I’ve been struggling with masturbation. I thought I surrendered this part of my life to God but lately I don’t know why it so difficult, and I don’t know what to do anymore. I can’t sleep properly, it bothers me but I’m not stopping it either.
Let me throw something out there that is going to be controversial, but stick with me: masturbation is not as big a deal as some Christians make of it. I know, that doesn’t seem very Christian. Where’s the talk of depravity, and purity, and breaking the heart of your Lord with your every inequity? Just hear me out.
Masturbation is not good, it is certainly tied in with lust, which is bad; I’m just saying it is not the catastrophic, end-all be-all of sin that it feels like some people want to make it out to be.
You an amount of hormones coursing through your veins that would stun a bull. It is impossible for anyone to get pregnant or contract an STD from masturbation. Also, it is something that pretty much everyone struggles with at some point. So I think the first step is to relax and take a deep breath on this thing.
There are plenty of reasons to want to get past this. Firstly, Jesus says don’t lust, so you don’t want to play with that. That is as it should be. Also, there is new stuff coming out all the time about the effects that excessive consumption of pornography has on the brain and on relationships later in life, and none of that is particularly good. And, at the end of the day, masturbation is just a cheap substitute for something that was designed by God to be amazing.
Stopping a behavior is not about one big emotional moment where you conquer it once and for all. It is about making it through daily. That is why Jesus said take up your cross everyday, not “take up your cross once and that will do it.”
We like that idea of one shoot out where we defeat this thing and never have to think about it again, but that isn’t the way it goes. If something is a big struggle for you, you have to be vigilant about it over the long haul. That means knowing your triggers, finding some alternatives, and having people you can call to help out. It is a process, but one you get better at over time.
You can’t vanquish this thing in one day, no matter how much emotion you pour into it, but you can beat it, with God’s help, over the long haul.
-Matt from The Bridge