The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I am now in the process or renewing my relationship with God, and I have seen masturbation as something which can offend God if I do it, so I have tried not to masturbate and abstain from it. It took me 16 consecutive days of not masturbating but reading your articles on masturbation and how to masturbate without the lustful thoughts prompted me to masturbate on day 17. I just continuously let my hands do the action and my mind was blank while doing it so I can say that I never had impure thoughts whatsoever during the masturbation process.

I was able to ejaculate minus pornography and lust in my mind, but I really felt so guilty after doing it. It seemed to me that I have thrown away all the days that I have abstained in exchange just for a few seconds of being able to release.

My guilt was so intense that I was literally silent all throughout the day contemplating on what I have done. Is it really worth giving up what i have tried to contain and control just to heed the call of the flesh?

I feel that wet dreams and masturbation are different in such a way that masturbation entails a conscious effort and will for you to do it, which can be the reason for giving me the guilty feeling because I consented to do it knowing that I can do it un-sinfully if I just remove the lust factor. In a way, wet dreams have the unconscious effort to ejaculate. Your body just does it anyway, whether you like it or not.

I have had wet dreams in the past without me knowing it and I just woke up one morning with my undies all wet and sticky.

Why do I feel so guilty masturbating? Or should I just wait for wet dreams to happen?


Answer

Guilt is the feeling a person should have for doing something they know is wrong. But you say you know that masturbating without lustful thoughts is not sinful. Therefore, I must conclude that while you accept in theory that it isn't a sin, you are not convinced of the matter. That then brings in a second point God discusses. Doing something when your conscience bothers you is wrong. "Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin" (Romans 14:22-23). Ideally your conscience bothers you when you do something wrong and doesn't bother you when you do something right. But a conscience can be trained wrong. Romans 14:22 says you are in a good state if your conscience doesn't accept things that are sinful. You don't want to be in a state where you are sinning and not realizing it. Romans 14:23 talks about the opposite problem -- a conscience that bothers you when you are not doing anything wrong. In this case you are to not do it until you are convinced that it isn't wrong. One should never ignore an alarm, even a false alarm, just in case. Otherwise, you will get into a habit of ignoring the alarms and when it really is wrong, you won't be listening to your warning system.

If you notice in all my writings, I mention that masturbation is neither right nor wrong. It is the thoughts that accompany it that make it right or wrong. If a person is uncertain, then I don't encourage them to masturbate. Instead, I encourage them to retrain themselves to have wet dreams again. See How long does it take to start having wet dreams after you stop masturbating? It is really an individual choice. What I don't want you doing is violating your conscience.

There is also a physical cause behind the guilty feeling. See: Why do I feel guilty after ejaculating?

Thank you so much for for the enlightenment. I just realized that what you say is true about the guilty feeling I had after masturbating even without thinking about lustful thoughts. You are right in saying that I just accepted it in theory that it isn't a sin. I only realized the full concept of the "conscience" thing after reading your message.

Now I have learned to deal with it, and I just treat masturbation as something as normal as taking a pee. We can hold it for quite some time, but we eventually have to pee when the urge gets really strong otherwise the feeling will be really uncomfortable. I also realized that we don't need to think about lustful thought when we have to pee, so if that is possible, I know that we can also masturbate in the same manner. I don't know if my assumption is correct.

There is one thing that worries me though: I try not to masturbate as long as I could but when the urge gets really strong I do it. I noticed that my semen has some gelatin like build-up and has a yellowish tint into it. Also a long time ago, I have once tried swallowing my own semen, is it sinful?

The gelatin like substance you see comes from the prostrate gland. Its purpose is to thicken your semen so that when you ejaculate it comes out as a lump instead of dribbling out as a liquid. That gelatin then melts shortly after ejaculating, allowing the sperm to swim free. Some times the body doesn't get the ratios for the mixture exactly right and you end up seeing lumps of gelatin in the semen. It is nothing to worry about and causes no harm. The yellow tint also comes from the same source.

There are things sinful (morally wrong) and there are other things that are not sensible or healthy. Dropping a cookie on the floor and then deciding to eat it anyway is not morally wrong, but it does carry risks of picking up germs. Some diseases affect the entire body, but there are some diseases which are regional, such as genital warts (HPV), herpes, or syphilis. Usually these diseases are picked up through sexual contact with another person. Some, like jock itch, are present in the environment. What you run the risk of doing is transferring a regional problem to your mouth and throat where it might cause additional problems. Thus, it is a practice that is not recommended.