ACTS International
Home Page of ACTS International
Home Page of ACTS InternationalHow to Find and Know God without having to be religiousLife Help Articles dealing with faith, family, and practical helps for purposeful livingDaily and Weekend Encounters with more than a third-of-a-million worldwide subscribersSupport the Work of ACTS International a not-for-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible for U.S. donorsCurrent report on the ministries and services of ACTS InternationalOnline Store of ACTS ... ACTS CommunicationsAbout ACTS International
ACTS International Home Page Click here for the current issue of  Daily Encounter
         
     
   
Tell a Friend Site Map Share and/or Bookmark
   
         
   
Articles > Ask the Teacher: > Masturbation: Is It a Sin?

Masturbation: Is It a Sin?

A website reader asks, "Is masturbation a sin?"

This is a question that many, if not most, teenagers ask at some time or another. When a teen myself I was taught that masturbation can cause all sorts of problems—either physically and/or mentally. This was taught I’m sure by well-meaning people but it has long since been proven to be totally false.

If one were taught this, he or she may struggle with false guilt that can cause emotional distress but this isn’t caused by the masturbation, but by the false teaching about it.

According to an article by Dr. James Dobson, "Between 95 and 98 percent of all boys engage in this practice—and the rest have been known to lie. It is as close to being a universal behavior as is likely to occur. A lesser but still significant percentage of girls also engage in what was once called 'self-gratification' or worse, 'self-abuse.'"1 Most grow out of this habit as they mature.

So is masturbation a sin? I think if it were, God’s Word would have something to say about it, but it doesn’t. In fact the Bible is totally silent on this topic. Some Bible teachers claim it is a sin based on one situation in the Old Testament, but even a casual reading of this occurrence makes it clear that it had nothing to do with masturbation. Onan did not want to produce children for his brother who had died (which was his duty in those times) so he interrupted sexual intercourse with his sister-in-law by "spilling his semen on the ground."2

However, it could become a sin and certainly is a problem if it is obsessive (out of control) and/or an addiction, and even more so it if is connected with pornography. But even here, the sin/problem has more to do with the addiction to pornography.

For a married adult, masturbation can be wrong (sinful) if one uses it as a means of avoiding sexual intimacy with his/her marriage partner, or failing to meet his/her spouses conjugal (marital) rights. For a single adult, it has been suggested it may be a gift of God to help relieve one’s unmet sexual need. It is also a problem if the single adult has difficulties in relating to the opposite sex but this is a relational issue that needs to be resolved.

For a young or older adult, what can one do if he is obsessive about masturbation or addicted to it?

First, one needs to admit both to himself and to God that he has a problem. The only people who can ever get help are those who genuinely say: "I have a problem. I need help."

Second, he needs to share his struggle/addiction with a trusted, non-critical and non-judgmental, friend, pastor, priest, or qualified counselor. As James wrote, "Therefore confess your sins [and faults] to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."3

Keep in mind, however, that most addictions (if not all) are the "presenting problem" (symptom) of a deeper problem—the fruit of a deeper root—and this root or cause of the problem needs to be discovered, dealt with in a caring and loving manner so it can be resolved. In these cases a recovery group for sexual addictions or the help of a qualified counselor may be needed.

Last, but not the least important, is learning to pray the right prayer. Ask God to help you see the root cause of your addiction and lead you to the help you need to overcome.

For a more in-depth answer to this question see Dr. Dobson’s article on this topic in No. 1 below.

1. Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family. http://www.focusonyourchild.com/develop/art1/A0000553.html
2. Genesis 38:8-9.
3. James 5:16 (NIV)


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.



   
    Back to Return to previous page Previous Page    
         
       
   
Site Map   Top
   
     
         
Find Peace With God footer
 
  ARTICLES
About God
About Faith
Relationships
Success/Failure
Solutions
Recovery
Ask the Teacher
Better Living Tips
Friendship
Words of Love
Words of Inspiration
People Power for Jesus
Simple and Effective Witnessing for Christ

SITE TRANSLATIONS
Spanish Espanol
French Francois

  DEVOTIONS
Devotionals
Daily Encounter
Weekend Encounter
Encuentros Diarios
Archives
Subscribe
When God Is Silent
Prayer Partners
  Needed

Special Needs

BIBLE HELPS
Helps and Studies
Today's Reading
Annual Reading

  QUOTES AND TESTS
Today's Quotes
Happiness Test
Stress Test

ACTS IN ACTION

ACTS Websites
ACTS in Action Report

COMMUNICATIONS

Syndicate ACTS Articles
"I Hate Witnessing"
   Audio—No Charge

Opening Closed Minds
Effective Communications
Jesus, the Communicator
Punching Holes in
   the Darkness

  REPORTS
About ACTS
Be an ACTS Friend

MISC.
People Power Invite
Links
Weather
Privacy Policy
Snail-Mail List
Contact Us/Feedback

ACTS BOOKSTORE
Online Bookstore


Site Map
Report problems to ACTS International
All pages in this site © Copyright 2005-2017 by ACTS International
P.O. Box 73545, San Clemente, CA 92673 U.S.A.
 
HOME   Daily Encounter  Find Peace With God