let’s talk about masturbation

What a delicate post to end the month of love with, am I right?

Before we dive in, a few housekeeping items.

On 12 February 2023 … I WAS BAPTIZED!! I am sometimes still in shock that I chose to publicly show my love and belief in Christ. I’m super excited to see what happens over the course of this next year.

On 18 February 2023 I turned 28! I am 4 days into my new year of life and a lot has shifted in my heart already if I can be honest.

Some time between being baptized and turning 28, I threw away my vibrators.

Many many people have tried to convince me that masturbation was a sin and frankly, I just didn’t agree! I wanted concrete proof in scripture because that’s how my brain works.

I need to see where God said this for me to understand His heart for how I should live. I’m not sure if this makes me legalistic or not (and that’s not my intention) but I genuinely just wanted a clear answer on what I could and couldn’t do so I wasn’t accidentally sinning against God.

The Wait, a book by Devon and Megan Franklin that I read in 2020, encouraged abstinence while waiting on your future spouse. It also says that the Bible isn’t clear on masturbation and to let God guide you in that area.

We’re adults, so we’re not going to pretend that you haven’t been thinking, “But what about masturbation? Can I do that?”

There are many different opinions about this. Biblically, this is a gray area. The Bible doesn’t mention masturbation at all. Ultimately you’ll have to see God’s will for you yourself. However, be careful because masturbation can lead to the development of sin-filled fantasies that can cause the very act to become addictive. In the end, this is a personal issue and should be decided based on personal conviction between you and God. Press into God to figure out what His will is for you regarding this, because for some its a slippery slope that could become more destructive than helpful.

The Wait, Franklin and Good, pg 96

This short paragraph was all I had in terms of learning about what God wanted for me in terms of self-pleasure. Growing up in church, all I got was ‘ok y’all don’t have sex before marriage.’ I felt that masturbating because you were horny was ok but if you masturbated because you were lusting after someone, then that was a hard stop and a sin. My logic for this came from the passage in Matthew 5:27 – 28 where Jesus lets the crowds know that adultery is a heart issue. So in my mind, if I wasn’t desiring this person in my heart aka lusting, I was ok.

I’ve even had Christians say that I couldn’t help my future husband learn about my body if I didn’t already know my body, my likes, and dislikes. In my mind, if the natural urge arises, because hunny they will, why not just take care of it?

If I’m being honest, I still don’t know God’s exact heart on this but a pastor I really admire was on a podcast and he completely shifted my mindset on masturbation. Pastor Jerry Flowers was on Dear Future Wifey, a podcast from a divorced Christian man who is on a journey to rediscover what love really is. The podcast has introduced me to so many incredible stories like Stephon and Iman who met under incredibly divine circumstances and got married in 5 months. So please be sure to check out his podcast. There are so many wonderful episodes.

All that being said, Pastor Jerry said that masturbation is training your mind and your body to only please yourself. If you’re abstinent for years but you’ve spent years masturbating as a way to keep yourself from having sex, you’ve spent years training your body to do what you like. When your husband enters the picture the sex may not be great because your husband will never do you like you do you.

And after I heard that, my mind was blown. I still don’t know which verses align with this or what God’s exact thoughts are aside from this … God created sex for a man and his wife to explore together and to learn how to please each other without any previous experiences to compare anything to.

So my decision to toss those (rather expensive if I can be frank) toys came from a desire to please God in my marriage while I’m single. God created sex for us to enjoy in marriage and the choices I make now, in my singleness, can absolutely affect my sex life when I get married.

I still don’t know which verse would best speak to my personal convictions and personally, I don’t judge anyone who chooses to masturbate if it is keeping them from having sex. I don’t know what conversation they have had with God or what their personal convictions are. What I do know is that I really enjoy sex and I want to do everything in my power to have a healthy sex life with my husband when that time comes.

We live in a very sexually ‘liberated’ generation. This is not to say previous generations didn’t struggle with pre-maritial sex or hook-up culture because they definitely did (King Henry VII I’m looking at you sir) but the generation I currently live in is obsessed with talking about how freeing it is to have sex and hook up with people and be sexually free. Men sing vulgar songs about what they want to do to a woman. Women sing vulgar songs about how good their sex is. Social media is saturated with people bragging about how much they’ve made off their OnlyFans or sell their body directly from Twitter or Instagram.

I put liberated in quotes because sex is only freeing when you’re doing it the way God has intended and even then, for those who did wait, the transition from abstinence to actually having sex is a little jarring for some. The more I engaged in hook-up culture or sleeping with the person I was dating, the deeper I sank into depression. I was dangerously close to becoming an alcoholic.

I told a friend that I’m abstinent again and they couldn’t comprehend why I would do that to myself. “God didn’t tell me that!” was their reply. I’ve heard a variation of this sentence from so many people who believe in God. Each time we have this conversation and I admit that its hard to maintain my abstinence, I know in the back of their mind they want to just tell me to let it go and do what I want. They’ll never flat-out say it, but I know.

Earlier I said that people have tried to convince me that masturbation is a sin. I still don’t think it is a sin but something doesn’t have to be a sin to be bad for you. Listening to secular music isn’t a sin but it may make it easier for you to cuss the next time you get mad. Watching that rom-com isn’t a sin but the sex you end up having down the line because ‘that’s how you keep a man’ is.

What God is showing me is that I can still live an enjoyable life that doesn’t leave me in the grey chaos of a life that borders on sin.

So I’m abstinent and choosing to refrain from masturbation.

I won’t lie, in this moment I’m kind of thinking ‘Ok God, please bring my husband ASAP’. However, I’m willing to dedicate this time to honor God with my body and do my part to help me and my husband succeed in having great sex in marriage.

I encourage you to listen to the episode with Jerry Flowers with an open mind and heart.

I encourage you to allow God to speak to you about how He wants you to move forward with your abstinence journey.

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