Question:

How are you today? I am e-mailing you because I have a confession to make as well as an act of sin I like to address. So please bear with me.

I am trying to live my life God's way after many years of shunning Him. But I want to confess that I have a problem with controlling and avoiding masturbation. I know that in my heart that this is a sin, but I find myself allowing the Devil to cause me perform this sinful act. It was an every day thing. Then it turned out to be three weeks without masturbation. Then, one week, sometimes twice a week.

Despite disposing my pornography collection (online, DVD, etc.) and no longer visiting the Gentleman's clubs earlier this year, I still trying to fight off masturbation, and I realize that I cannot fight this alone, and that is why I writing you for spiritual advice as well as a prayer to not allow the Devil to enhance my sexual desires.

I am still trying to understand the following scriptures:

  • I Thessalonians 4:3-8
  • Proverbs 2:12-22; 6:20-35
  • Psalms 51:7
  • James 1:12
  • I Corinthians 7:1-9
  • Matthew 5:27-28

Even though I'm trying to read the Bible, study the topics of sexual sin and masturbation, and watch TBN, I am still struggling.

Ever since I was a young kid, I was exposed to sex and allowed it to ruin my life. At ages 5-8, I was obsessed with a female's legs. At age 8 until now, it is the female's bottom. I was always seeking a woman primarily because of that part of her body. I do get aroused very easily, which I am not happy about. I realize that I offended many women because of this. Now, I realized that "beauty is only skin deep."

I am now praying for a beautiful woman, not just on the outside, but spiritually, emotionally, unconditionally, etc. I am kindly asking you to pray for me and ask God to cleanse me (once again) of all my sins and help me find that woman I've always wanted.

I am still trying to understand what I Corinthians 7:9 says because I believe that this is the theme of this e-mail.

Thanks for taking time to read this and may God bless.


Answer:

It seems to me that you are setting yourself up for failure by trying to accomplish something that cannot be done. "Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations -- "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," which all concern things which perish with the using -- according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh" (Colossians 2:20-23). I'm guessing that your aim is to not ejaculate because of all the sinful thoughts that you have a habit of indulging in while masturbating. The problem is that male body must ejaculate old semen to make room for newer batches. So while fighting to control your thoughts, the method you chose puts you in conflict with your own body.

To illustrate this, some people -- mostly women -- get it into their heads that eating is wrong. They starve themselves trying not to eat, but eventually the body wins and they give in. It is like a dam bursting and they overeat. The result is they feel sick and are convinced that they were right that eating is bad. They become consumed with guilt for eating. The result is a vicious cycle that should never be going in the first place.

Men do a similar thing with ejaculating. Because of the pleasure of orgasm, many seek out pornography and lustful thoughts to get themselves sexual aroused so that they reach orgasm easier. They know the pornography is wrong, but the lust for orgasm is stronger. It doesn't take long before a habit is created where the guy is convinced he can't ejaculate without the lustful thoughts. But eventually he matures enough to realize that pornography has taken control of his life and now he is in difficult straights because his body still needs to ejaculate, but he doesn't know how without going where he knows he should not.

By itself, masturbation is neither right nor wrong. It is the sinful thoughts that many guys use to masturbate with that is the problem. See:

Since your body needs to ejaculate, you are left with the choice of either masturbating without lustful thoughts or having wet dreams. See: At least once a week I go to sleep and within an hour find myself stimulating myself. Most guys in your situation prefer relearning how to have wet dreams because fighting lustful thoughts is too hard early on. See: How long does it take to start having wet dreams after you stop masturbating? A second reason is that many are not comfortable with the idea of masturbating. They associated it with sinful thoughts in their mind for so long that they can't disassociate it from sin. Doing something when your conscience bothers you is wrong. "Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin" (Romans 14:22-23). Ideally your conscience bothers you when you do something wrong and doesn't bother you when you do something right. But a conscience can be trained wrong. Romans 14:22 says you are in a good state if your conscience doesn't accept things that are sinful. You don't want to be in a state where you are sinning and not realizing it. Romans 14:23 talks about the opposite problem -- a conscience that bothers you when you are not doing anything wrong. In this case you are to not do it until you are convinced that it isn't wrong. One should never ignore an alarm, even a false alarm, just in case. Otherwise, you will get into a habit of ignoring the alarms and when it really is wrong, you won't be listening to your warning system. I don't want you doing anything that you are not convinced is right.

Regarding looking for a wife, one of the harder things I tell young men is to quit making beauty a factor in looking for a wife. "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised" (Proverbs 31:30). Focus on the character of the woman. You want someone who will be your best friend for the rest of your life. "... She is your companion ..." (Malachi 2:14). It is hard to believe right now, but if you take this advice to heart, it won't take long to realize that outward appearance really doesn't matter.

I know I didn't answer your questions directly, but that is because I believe your foundation was off which caused the other questions. Straightening out the foundations should clear up your other questions, but if not, please continue to write.

I have a huge fixation of the female's buttocks. Everywhere I go, I am constantly checking them out, especially if they are wearing tight slacks, jeans, spandex shorts or pants, or dresses to exhibit their "curvy figure." I go to the beach primarily to check out the women in bikinis. I've watched shows where they exhibit nudity just for that reason. I know that this is wrong, according to Matthew 5:27-28. It makes me want to have a female primarily for that reason, and I do get aroused very easily where is causes me to have this sinful fantasies which leads to masturbation which I am attempting to avoid. I do realize that a woman is much more than just a pretty face and a nice shape, and when she ages, things change.

Can you help me comprehend where this sinful obsession is coming from? As I told you, this has been going on since age 8. Also, can you help me comprehend the meanings of Matthew 5:27-28 as well as I Corinthians 7:9? I'd be grateful.

I'm a bit confused because you say you understand from Matthew 5:28 that lusting after females is wrong, yet you later say that you don't understand it. Which is it going to be?

What I suspect is that because this started in childhood, you rarely, if ever attempted to exercise self-control over your thoughts. Perhaps you think that as long as you don't do inappropriate things, fantasizing about them is acceptable; though lately you've come to realize that idea is wrong. This is just what Jesus' point is. Through your fantasizes you are engaging in sinful behavior in your mind and weakening your ability to resist doing those sins when opportunities arise.

"For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5).

What you have to do break your habits. Since you are going to the beach to girl watch, the simple answer is to stop going. Stop watching shows that have nudity or inappropriate dress. I know you think this hard to do, but you can't overcome this while continuing to indulge in it.

The reason you are so easily aroused is because you are keeping your mind focused on sex. "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit" (Romans 8:5). l Find more appropriate things to do. So what do you do with your idle time?

I Corinthians 7:9 is saying that a person should not avoid or put off marriage if that leads to increased temptation to lust or have sex with the person they hope to marry. I don't think this directly applies to your situation since you don't have a particular woman in mind, but are generally focused on sex.