What are the parameters of masturbation? Is it OK in marriage? What about the inclusion of sexual toys and fantasy? Isn’t this a slippery slide? Does this violate Romans 6:12-23?
This is a good question, I’m sure that the Neilson ratings will be high on this one. Before we get going, let us look at the Biblical passage and as you read it, go slowly and let it soak in. It is perhaps one of the most profound passages within the book of Romans.
“12. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, 13. and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace. 15. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? May it never be! 16. Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17. But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18. and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. 20. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21. Therefore what benefit were you the deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of these things is death. 22. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting gin sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This is a wonderful passage addressing the fact that as Christians, sin is paid for and we are released from the bondage to sin and death. It is possible through obedience to escape the clutches of enslaving sin patterns of all types.
Obviously masturbation is not mentioned within this passage, only the word sin. Nowhere in scripture is the word masturbation mentioned, discussed, endorsed or condemned. The Bible is silent about it. Yet the person asking the question is making the assumption that masturbation is something that could entrap a person into slave like bondage… and he or she is right. But so could food, alcohol, intercourse, porn, cheating, swindling and all immoral / unethical behavior. Nothing is supposed to master me. Many things do. For instance, the Bible endorses sexual intercourse but what if a husband said to his wife that he wanted to have intercourse five times a day… every day. Would intercourse be “mastering” him? Yes it would and that would be wrong.
So here are some guidelines for masturbation:
- Just like jelly doughnuts, nothing should master me. I need to be able to choose (not be hopelessly compelled) if I am going to masturbate. An enslaved person has no choice… they are addicted to the activity.
- If you are married, it should always be done with the knowledge of your spouse and agreed upon. For instance, if a couple is going to be separated for three weeks for travel, they might agree that each person masturbating one time per week during the absence is agreeable.
- It shouldn’t be encouraged by a wife or husband as a means of avoiding sexual intimacy and intercourse.
- Masturbation may be a sexual activity that the couple enjoys doing together to provide variety in their sexual lives.
- At all times, only the person to whom you are married should be in your thoughts while you are masturbating. If you are thinking of someone else (adulterous thoughts) you are in violation of II Corinthians 10:5.
- Fantasies fall into the same category. Any fantasy that involves another person other than your spouse is sin… and that is a slippery slope and is wrong.
- Toys? What’s a toy? If something added to the sexual encounter is appealing to both partners, then that is their preference. Both need to be in agreement. Again, if a “toy” is a blow up doll of your next door neighbor or a porn flick, then it’s not ok. Lingerie for instance could be considered a “toy”… something erotic that adds to the sensuality. If both people like it, cool. But if it’s a Glock 9 MM pistol or handcuffs that cause arousal, which simulates human trafficking, sex slaves and bondage, that definitely does not please the Lord and it is usually something that a Victim type of sexual partner would do. People (usually men) who need these fantasies have sexual arousal mixed up with pain and violence which is usually tied to a chaotic childhood experience. In this is the case, get into therapy.
More next week.
Thanks for listening.
Milan and Kay