The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I really don't know how to put this. Well, here goes:

I'm 17 years old right now and I've never had sex. I'm not a Christian. I started masturbating when I was 14, and I got really addicted to it for about a year. But then I realized that it isn't the way of God and with His help I managed to stop. I haven't done it in a year and a half now. But it's getting increasingly difficult to resist it nowadays, but I'm somehow hanging in there.

But now, I'm faced with a different problem. I find myself thinking about my friends in the wrong way. I try to fight it, but it's almost impossible to stop. I'm in my first relationship right now. It's been two months. My girlfriend lives in another city though. We text a lot. And I think you guessed my problem by now. I'm starting to think about her in the wrong way too! And I don't want to! I really like her and I don't want to do her a wrong by thinking about her in this way! Sometimes, when I think of her, a sticky colorless liquid (precum) comes out of my penis. And there's this other girl in my class whom I can't stop thinking about in the wrong way. It's driving me mad! I don't want to be a sinner! I don't want to think about girls in the wrong way! I feel horrible! I want to be faithful to my girl! And I don't want to do her wrong! Please help! 


Answer

I'm glad you are striving hard to live righteously, though I'm curious why you haven't decided to enter into the covenant with Christ.

"Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:13-14).

That your body responds to girls is normal, but it doesn't mean you should run on instincts. For example, are you keeping your conversations away from sexual things? You can't keep your mind on good thoughts while discussing wrongful things. "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them" (Ephesians 5:3-7).

It also means you should not trust yourself. You know the urge for sex is strong and it is your duty to protect the young women around you from yourself.

I don't think converting is an option. I don't know how my mom will take it. My parents are getting divorced, and I don't want to add to her troubles. 

I don't know why this is happening to me. I was fine until a few months ago. I was totally in control. But now it's driving me crazy. I try to stay away from others as much as possible. People think I'm shy or weird cause I don't interact with them a lot.  

But my girlfriend, I just can't break up with her. She says she madly in love with me, and I just can't break her heart. She just lost her brother earlier this year in a tragic way and it hit her pretty hard. I just can't let her down. But even thinking about something like a kiss (just a kiss, not anything wrong) makes my thing stand up. I get worried and then I start thinking wrong things. I don't want to hurt her. Not even in my mind. It hurts me more when I think those things. I just wish it would stop!

I'm trying so hard! But it's like this: suppose somebody tells you not to think about elephants. What are you thinking about? Elephants right? That's how difficult it is. I don't want to be ruled by lust! I want have a life too! I want to follow my dreams of making it big in the music industry! I don't want to sin like this!

And what's worse, I can't even kill myself to stop sinning cause I don't want to leave my mom, family and girlfriend. I don't mean much to myself, but I mean the world to them. But I'm losing faith in myself cause I keep thinking these things.

I feel so lost. Should I really stay away from my friends? I don't want to be alone for the rest of my life! My life has been a roller coaster ride until now and just when things start to change I don't want to have to isolate myself from others! I don't want to have to spend the rest of my life by myself! And doing so would mean I would have to break up with my girl which would probably kill her!

I just wish God could heal me! I've asked Him a thousand times already! I hate myself for being this way! I hate doing this to other women! Please help me find a way! 

I want to able to have a normal friendship with a girl too! I don't want my mind wandering off! And when I do meet my girlfriend next time, I want to be able to kiss her with love not lust. I've never kissed a girl before. As a matter of fact, my girlfriend's the first girl I've hugged. She had to leave so I never got the chance to kiss her, not even on the cheek. Only God knows if I'll ever see her again. I want to make her happy. Not sin against her like this! And I want her to be the only girl I think about! And I want people to enjoy being around me.

I don't want to sin like this! Please help me. And if you don't mind, please pray for me. Please pray that God might forgive me and that He gives me the strength to stop sinning and live righteously in His light and also for my girlfriend and my mom and family. Please pray that I can control myself and that I don't hurt anybody. I'd rather die but you know why I can't. :( I know this is asking for too much, but could you also pray for my career in music and my academics? Please pray that I achieve the things I want in life and that I don't let anybody down. I will always be grateful to you. 

And I can't thank you enough for this! I really appreciate the work your doing, sir. I just wish I had found your web site sooner! Thank you! And please help me. I'm broken I need to be fixed. :(

We have a lot to talk about. First off, you are a perfectly normal male. Yes, you get sexually aroused and, yes, you rightly have concerns about behaving yourself. But where you are going wrong is assuming that because temptation crosses your mind that you will give into it. Just because your penis gets erect, it doesn't mean it has to be used. You are not an animal. You are a human who can override his body's impulses.

Handling these conflicts of interest is not complex, but I think a major source of your problems is that you recognize Christianity as being morally right, but you don't want to commit yourself to it. My point is that it leaves you without a solid foundation for your life. Jesus asked, "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). You ask me to pray for you, and I'm happy to do so, but at the same time you are saying that you won't follow the God you want help from. Do you see how that leaves you in a weak position?

What I'm going to do is address your issues from the stance that you believe the Bible to right and authoritative.

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13).

  • Temptations to sin are common. The fact that your body wants sex is exactly what every human who has past puberty experiences. Your body wants to eat, but you control when you eat because eating all the time is not good for you or your body. In the same way, you now have the urge to have sex, but it must be controlled because sex is only beneficial inside marriage. "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). The point you need to understand is that this temptation isn't unique to you. There are many men who have faced exactly the same thing, and many have managed to stay away from fornication.
  • God doesn't let anyone face a temptation they cannot handle. Thus in this temptation you do have the ability to overcome it. It might not feel that way at the moment, but the ability is there. I can even prove it -- so far you are still a virgin, so therefore you are able to resist this temptation.
  • There is always a way out. There is always a route that you can take that doesn't require you to sin. It might be hard to see when temptation is dominating your thoughts, but it is always there.

You are correct that if you sit there trying not to think about having sex you are not going to be successful. But you missed the implication. Instead of trying not to think of the negative, you should focus on thinking about the positive. "The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness" (Luke 11:34). It is a confusing statement, but what Jesus is saying is that where you focus your attention, that is the direction your behavior will follow.

I don't know if you got caught up in pornography when you were masturbating, but if you have, then realize that you've been filling your mind with images of guys committing sexual sins. Thinking about it and desiring it will of course have an influence on your behavior. Therefore, one way to get control back over your life is to stop filling your mind with garbage, where guys treat girls only as objects to ejaculate into.

In the same way, if you are texting and talking to your girlfriend about sexual things, it is going to keep the issue at the forefront of your mind. Instead, you should focus on the non-sexual things that you like and enjoy with your girlfriend. Make it a rule with yourself and your girlfriend that sexual topics are off-limits until after marriage. That is why I quoted Ephesians 5:3-5 to you earlier.

When you are around other girls and your mind wanders, then bring it back into control. "Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified" (I Corinthians 9:26-27).

In practical matters, you have to realize that your body does run by instinct. But you still have a mind. So when you first kiss a girl, yes, your body is going to go nutty and your penis is going to get erect. But as I said before, it doesn't mean you have to lose control. You can't still keep your hands away from sexual areas. You still can keep your clothes on. And you can focus your mind on what you love about this girl instead of thinking about your penis. And with practice it will become easier for you to control your reaction.

By the way, suicide is never a solution to any problem. Followers of God knows that God gives us life and only He decides when our lives end. Killing yourself is just a form of murder -- a sin. So it makes no sense to try avoiding one sin by committing another sin.

One last set of advice for now. You mentioned that you've given up masturbating for over a year. I'm assuming that you are still having regular ejaculations through wet dreams. If not, this can be a source of your problems. A person can choose not to eat for a period of time, but eventually the body's need for food will override a decision not to eat. Instinct will take over and the person act like an animal in the presence of food. In the same way the male body has to ejaculate semen once in a while. Hold off too long and instinct takes over and your body finds a way to ejaculate whether you want it or not. In all cases, a person needs to manage his body's needs and not let it go in feast or famine cycles.

I understand, sir, and I think you are right. But I can't convert now. Please try to understand. We're Hindus and my mother is very orthodox. I'm too scared to bring it up now. Maybe when I'm older I'll talk to her about it. There's a lot going on right now, and I just can't bring it up now. 

I also talked to my girlfriend about these things. I told her the way I was feeling, and she too told me that it's perfectly normal for me to feel this way. I made her promise that nothing would happen between us unless we get married. And we don't text about sexual things, but we do talk a lot about cuddling with each other but nothing sexual. But even that turns me on! That's why I'm so worried. 

Pornography? No, I was never that into it. Occasionally, yes, I did watch but not much. And come to think about it, I haven't had a wet dream in quite a while now at least a month and a half. What should I do about it? And I'll follow your advice.

I'll try to focus on the important things, and I'll try my best to push sex to the back of my mind for now. And I'll fight the urge with every bit of will power I have. I'll pray every now and then asking God to forgive me and give me strength and win the fight against my demons. I know this is a lot to ask but please sir, do pray for me. I'm so lost. I already feel my strength coming back, but I don't want to stumble again because I'm not quite all right yet.

All these things have been troubling me so much for the past month! My mother's predicament, my mistakes in life, the things I could have done right, and the achievements I could have accomplished and this. I'm not able to concentrate on my studies either, looking back at the wreck my life has been. I'm getting so scared! It's a rat race here where it's very crucial to get above 90% to get at least an average college seat! And I haven't studied anything in over a month! I'm getting so scared! And there's no hope for me if I mess up! I'm so scared!

But thank you, sir, thank you so much! You've helped me so much! I'm just barely holding back the tears. Thank you so much for showing me the light! And, please, do pray. Thank you so much, sir. 

"Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations -- "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," which all concern things which perish with the using -- according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh" (Colossians 2:20-23).

People often make the mistake of thinking that self-deprivation is religious. It comes from the old idol based religions that taught that to gain the gods' attention, one had to give up things. The problem is that it is man who decides what they want to give up and, thus man puts himself over God.

It isn't a sin to be sexually aroused. It isn't sin ejaculate. It becomes a sin to look at girls with a strong desire to have sex with them even though you are not married. "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). To think about committing a sin is just a short step away from actually committing it.

Because you have been trying to control your sexual desire through denial, you've set yourself up for a conflict between what your body is designed to do and what you think it ought to do. It is because you have gone so long without ejaculating that your body is demanding that something has to be done. That is why your are losing control over your thoughts. The very thing you are attempting to avoid is becoming more probable because of your approach.

There is nothing sinful about ejaculating or having wet dreams by themselves. This is simply how God made your body to work. Therefore, rather than fighting your body you need to manage it so you can retain control. When you feel you sexual desire rise to a distracting level, realize that this simply means you need to have an ejaculation. If you prefer wet dreams, do something that is likely to encourage a wet dream, such as sleeping naked. You might be so wound up that you will be unable to fully sleep through the wet dream, but just let what naturally happens finish.

What you will find is that after you ejaculate your sexual urge will drop significantly so that you have a greater measure of self-control during the day. Without the distraction of needing to ejaculate, you will be able to study better.

Sir! Help! I don't know how but I ejaculated in my pants! I was just sitting and studying today on my bed, and I decided to stretch. So, I stretched on my bed and it felt good. I continued stretching and it happened! I feel so guilty now! I just wanted to stretch! ='( I sinned! ='( Please help me! ='(

No, you did not sin. God never said that ejaculating was a sin. Your body was desperate and took control. As I said before, you can't hold off ejaculating forever. Your body is designed to ejaculate regularly to maintain proper function. Since you refused to let that function happened, it did what was needed at its convenience.

It is not much different than if you had decided that urinating was wrong and refused to pee. First the body will warn that there is a need to release urine. Then the warnings will become demanding so that you can't think of anything else. Eventually, it will just come out, whether you are ready or not. Your seminal vesicles work in a similar fashion, but the need is felt as sexual desire and the rate of production is slower.