The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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I have been a Christian for many years, and I truly love and want to honor the Lord. Lately, I have been struggling with masturbation. I have struggled and prayed and struggled and prayed, and yet I never stopped. Then I found your website and it was a big help. Although, I am still a bit confused. Our bodies need to release semen every now and then correct? Well, you said it can be released through wet dreams or masturbation.

I honestly would like it to be done through wet dreams but the temptation is killing me. I don't use pornography or sexual fantasies, but I feel as if masturbation is alcohol and I'm the alcoholic. I'm currently 15 and have been wanting to get through this bump in the road so I may continue growing with the Lord, if that makes any since. I have asked God if I may lay my desires and thoughts down at his feet so that I may focus on his goals for my life, not focusing on not masturbating. But one day I fell. It had been a week and I felt I needed to release. But I'm worried I may pick the habit up again. So how might I not masturbate and fight this temptation?


Since you are managing to masturbate without sinful thoughts, then how do you conclude that taking care of a bodily function is sinful? I'm curious as to what sin you think you are committing.

The reason you are failing to achieve your goal is that you labeled something your body is designed and required to do as sinful. You are like the girls who decide that eating is wrong. They manage not to eat for a while, but eventually the body's instinct takes over because food is necessary. The result is that they overeat and then get depressed because they lost control. Then the vicious cycle starts all over again.

Not everyone is able to sleep through wet dreams. Some are semi-aware of what is going on, others wake up part way through the process, and some wake up at the big event. But when you decide to not masturbate and you are awake or semi-awake during a wet dream, you leave your body no outlet. Eventually something is going to give and your body is going to use instinct to take over.

You label it as temptation, but you don't call being hungry or needing to urinate a temptation. It is just a bodily need. A temptation is when you are presented with situation where to fulfill one of your body's desires you have to break a law of God. But since you mislabel the desire itself as a temptation, you end up condemning yourself for merely being a human being.

Now just because you want to eat, it doesn't mean it is always good to eat. We learn to manage our appetite by controlling when and where we fulfill it not be completely denying it. I'm hungry, but it is only an hour until supper so I can wait a bit to satisfy my hunger. Just because I'm hungry, it doesn't mean I can overeat.

In the same way, you need to learn to manage your sex drive. Denying that it exists does nothing for you but force you into binge cycles. What I've been encouraging guys to do is give themselves a way to manage their need to ejaculate. I usually suggest doing it in the shower because you have privacy and cleanup is easy. When you feel the urge building to the point of distraction, then give yourself permission that the next time you shower you are going to take care of the need. It is as simple as that.

If you rather do it as a wet dream, then when you feel the urge building, you sleep in the nude that night. Whatever happens or does not happen is fine. Don't to prevent ejaculating or go out of your way to bring it on. Just understand that you are going to know that it is happening. If you end up not ejaculating, then you have the shower as a back up to keep yourself in control.

The sin I believe I am committing is lack of self control. Like I said, I feel like I'm an alcoholic when it comes to masturbation because I can't just masturbate once a week because I will just go off. I don't know what it is, but when I do, I want it more, and I lose control, which I'm afraid will eventually turn into lustful thoughts and so on.

I kind of understand what you are saying about me trying to stop what my body is trying to do, but I have another question. What about Jesus? Because, no offense, but I highly doubt he masturbated. I feel the devil has finally found my weak point and is putting a ton of temptation on me. It's not that I don't want my body to carry out its functions and ejaculate, I just personally don't want to masturbate.

Another thing is, I don't know when I need to release. You said probably about once or twice a week, but how can you tell? I thank you again for your help, and I hope we can figure something out because I don't want to have to masturbate for the rest of my life! If you say our body is always needing to throw away some, does that mean I have to masturbate until I die? I'm very sorry, it's just -- since this topic isn't really mentioned in the Bible -- it really confuses me. Thank you.

Actually, the topic is mentioned in the Bible, just not at the level of detail that you want it.

"If any man has an emission of semen, then he shall wash all his body in water, and be unclean until evening. And any garment and any leather on which there is semen, it shall be washed with water, and be unclean until evening. Also, when a woman lies with a man, and there is an emission of semen, they shall bathe in water, and be unclean until evening" (Leviticus 15:16-18).

Since Leviticus 15:18 speaks of ejaculating during sex, Leviticus 15:16-17 is covering times when a man ejaculates but not during sex: wet dreams and masturbation.

"Whatever man of the descendants of Aaron, who is a leper or has a discharge, shall not eat the holy offerings until he is clean. And whoever touches anything made unclean by a corpse, or a man who has had an emission of semen ..." (Leviticus 22:4).

Under the Old Testament ejaculating made a man unclean for a day. He had to take a bath and then separate himself from everyone else until the next evening. A person involved in special duties could not perform those duties during the time of his uncleanness. It did not matter if the ejaculation occurred because a man had sex with his wife or because he had a wet dream, the results were the same.

"If there is any man among you who becomes unclean by some occurrence in the night, then he shall go outside the camp; he shall not come inside the camp. But it shall be, when evening comes, that he shall wash with water; and when the sun sets, he may come into the camp" (Detueronomy 23:10-11).

This verse is the most direct reference to wet dreams in the Bible. The Hebrew phrase literally means having an accident at night. As I mentioned at other times, the only difference between masturbating and wet dreams is that latter is started while you are asleep or half-asleep.

You lose control over bodily functions when you try to completely keep them from happening. For example, if you try to keep from urinating eventually it is going to come out whether you want it to or not and mostly likely the body's timing isn't going to be convenient for you. And in the meantime thoughts of needing to urinate is going dominate every moment. If you try not eating, you will eventually gorge yourself on food. And in the meantime, thoughts of being hungry is going to dominate every moment. If you try to stop ejaculating, eventually your body will take over using whatever means is available. But in the meantime, thoughts about sex will dominate every moment.

It is when a guy avoids ejaculating for a long time that he is most vulnerable to sexual temptations. He is dealing not only with the temptation itself, but also fighting his own body's demands. More guys give into pornography, or even fornication, when they try to not ejaculate.

The way to maintain control is to manage your body's functions. To control hunger, you eat reasonable amounts at reasonable times. You use the toilet at regular times and even plan ahead; I'm going to be busy for the next two hours, so I better empty my bladder now. Semen buildup in your seminal vesicles is no different. As you feel the edginess of sexual desire build up, you know you need to ejaculate. You can either take care of the matter the next time you shower or you can plan on having a wet dream. If you are getting to the point where you feel like you're going crazy, then you are waiting too long. It isn't going to be a fix schedule. The body's rate of semen production varies greatly from day-to-day and week to week.

You won't be masturbating or having wet dreams all your life. When you get married and have regular sex with your wife, you will be ejaculating often enough to keep your semen supply down. But even then there will be periods where you'll have to fall back to masturbation or wet dreams. People do get ill or you might be on a trip. You may not always be where you can have sex with your wife when you need to, so you manage yourself so that sexual temptations are less of an issue.

Thank you again for your help, but one last thing: I get a lot of thoughts every day about my sexual desires (probably because of puberty or whatever) so does that mean that whenever I have the urge to want to masturbate, I just do it? Because I would probably be masturbating daily. And if not, how do I know when. For example, I could have just masturbated, and then have a strong urge to do it again two hours later. How would self control come into all of this? Thank you again and I am very grateful for your help.

Do you eat whenever you feel like munching on something? If you did, you would likely be fat in no time at all. The urge for sex is basically always there. But when it gets to the point that it is hard to ignore, then it is time to lower the desire. It will take a bit of time to find the right balance of not over indulging simply because it feels good and not waiting so long that you can't think of anything else but your need to ejaculate. Basically, stretch the time out as long as you reasonably can. Also restricting yourself to only certain times and certain places will help in learning self-control.

Thank you for your help. I will try my hardest to grow in self-control with masturbation. I had always thought masturbation was pointless and was just a way for Satan to get to me. Now I have realized how masturbation and wet dreams are just a way to release the "old stuff" so my body may continue carrying out its bodily function. For now, I hope to train my body right so I may have full self-control over my sex drive and continue living for the Lord. I thank you for your help for all of the boys you have helped including me. Thank you.