The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I have struggled with masturbation for years now. I've always thought that maybe if I could just let my seminal vesicles get full enough to where my body would release my semen during a wet dream maybe I would enjoy that more than masturbating awake and just stop from sinning. 

Recently, however, I have come to think that masturbation itself is not a sin. I had an older friend, who is like a godly brother to me, share with me how he could masturbate without lustful thoughts after I asked for help. I never saw masturbation as being OK at all before then. But the idea is frowned upon I guess. I told my youth minister of how I could train my mind and relieve myself. He said I was just trying to make up excuses to masturbate and compromise.

Since my buddy shared that with me I thought it through and come to say masturbation is not a sin in itself.

Anyway, now I just want to experience a wet dream, and from there decide which is more beneficial in my Christian walk. The problem is, of course, I'm struggling. I've asked a friend to keep me accountable, but I don't think either of us quite know what we're doing.  I am going on about 4 to 5 days now and already being tempted to release myself.  How long might I need to go without masturbating to have a wet dream? What advice can I give my friend to help him help me?  Are there any foods I can eat that will get my body to produce semen faster?


Answer

There is a strong tendency in people to overgeneralize problems. Here are some examples:

  • Eating is not a sin, but gluttony is a sin.
  • Picking up something at the store is not a sin, but stealing is a sin.
  • Shooting a gun is not a sin, but murder is a sin.

What happens is people fail to make a distinction as to what exactly is sinful. We have a tendency to take the lazier way out and declare that everything connected with a sin is therefore a sin.

Pornography and lustful thoughts about having sex outside of marriage are sins. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5).

However, the Bible never defines masturbation as a sin. It can be used sinfully in connection to pornography and lust for fornication, but the action itself is not called a sin. See Is masturbation sinful or not? Notice that the sin is defined by what God said and not what anyone thinks. This is the mistake your youth minister made. He did not prove from the Scriptures that masturbation was a sin, yet he wanted to impose rules where God gave none. "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). What you are finding is that those rules don't help.

The feeling that you need to relieve yourself is due to the fact that your seminal vesicles are getting full. That feeling will increase until something gives. Not everyone has wet dreams. In reality, a wet dream is when a guy masturbates in his sleep. Some people are able to do it, but others can or only are able to do it in extreme circumstances. From all I read, it typically takes going without masturbation for at least a month before a wet dream happens, if it does happen. Few guys are able to last that long.

Even when a guy has the will power to refrain from masturbating, he might experience a spontaneous ejaculation before a wet dream sets in. A spontaneous ejaculation is where the pressure builds so great that the seminal vesicles overflow and you ejaculate, seemingly for not particular reason. It can be embarrassing if it happens at the wrong time.

I give some suggestions if a person is deadset on having a wet dream in How long does it take to start having wet dreams after you stop masturbating? I don't usually encourage it because if a person doesn't have wet dreams, it is very likely he won't easily pick it up and waiting for one to happen can be difficult. What I would rather you do is learn to manage your body's needs in a way that doesn't involve sin and that keeps temptation to a minimum.

Since it has been nearly six years or so since I've tried to stop masturbating, and I have never gone without it over 20 days. Could trying to achieve a wet dream not be for me, or should I keep trying and if I come to the point where I can't take it anymore then just masturbate? Can I live masturbating moderately without lust to release and relieve my body and by doing this honor God with my sexuality?

A person honors God by doing what God says to do (Luke 6:46). When you don't look at pornography, even though it is tempting to do so, you honor God by not looking because He said it is wrong (I Thessalonians 4:3-5). God said sex belongs only in marriage (Hebrews 13:4), so by waiting until marriage you are giving God honor. But if I decide never to eat pizza again, I can claim I'm doing it for God, but it gives God no honor. God didn't say to give up pizza, I made that decision myself. Therefore abstaining from pizza is really about honoring my decisions.

God doesn't give a command to not masturbate, so trying to give it up doesn't give Him honor. It sounds religious because people say they are doing it for God, but they are the ones making up the rules.

If you don't have wet dreams, oh well. At least you don't have to clean up in the mornings. I would rather see you manage your body so that temptation is kept to a minimum. Don't go off chasing orgasms because they feel good, but when sex interrupts your thoughts and starts to become distracting, then relieve yourself and go on with life.