Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Big 'M'

Can you talk about the big 'M' without offending someone? Can you talk about it without being too crass or perverse or inappropriate?

I'm going to try to today...and I hope I don't offend any of my readers. It's been a topic that's been brought up more than once and I've been too much of a coward to blog about it. I want to talk about it now because I fear the stigma surrounding it lends itself to something we only avoid discussing, when maybe we should do the opposite.

The word itself is hard to say, look at, type.
I remember the first time that I heard it in a movie and I innocently asked my three older brothers and my mom what it meant. They told me to look it up in the dictionary. I did, but the words failed me. I didn't grasp the meaning behind it and so I lost interest.

It wasn't until a few years later when it all started clicking. 'Oh, that means that??'
I can't say I blamed my family for avoiding the awkward conversation in the middle of enjoyable family time...I probably would have done the same.

It's a word that is dirty, shameful, repulsive.
Or, at least that's what many of us have been trained to think.

There's much debate over the issue, especially in Christian circles. It seems you either stand on the side of it being undoubtedly a sin, or you stand on the side of it being no big deal. There's probably a few of us in the middle... and that's where I stand.

I see both sides of the argument--but I'm not convinced that either are entirely correct. There's not a lot (or any) biblical stance on this specific issue either. Many might argue that the scriptures on lust are applicable to masturbation...and sometimes they probably are. I could never say that they always are though. There are instances where I think it can be especially harmful to someone, but sometimes I think our bodies are in need of a sexual release.

I've had many a girl shamefully confide in me about this secret habit...and my heart breaks for them. Not necessarily because of what they are doing/have done, but because of the shame and humiliation that surrounds it. There are usually always tears, and there's always the fears of being thought of differently that accompanies such a confession. It makes me ticked off at society... probably our Christian world than anything else. Masturbation, especially among women, is simply not something we do.. let alone something we ever talk about, right? And so, rather than exist in a fellowship where we can openly discuss hard topics and figure out where we stand on these issues, so many women vow to never speak of it. No one else has to know...it's soon a hidden, dark secret. The more hidden it is, the more it affects us in negative ways. It becomes a slippery slope.

I usually approach conversations with girls about masturbation in whatever way I feel like they need me to. Meaning, if you think it's a sin...I'm not going to tell you it's not. If you don't think it is, I'm not going to tell you that it is. I think both can be true. Most importantly, I want you to know why you think it's a sin....just like I want you to know why you think anything might be a sin. Sometimes I think we get too carried away in what other people are telling us is sin vs. finding out for ourselves what is and what isn't. And... isn't it possible (or just true) that sometimes what's sin for me is not sin for you and vice versa??

But, as far as masturbation goes...
Here are the instances where I think it can be especially harmful:

  • in Lust (I would say if you're masturbating to pornography, this would be a big clue... or if you're thinking about someone while doing it)
  • Addiction (the lack of self-control... of feeling like you need to do it all the time, that you can't stop)
  • Loneliness (letting it fill some sort of void, trying to get fulfillment from it)
  • Impatience (not wanting to wait for the pleasure of what sex can bring)
  • Control (doubting God's goodness in your life and His desire for you to ever have sex...so you'll just take matters into your own hands)
Be willing to ask yourself some hard questions (especially if you are in the midst of quietly dealing with this)
  • Is it always out of lust? 
  • Is it always out of your control?
  • Is it because you are lonely? 
  • Is it because you're impatient? 
  • Is it because you want control? 
Can it be done without any of these interfering? And, if so, could it ever be okay? 
Could it ever be in God's design?
Is there ever mention of it in Scripture? 

I don't want to lead you astray in any way... and I know this is a controversial subject. I just want you to be rooted in what God says about it... not what others say about it (like anything else in life). 

Dig deep.
Seek the Lord. 
Don't rationalize the things that you truly believe are sin. Flee from those things.
But don't wallow in guilt because someone else told you to. Bring everything into the light...and there you will find healing, answers.... hope. Every time. 

* * *

Your entries will remain anonymous


  1. Do you really think that we would need a sexual release if our minds were transformed? If we were truly guarding our heart from images, movies, songs, etc. that put sexual desires or even the desire for a relationship and love in our hearts, would people even feel the need? We need to make sure our minds are being guarded and transformed. What do you think?

    1. Perhaps there would be no need for sexual release if that were the case...but, I feel like 'guarding' ourselves 100% from those things is virtually impossible, especially in our day and age. You can't really drive down the highway or walk into a grocery store without seeing sexual images of some nature. Beyond that, I think that it's within us to WANT intimacy and sex--despite what the world around us is telling us. Read Song of Solomon. It's graphic. It makes me blush when I read it. I bet it turns some people on. If that's IN the Bible, what do you think the Lord is telling us about sexual desire? What do you think He's telling us about romance and love?

      I don't think sexual desire is wrong at all- I actually think it's this beautiful gift we've been given that we don't always know how to harness. I think it's the way that we let it out that becomes the issue. Now, I don't know a ton about the male anatomy, but from what I understand their bodies are built for release- it's necessary. It'll come out one way or another...even while they are sleeping. I can't imagine that that masturbation is always wrong when it could be a release that's physically necessary, or when it could deter people from walking down darker paths of sexual addiction and release.

      There's a balance that's necessary, absolutely.
      But, I think it's wrong for us to deny that sexual desire exists within practically all of us. I think that negates something beautiful and good God created in us because we are so terrified of it being bad. I hope, even as I'm being transformed and 'guarding' myself against things, that I don't ever lose the sexual desire in the process.

      But maybe that's just me.