The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I think I'm addicted to sex. I'm only 14 and I'm ashamed, but I can't seem to stop. I jerk off at least three times a day. I think I'm addicted to the orgasms; they make me feel better when I experience them. I want to stop and repent, but I'm so ashamed and embarrassed, and it's hard to quit. I'm Christian and I want to do what Christ would have me do. Is there any medicines or exercises I can do to make me more able to control these urges?

Will (age 14)


Answer

"For by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved" (II Peter 2:19).

Have you ever seen a baby when he is hungry? He screams and yells until what his body craves -- milk -- is given to him. Is that desire for food wrong? No, it is necessary. And it is necessary for a baby to fuss to get feed because a baby has no other way to express his needs. Yet, if you screamed and yelled when you got hungry, people would rightly wonder what happened to your self-control.

In the last few years your body started changing from a child's to an adult. Along with the changes in size came the awareness and desire for sex. There is nothing wrong with desiring sex, it is that desire which will encourage you to talk to girls and eventually find a woman to marry. But just because you want some thing, it doesn't mean that you let that desire control your life. An uncontrolled desire can lead you into sin. "Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified" (I Corinthians 9:25-27).

One of the reasons you develop first and then later marry is that it gives you a chance to get used to your sexual urges and learn to master them. You see, you are not the only one who has gone through this stage of life. It happens to every adult male. "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it" (I Corinthians 10:13). Some give into their desires and allow those desires to pull them into all sorts of sins, but others see the danger of the lack of control and decide to master their desire. One thing I can guarantee, as strong as your sexual desire is at the moment, God has promised that it is not more than you can control.

When we first learn a new skill, say riding a bike, it is difficult at first because we must concentrate on many little things. But over time we quickly develop habits so that we don't have to think about the details and it becomes a habit. Your body has developed a new ability that you didn't have when you were a child. It is trying to figure out all the little details so that it can coordinate the various actions when needed. The problem is that you now acting like a child who has learned to ride a bike and won't get off to do anything else. Sure, orgasm is pleasurable, but life isn't about orgasms.

So how do you gain control? First, are you over stimulating yourself? Sex is going to intrude itself into your thoughts frequently. It is one thing to have passing thoughts about sex in a generic sort of way that you quickly dismiss, but it is another thing to purposely fantasize about sex outside of marriage. Get rid of all the pornography and sexually stimulating songs you might have. They are not good for you anyway as it gives you a pervert concept of what sex is like.

Second, master your urges. You can get hungry, but are able to wait until the next meal to satisfy that hunger (at least most of the time). Start controlling your sexual urge as well. Instead of masturbating three times a day, for the next two weeks limit yourself to at most once a day. This is to prove to yourself that you don't have to have an orgasm multiple times during the day. Also work on controlling your thoughts. Don't use thoughts of illicit sex to stimulate yourself for masturbation. Once you master that then start spacing it out to every other day, and then every three days. The goal is not to get sexual urges out of your life, but to remove them from being the center of your focus.

Third, when the urge does strike hard, ask yourself why. Are you just bored and filling your time? Or is it something else?

The reason for mastering your body's sexual desire is because you are going to be faced with sexual temptations, if it hasn't happened already. If you build up habits of giving into your sexual urges whenever they appear, then you are going to have no resistance to sexual sins when they are presented to you.

"But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (II Peter 1:5-8).