Got your attention?
This past Sunday we discussed God’s plan for sex at NewSpring. In the Sunday night message I said the word “masturbation” and the entire room froze. Seriously—people were looking at me like, “did you really just say that word.”
I have checked the recording…and yes I said the word. I do have one regret about that…and that is that I didn’t say the word in all three services.
SO…let’s talk about it, shall we? “Why,” some may ask, “must you talk about this—you are a pastor for goodness sakes!” Yeah…I guess you are right…REAL pastors talk about issues that REALLY matter and that millions of people deal with on a daily basis…such as election versus free will…or whether people should be pre-trib, mid-trib, or post trib…you know…things that are really burning issues on people’s hearts.
Yep—those are issues everyone deals with…while all the while no one ever masturbates. No one ever struggles with things like lust and pornography. No one ever struggles with desires to have sex with someone they are not married to!!!
(Warning…from this point on it’s going to get very direct…you might want to stop reading here if you are already ticked!!! And by the way…if you are a dude and you shoot me an e-mail about being offended at this…I just want to warn you that the only people that are offended when a sin is spoken against are usually the ones who are dealing with that particular sin!!! Just being honest! And ladies…it IS a big deal!)
I was in youth ministry for nearly a decade…and I always talked about this with the guys in the group. (For the parents freaking out right now that your teenager might be reading this…trust me…it’s not new news to them…maybe you should talk to them about it!) And…keep this in mind…when I was in youth ministry I was so naive…I thought that only young, single dudes struggled with masturbation and that when a dude got married that struggle was over.
I was WRONG!!! I remember my eyes being opened to this fact when, in 1994, a pastor from another state confessed to me (for some reason…I still have no idea why) that he had a problem with masturbation. AND…HE WAS MARRIED TO A BEAUTIFUL WIFE AND HAD TWO KIDS!!!
I’ve got to admit—this freaked me out a little…ok, this actually freaked me out a lot—and made me want to throw up!!! I had no idea that this was a struggle for married men as well. But in my nearly 15 years of ministry I have had conversation after conversation with married men who masturbate because “they need some sort of release.”
Men have literally argued with me on this & said that it is ok to masturbate because nowhere in the Bible does it say that you should not do that. Uh…well…you do have a point there…a weak one though. (By the way—the Bible says nothing about taking your car on the sidewalk and running over innocent people either…but for some reason we just know that is wrong!)
True—there is not a verse that says, “Thou Shall Not Masturbate!” (I am not sure that would make it on many bumper stickers or T-shirts!) BUT…keep something in mind…in order to masturbate you have to LUST…and the last time I checked (which was this morning) the Bible has a lot to say about that!!!
Seriously—I had a dude challenge me on this & say, “But it’s NOT WRONG!” I told him if he could sing “Amazing Grace” and do it then it would probably be ok…but that I just didn’t think that was possible considering what must take place in the mind for masturbation to happen.
I have had married men ask me, “Is it wrong to masturbate if I am thinking lustful thoughts about my wife?” Let me think about that one—HECK YES!!! AND…let me say this as a challenge…if you are in the habit of masturbating and justifying it by saying you are thinking about your wife…you are a pathetically weak man. Let me explain…
When you masturbate you are basically having sex with yourself…there is no way around that. It is a self serving action that allows you to be “god” of your universe, totally controlling what you think about and how you feel. AND…when you THINK about your wife then you are using her…USING her for YOUR self satisfaction…and, if she is your wife and you love her so much…why would you do this to her?
In order for a healthy sex life in marriage it takes WORK on both parts—but the husband must take the lead in creating an environment of romance in the home. A married man who masturbates is doing nothing more than taking the easy way out…he’s not willing to love and serve his wife…but he uses images of his wife in his mind to serve himself…this is nothing more that self worship—the Bible calls this idolatry…and THAT is ALWAYS spoken against.
I know some of you are feeling sick right now…so am I. But, as a pastor, I REFUSE to dodge the issues that 99% of men and around 50% of women deal with for the sake of making everyone feel good about where they are in life. Masturbation IS a big deal…and it ruins God’s design of sex and intimacy…it ruins how God desired for women to be viewed…it tears apart marriages and families…and it controls some men to a point of obsession.
What would I say to a man who has this problem? Uh…STOP IT would be the first thing!!! I did a post on porn once...you can read it here...the reason I linked this is because over 95% of the time pornography is linked to masturbation.
If you need help getting over a porn problem…let us know. AND…if you are having a problem with masturbation…you have GOT to get help…get some accountability…it is NOT GOD’S WILL for you to do that crap!!! Be a man…knock it off…serve your wife…or WAIT for marriage…and then commit to God’s plan for sex. Trust me—it’s awesome!!! :-)