The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hello,

I have been trying to stop masturbating for nearly a year now and have stopped twice for 30 days.

I am extremely overwhelmed by reading the questions about masturbating. I am just in shock tonight -- I never knew how many people my age were trying to stop it. I might be selfish for saying that in a way, I can't imagine how overwhelmed you are. I have so many questions, but the one that I want to ask is: if I never masturbate again and God shows me or I find the right girl to love one day, will this desire I have now be gone? Will I not want to have sex with her? Is it God's will for me to marry a girl? I've never had a girlfriend.

I have been through so much this year, it's unbelievable. I've had severe anxiety and worrying, deep depression about certain things, and I cry almost every day on my knees asking God to forgive me and help me because I can't quit masturbation without Him. The guilt is very strong, but I know I have the power to stop and never do it again if I want.

I stopped for five days now, and I slip or find an excuse to do it. I have read the Bible quite a lot for the past nine months and try to follow His commands. I've been praying for a girlfriend because I wish I could talk to her and have a loving relationship and kiss (not just for sex), but after realizing it is a sin and what's right and wrong I fall into a deep depression because I know that I'm sacrificing these hopes and dreams to listen to God. I'm so interested and love God, I've prayed that He give me visions and dreams. I pray for a girlfriend every day, but my motive for a girlfriend, I realize, is not right.

My parents are getting divorced this year, and I don't really have friends. I'm home schooled but I've been raised in a strong spiritual Christian family, but my parents are definitely struggling now. I really don't have anyone to talk to and there's is so much on my mind.

I just don't want to sin I want to stay pure and I want to follow all of his commands I want to make God proud. I feel like I am missing out on so much, and I feel like the right age for sex is 15-19 because the body is young and in the Bible that's when people got married. I know how porn affects your marriage and your physical body and mind. I know how masturabtion works and setting yourself up for failure (at least I think I do). I am delirious and have a lot of brain fog, so it's hard for me to type all of this. It's probably too much. I have been seeking God a lot, and I'm am desperate for someone to give me the truthful advice. I want to give glory to God and to give to him. I don't want to be selfish. I don't want to wander from His commands.

Sometimes I feel like if I stop masturbating and porn, He will help me, but I know that's probably not true. I just feel so alone. It's the worst feeling ever. I feel like God hates me sometimes, but I know that's a lie. I've forgotten tons of very important stuff, but please respond to me.


Answer

I'm really sorry that your parents are having a hard time in their marriage. I hope that they can overcome and not get a divorce. I also realize that this alone would put a strain on anyone. But from what I can see in your note, you've added to your strain with some common, but incorrect assumptions.

First off, God is clear that lusting for sin is wrong. This is what makes pornography wrong. Pornography involves two people who aren't married to each other having sex. The term for this is fornication. Watching pornography creates a desire for sex, even when 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). In addition, it creates other problems, such as unrealistic ideas about what sex is really like and seeing women as just objects to ejaculate into. See: Lies Pornography Tells Men. For all these reasons we are told, "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). "Passion of lust" refers to passionate things that creates lust in a person, such as pornography.

One of the difficulties people tend to have is to focus on the physical instead of spiritual problems. Thus, we can see that the Jews in Matthew 5:28 were telling themselves that as long as they weren't having actual sex with some woman, what they thought in their minds didn't matter. While it isn't the same sin, all sin is equally bad. Lusting for adultery is just as bad committing the act of adultery from God's viewpoint. You fell into a similar trap. Your problem is with pornography, but notice that you blamed masturbating until just before the end of your note. The thing is that God never called masturbation a sin, even though masturbation is alluded to in several passages. See: Is masturbation sinful or not? You are like the dieter who blames the food instead of his lack of self-control.

Masturbation is act that triggers an ejaculation. By itself it is neither right nor wrong, but depending how it is used, it can used wrongful. Think of it being like a gun. A gun can be used to commit murder, but it could also be used to enforce the law or to protect someone. It isn't the gun that defines morality, but the purpose that the gun is put to use that defines whether a sin is being committed or not.

The male body produces semen constantly. There is only so much that can be stored before some of it has to be ejaculated. You don't have to masturbate, but you do have to have ejaculations. If you choose not masturbated, then you have to allow wet dreams to happen. But some, in their fears of masturbating, wake up during a wet dream and then stop themselves. Without an outlet, the body eventually gets frantic for relief. Your description of being in a fog and delirious are typical symptoms of going to long without ejaculating, probably due in part to a lack of deep sleep.

A major problem is that you are not giving yourself a way to release semen, so I assume that eventually instinct takes over. Since you are used to using pornography in conjunction with masturbating, you automatically go to it, even though there is no need for it. Even if you don't look at pornography, since you wrongly convinced yourself that it is the masturbation that is wrong. As a result you spend you time convinced you are sinning, even when you actually are not sinning.

What is odd is that you talk about wanting to stop pornography, but you are considering replacing this sin with fornication. Or perhaps I'm misunderstanding your intent.

In the 1800's and early 1900's, the average age to get married was 21 for males. Young men generally waited until they had an established income before asking a woman to marry them. That age has risen to 28 in recent years, but if you know who you want to marry, there isn't any reason someone can't get married once they are 18 or older.

Finding a good woman to marry takes time, effort, and good judgment. But, it is probably best to save a discussion on how to find a woman to marry for another note. But for now, let me point out that your desire for sex is not going to go away unless something goes wrong with your body. God made men and women with a strong desire for sex. The proper way to satisfy that desire is in marriage. Just as when you eat your hunger is tamed from a while, but eventually comes back; so it is when have sex. For a day or more your desire will calm down, but eventually it will return.

Thank you for explaining all of this and clearing up my confusion. I realize that masturbation isn't a sin but can be when used wrongly. What do you think are boundaries for having a relationship for my age? I'm 15 by the way.

I'm really depressed after reading this answer. Just waiting that long for my wife from God and not doing anything if I ever get a girlfriend makes me sad. There are a lot of girls who like me, and everyone tells me I'm cute, even though I don't believe them. I don't know. I have to find the right girl, but my aunt's friend is in his 40's and has been praying for a wife for a long time, so if I continue to follow what you said, I won't expect a wife ever. But Jesus said its better to have a wife then to burn with lust. 

First off, just because you know someone who hasn't found a wife, it doesn't mean you won't find one.

Second, you seem to have the idea that God will give you a wife without any effort on your part. That is not what is taught in the Scriptures. Yes, there were a few times in the Bible when God intervened to help someone find a wife, such as Isaac, but this doesn't mean He does this for everyone. Ruth found Boaz without direct help from God. What God does is tell you how to find a good woman to be your wife and teaches you how to spot evil women who can ruin your life. Whether you listen to God is up to you.

But I also get the impression that you think that the only way to date a girl is by being sexual with her. It is a widespread myth in today's society, but it is still a myth. Dating is about developing a friendship and getting to know another person for who she is. If sex enters the picture, it ends up dominating the relationship. The whole focus of getting together is about sex, which means getting to know the other person's character takes a back seat. The result is an unstable relationship that falls apart because there is no foundation. See: How much sexual stuff is too much?

You know girls who like you. Great! Ask some of them (one at a time) to go do something fun and non-sexual with you. Go to a movie, and the go out for a snack to talk about what you saw. Invite a girl to join you bowling, golfing, volleyball, or whatever thing you like to do.