Is masturbation a sin? Does the Bible say that masturbation is a sin?
These are all questions that we will touch upon today, as these are questions that we come across often. Most people will say that it depends or that it isn’t explicitly stated in the Bible. Therefore, they do not consider it a sin.
But the scriptures do indicate a few things on lustful behavior and point us to an answer.
When the Bible was written, masturbation and pornography were concepts that did not exist but similar practices were present.
Nowadays, we live in a culture that values independence and personal freedom above all else. We want to be able to make our own choices and live according to our beliefs without anyone judging us or forcing their values on us.
However, this can also be a source of unnecessary stress and anxiety for some people. In today’s society, we are frequently bombarded with messages about the dangers of indulging in our own desires as well as the pernicious influence that such activities have on others.
For example, there is an idea floating around that sexual activities of any kind are inherently sinful and will inevitably lead to great evil if not avoided at all costs. This article aims to look at the various reasons why people might believe this and what Biblical answers there might be.
If you’re spending all your time trying to satisfy your own sexual desires rather than focusing on the needs of your partner or the needs of others, you can’t be worried about your health.
It’s true that there is a relationship between the amount of sex a couple are having and the risk of heart disease and strokes, but it’s unclear exactly how much of a role this plays. The truth is that it’s a tricky and complicated area and scientists are still working out the best possible strategies for reducing the risk of these diseases.
So, if you want to be safe, you can’t avoid sex with your partner, but you can’t take the risk that avoiding it will do you more harm than good.
Reading the scriptures can give us a better idea of this subject.
Let us first define ‘sin’
What is sin?
Sin is an immoral act committed against God. In other words, sin is an act, thought or word that is immoral, selfish, harmful and jealous. The 7 deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, anger and sloth (laziness) are examples of emotions or acts that are considered a sin.
Lust is one among them. Lust is an intense sexual desire that is completely motivated by one’s own pleasure. It is purely sexual attraction and it is known to be selfish. Lust is a hormonal desire whereas love is compassion and caring for the other person.
Now that we’ve understood what sin is let’s get into the teachings of the Bible.
What does the Bible say about Masturbation and sexual immorality?
“If our minds are ruled by our desires, we will die. But if our minds are ruled by the Spirit, we will have life and peace.”Romans 8: 6
Giving in to the temptation of the flesh or desires of the world is considered sinful and lust is an emotion that is considered to be a desire of the world.
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.”1 Corinthians 6:18
This particular verse is directly relating to sexually immoral behaviour and any behaviour that defiles our body is an act against God because in the Bible the body is considered a temple of God.
“And then he added, ‘It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.'”Mark 7:20-23
“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart”Mathew 5:28
“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 honour, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God.”1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.”Colossians 3:5
These verses give us some idea on what the Bible is saying with regards to sexual immorality and lust. Do not be alarmed or afraid, but take these as words of wisdom and a warning according to Christian law.
Here are 6 beliefs based on the Scriptures and how that translates to the context of masturbation and sin.
- Masturbation as self-indulgence– It is said that acts that isn’t selfless are self-seeking and are seen to be indulgences or as desires of the world.
- Fantasizing and visualizing other women– Masturbation may not be mentioned in the Bible but the desire to be with other people is considered a sin. Masturbation is most commonly accompanied with pornography or fantasizing about other people. This is inherently a sin according to the Bible.
- The Church believes that contraceptives interrupt the process of procreation. Therefore, it is unlawful. Similarly, in terms of masturbation the sperm from the semen does not result in the gift of life. In the Book of Genesis, it says that Onan was punished for spilling his semen on the ground as he did not impregnate his brother’s wife. This act did not lead to an offspring and was condemned.
- Sexual immorality– Sexual immorality is any sexual act that is deemed morally inappropriate by social customs.
- Sexual pleasure outside the realm of marriage– Sex and sexuality were thought to be institutions created by God to be expressed within marriage and any sexual activity outside marriage is considered unlawful.
- Fornication– Fornication is the act of sexual intercourse between people who are not married to each other. Parallels can be drawn to masturbation as sexual intercourse with oneself.
The above reasons may give us clarity on what the Bible says about masturbation.
A sin could be anything that is harming others or yourself. So, think about whether you or your loved ones are affected by your choices and hopefully, you can come to decide what’s right for you.
Sin can also be anything that is excessive and is disruptive to daily life. Excessive masturbation can cause problems in your relationships and lead to self-isolation, low self-esteem, and other issues.
Keep a lookout on your daily activities; monitor them closely and understand what habits can be changed and what are those habits that are helping you and especially your mental health.
Make sure to get help when you need it.
Hopefully, these verses gave you an idea of things. Through prayer, meditation, and scripture reading you can truly understand the depth of these verses and what it means to you.
Equip yourself with the right habits to lead a good and fruitful life.
There are a lot of people out there who feel quite guilty about indulging in sexual activities. This guilt is usually based on some distorted ideas about how these activities are supposed to be used. For example, some people believe that sex is only for procreation and that anything else is wasteful and “unnecessary.”
However, even many religious people would agree that sex should be used as a form of entertainment as well as a method of procreation. It’s true that sex is initially exciting, but it can quickly become boring. This is especially true if you have sex with the same partner for a long time.
If you’re having sex with anyone to satisfy your own desires, it’s easy to get bored and start looking for other sources of excitement. This is a much healthier way of using sex than those who are worried that it’s bad.
When you’re responsibly enjoying sex with your partner, you can reap a number of health and emotional benefits. In addition, it’s important to remember that there’s no need to avoid sex just because it might be bad for you.
In fact, avoiding it can make you more likely to develop various health problems in the future. Sexual activities can be fun and healthy if you use them responsibly. However, if you’re worried that they might be bad for you, it’s important to remember that indulging in them isn’t always harmful.
The most important thing is to remember that your sexual activities should have a purpose. You should have a clear goal in mind and, when you achieve it, feel good about it.
Keep in mind that some practices from the past are outdated and faith must be renewed every day. We must find a balance and create a very personal journey with God and religion.