a "fix," but is only temporarily satisfied. The more he indulges in his
dependency, the more ensnared by addiction he becomes. This is the nature of all sin. That
is why Jesus declared that all who sin become a slave to sin (John 8:34).
Furthermore, masturbation usually involves fantasy,
visualization, and often pornography. The Bible is
very clear as to what God expects of us in these areas of fantasy and lust. It teaches
that we must not look lustfully at each other and nor should we behave in such a manner as
to entice others to lust after us.
"I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a girl. I know full well
that the Almighty God sends calamity on those who do" (Job 31:1-3, The Living Bible).
"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you
that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his
heart" (Matthew 5:28).
While the above verses refer to men lusting after women, all women know that it can
very easily be reversed to apply to themselves as well. Men may be more easily visually
stimulated than women, but women can be just as vulnerable to sexual fantasy in the
emotional realm. Both are sin in God's eyes, and both can be brought into
subjection by controlling our thoughts through Christ's power.
All sexual immorality begins with a thought. A lustful thought not taken captive, will
eventually lead to other perversions, because sin reproduces itself in increasingly
greater measures. If we do not deal with our evil thoughts, they will take root in our
It is for this reason that God is so concerned with our thought life. Jesus came not
only to deliver us from our "outward" sins, but also from wickedness that begins
in the heart.
"Isn't God unreasonable to demand sexual purity
after giving us sexual drives that seem to overwhelm us at times?"
Our loving God never demands from us what is impossible for us to do. We are so weak
within ourselves that it may seem impossible, but He will equip us with His
holy power to overcome any sin, if we ask in faith.
Of course, sexual urges in and of themselves are not wicked. They are natural. God
created us that way. He desires that we get optimum pleasure out of them by using them the
way they were created to be used. However, many desires for physical gratification
(whether it be food, sex, etc.) stem from a deeper need that is unfilled deep inside us.
Gorging our flesh can never fill a hunger that grows out of our spirit. Only intimacy with God can fill the deepest needs inside of us. No other created
thing has that power.
God is no more unreasonable than any caring parent who lovingly disciplines their
child. It is only because He knows what is best for us. He sees a mighty potential in each
one of us that far supersedes our wildest dreams, and He loves us enough to do all He can
to bring it to pass.
"I agree with all the theory, but living it out on a day to day
level is another story."
This is the place where we need the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in our everyday
lives. The Holy Spirit is not a vague "force," but the very power of God to
comfort you and strengthen you against the sins that used to rule you before you were born
again. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we have the very ability that
Jesus had to resist temptation. He depended completely upon the Father and so must
Something you must know is that God is not the one who is tempting you in this area to
"test" you. God is on your side and wants to set you free from these things, not
lead you into them! "When tempted, no one should say "God is tempting me." For
God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when by
his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed" (James 1:13-14).
God wants us to overcome every sin and temptation in our lives. Please slowly read the
following verses and let their message seep deep inside your spirit.
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he
will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will
also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).
"For though we live in the world we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we
fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to
demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up
against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to
Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
"In the same way count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do
not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer
yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts
of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master
for you are not under law but under grace" (Romans 6:11-14).
"For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our
infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us
therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find
grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:15-16, King James Version).
"Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything
that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God" (2
"Can I really be set free?"
"In (this) freedom, Christ has made us freecompletely liberated us; stand
fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of
slaverywhich you have once put off " (Galatians 5:1 Amp).
If you are in a real struggle with any form of sexual sin, we do not believe it was by
accident that God led you to this teaching. He wants to set you free, starting right
now! We would like to share several things that you can do to break loose
from this stronghold:
this sin first to God, then go to a committed Christian you trust, such as your pastor. Ask God to lead you to someone that you can be accountable with, who will
be faithful to pray with you and for you. This will take humility on your part, but it
will lead to life. James 5:16 says: "Therefore confess your sins to each
other and pray for each other that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man
is powerful and effective." (You may not feel "righteous"
but if you have admitted your sin to God and received His forgiveness, you are! That means
your prayers are powerful and effective!)
We found a site that deals with people who have had problems in the past with
pornography. Now they hold each other accountable and share what God has done in their
lives. If you think such a group may be of help to you, you might want to visit this link.
Porn Prayer Support
(Christian support group)
2. Flee from and reject anything that aggravates this sin. For example, you
may need to get off the Internet for a season or purchase software that blocks out
pornography. This may sound too drastic, but it certainly is mild compared to Jesus who
said, "If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it
away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body, than for your whole
body to go into Hell" (Matthew 5:30). His point was that we must be willing to part
with anything that causes us to sineven if it hurts temporarily.
may need to seek healing and deliverance from qualified Christians who are anointed in
this area of ministry. If you have been deeply involved in sexual sins, the
devil probably has a stronghold in that area your life. If you can, find some people who
can help you stand against the devil, for he is the one who seeks to lead you into
temptation, and whispers lies of hopelessness and shame into your ears. If he drops a
filthy thought into your mind just when you are trying to pray (he has used this tactic on
even the holiest saints of God), tell him to leave in the name of Jesus! Recognize his
voice for what it is, and submit yourself to God. As you do this and resist the devil, he
will flee from you! He is deathly afraid of those who are submitted to God in brokenness
give up! Deliverance might take time. Self-control takes
effort. You may slip occasionallyor even a lot. But remember that God loves you and
He will be faithful to perfect His character in you as long you keep submitting to Him.
Eventually you will winand not because of your best efforts, but
because of God's mercy (Titus 3:5). Just as salvation is received in faith, so
deliverance must be received in faith. This has nothing to do with our character,
strength, or failings. The only thing it is dependant upon is you receiving it in
humility. If you should fail, recognize it quickly, ask God to forgive youand then
receive His forgiveness! He is faithful to do that which He promised, not just in a select
few mighty men and woman of God, but in all who are willing to come humbly before
Him. That includes you! We want to encourage you to hold on to this
scripture as your anchor:
"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole
spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it" (1 Thessalonians
If there is anything else we can do to help you, please let us know. In closing, we
would like to pray for you:
"Father, we thank you for bringing this person into our website. We know that
it was your Holy Spirit that led them here and we thank you for your faithfulness to them!
We lift them up to you now and ask that You fill them with a desire for You that
transcends every other desire they have ever known. Let them know your cleansing love and
power. We thank you that he whom the Son has set free, is free indeed. We speak this
freedom into the life of this one whom the devil has bound in shame. We speak healing and
deliverance and we break every tie that has kept them under a spirit of addiction and
perversion. We stand against the Evil One and his every plan to bring destruction in this
one's life. Father, in faith, and by the power and authority You have given us, we declare
that this one is FREE in the name of Jesus! We commit them to Your care and we loose Your
Holy Spirit to minister to them at this very instant. We ask these things in the precious
name of Your son, Jesus Christ."
ąThe American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition is
licensed from Houghton Mifflin Company. Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. All
God bless you! We love you in the Lord! We would also like to refer you to some
ministries that may be of help to you if you are having problems in this area:
Mastering Life Ministries: http://www.gospelcom.net/mlm/
Teaching people how to heal sexual brokenness.
Desert Streams: http://www.desertstream.org
This is a California-based Christian organization which offers programs for
people seeking sexual and relational wholeness and healing.
Affair of the Mind by Laurie Hall
|If you are struggling with this problem we have an excellent book in our On-line
Chapel Bookstore that could be of help to you. Published by Focus On The Family and
written from the first-hand perspective of a wife whose husband was addicted to
pornography for over 20 years, this powerful book delves deep into many facets of sexual
addiction. The principles in this book, if applied, can save any marriage and restore even
those who are most bound to sexual addiction. The author shares candidly of her struggles
as she sought the Lord for the salvation of her marriage and restoration of her husband.
The things she learned from the Holy Spirit along the way will minister to every person
who reads the book. It will help both husbands and wives.
here for a full description of the book and how to order.
If you are interested in our books you can go to our CHAPEL BOOKSTORE for help in many areas.