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Party for one - stewarding your sexuality in the area of masturbation

February 26, 2019

 

Masturbation.

 

It's probably not something you've heard preached on in church.

 

I remember when I first became single and a Christian friend of mine suggested I should buy a vibrator. I was stunned into shocked silence to say the least.

 

But why is it not something that we talk about in Christian circles?

 

If we believe that our sexuality is a gift from God then we should have more questions about the way we steward it. Simply ignoring the topic is not going to make it go away. 

 

For some people it may not be an issue that troubles them but for some it might be a secret struggle which they feel is out of their control.

 

Wherever you feel you are on this topic here's some of my suggestions to help you steward your sexuality in this area.

 

1. Open the discussion

 

If we open our lives to other people we give a chance for God's wisdom and insight to pervade. We also get a chance to process our own feelings when we share stuff with other people. Make sure you have trusted people in your life who you can talk to about these kind of topics without fear of judgement. I would particularly recommend a single friend to share these kind of issues with as they can be seen differently by people who are married. 

 

2. Consider the need you are fulfilling

 

Motivation to masturbate can come from a range of needs.

 

Is it purely physical or is it loneliness or boredom?

 

This might shed light on your feelings towards it and how it is effecting you as a person. If you are trying to fulfil a need which could be met in a different way then perhaps this is an issue that needs addressing.

 

3. Confront addiction 

 

Like any habit that makes us feel good, masturbation can easily become an addiction. Addiction, in all its forms, is a destructive force. If you're concerned that you may be forming an addiction then make sure you get support. The Naked Truth Project has a lot of useful content on this topic - especially in the area of pornography. You are not alone if you are struggling with this - open it up with people that you trust and don't let it stay in the dark - let some light pour in.

 

4. Let God in

 

As with many other 'unsavoury' areas of life it's easy to think that God might be turning his face away from these struggles if we feel ashamed of them. In fact the Bible is full of insight about sexuality and we know that what we do with our minds and bodies is of upmost importance to him because he loves us so much. He created our bodies and he knows how we tick. Make sure you pray into issues that you might feel concerned about and be prepared for the Holy Spirit's peace or discernment on your habits and behaviour.

 

5. Don't fall in a shame hole

 

Shame can be one of the most crippling emotions as a Christian. We can feel unworthy or distant from God. For some reason sexuality is an area where shame seems to creep in most easily... I'm not sure we feel the same amount of shame and condemnation about other things like not fighting global poverty and injustice! Wherever you're at on this topic then please know God's grace as you wrestle with your own habits - shame doesn't move us forward, only love can do that.

 

Check out thenakedtruthproject.com for more support on using pornography and the damaging effect this can have. I would also recommend Party of One by Joy Beth Smith where there is a really helpful, no nonsense chapter about masturbation which draws on teaching and opinions from a range of Christians leaders and scholars.   

 

This is a huge topic which we probably have a vast amount of opinions about but hopefully this blog has opened up the topic for a bit of discussion. There are some tips here which will help you discern what God is saying to you and encourage you to be open with others around you. When we have intentional, trusting friendships no conversation topic should be off limits - and it's the same with God. Every part of your life matters to him and he already knows it all so don't be afraid to be honest and open with him.

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