Is masturbation wrong for a Christian?

Midsection Of Shirtless Man Holding Laptop In Bed

Masturbation is not wrong for a Christian, in fact it is right and healthy for a Christian (as well as non-Christians). Masturbation can be abused, or used in conjunction with sinful activity, but masturbation in and of itself is not a sin.

Let’s address the Onan in the room

In the Bible there is a character named Onan. He was one of the sons of Judah (a father of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Onan broke God’s law and God struck him dead for it.

The law that Onan broke was the law of Leveratite marriage. Hundreds of years before God had Moses write the first written law of God, God’s law was known only through oral transmission, but his law was known.

The law of Leveratite marriage said that if a man married a woman, and then died before they had any son’s to bear his name and take over his property then one of his brothers would be required to marry her and give her a son. Her first born son would legally not be the son of the brother who married her, but he would be the heir of his sister-in-law’s dead husband. Any children they had together after that could be consider their children together.

Just as a side note, there is no exemption in the Law of Moses for if the brother already had a wife. The Old Testament did not forbid polygamy, it allowed it, and in the case of Levirate marriage it commanded it in the case of a brother already having a wife.

So with all that as backdrop here was the sin that Onan committed:

6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.

7 And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him.

8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.

9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.

10 And the thing which he did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also.

Genesis 38:6-10(KJV)

Judah’s first son was wicked (we are not told how) and God struck him dead. Then Judah commanded his second son Onan to go in to his sister-in-law, Tamar, and “raise up seed to thy brother”, a direct reference to Leveratite marriage. But he knew the child would not be his, and he did not want to give his brother an heir.

The next part is critical – the Bible says he “went in unto his brother’s wife” – this is a direct reference to sexual intercourse. The Bible typically uses two phrases to denote sexual intercourse – phrases like “he knew his wife” or “he went in unto his wife”. What Onan did here when he “spilled it on the ground”, was literally to pull out before ejaculating. This was not masturbation, it was pulling out.

Even if someone could try to show that he did masturbate (which the context clearly shows he did not), that was not the sin God struck him dead for. He was struck dead for violating the Law of Leveratite marriage and also for his attempted deception. He was willing to enjoy the pleasure of his brother’s wife, but he was not willing to fulfill his duty to give her a son.

There is no other passage in all the Bible that talks about a man spilling his seed. But that does not mean that many Christians throughout the centuries have not tried other routes to try and make masturbation a sin.

Aren’t we supposed to deny ourselves?

Some would make the argument that the very definition of masturbation is “self-gratification”, therefore it must still be sin. The Bible talks often about self-denial a lot. Here are few passages:

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

Matthew 16:24(NASB)

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Romans 8:13(KJV)

Let’s just take these two Bible passages as they are great examples to begin this discussion. In Matthew 16 Jesus is talking about the cost of following him while he was on earth. The disciples gave up their homes and everything they had to follow him. Is there some spiritual application as well?

Yes – God does call us to deny ourselves in his service, but what we are denying is our sinful nature. We are not called to deprive our body of food and water (except if we willingly decide we want to fast for a short time).

Not all the desires of the body are sinful, we hunger, we thirst, we desire sex, we desire to have children, we desire to work and have purpose in our lives. Any normal desire can become sinful, when we become unbalanced. We can become gluttons if we eat too much. We become whores when we sleep around and have sex outside of marriage. We become greedy when we work too much and neglect our families.

But what is “living after the flesh”?

In the Bible sometimes the flesh just means, the human body. The Bible says Christ came in the flesh, that he became flesh and dwelt among us. So there are many times when flesh does not have a negative connotation. But other times, “flesh” can be a euphemism for the sinful nature. Those things which we are tempted to do, which would violate God’s law. The Bible lists many of the sins of the flesh in this passage:

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21(KJV)

I don’t see masturbation in that list – do you?

Augustine

It is one thing to lie together with the sole will of generating: this has no fault. It is another to seek the pleasure of flesh in lying, although within the limits of marriage, this has venial fault.

– St. Augustine, one of the most famous Ascetics in history

Asceticism

Asceticism occurred in Christianity as well as other cultures and religions around the world. Just think of monks, whether Christian or Hindu, other similar groups. Asceticism is the idea that by denying one’s self of all or most worldly pleasures, that one can attain a greater spiritual level. Christian monks believed it would bring them closer to God.

So they ate very simple foods, abstained from marriage and many other worldly pleasures. They even taught people who were not monks and who were married, that they should have sex only for procreation and then take vows of celibacy within marriage(yes that is totally crazy, but married couples did take vows of celibacy).

The Apostle Paul was fighting against asceticism rising up in the churches when he wrote these words:

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ…

20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Colossians 2:8 & 20-23(NIV)

Although the primary reason for the next passage from Paul was about his rights as an apostle, it also talks about the basic rights any man has:

4 Don’t we have the right to food and drink? 5 Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas?

I Corinthians 9:4(NIV)

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

I Timothy 4:1-5(NIV)

It is unfortunate that right after the Apostles died the war against asceticism in the church was lost and many of the early church father’s came to embrace asceticism. This asceticism reigned supreme throughout the Catholic Church, and even when the Protestants came to question many Catholic teachings, they left much of the church’s asceticism intact.

When Paul talks about “in later times”, he was referring to his own time. Paul truly believed he was living in the last days before Christ’s return. He is talking about the asceticism that had already come into the church. He holds no punches and calls this out as evil and wicked.

I think a key phrase here can be found in I Timothy 4:4, when Paul says “For everything God created is good”. When God created man and woman in the Garden of Eden, as fully sexual beings, he called his creation “good”. Christian asceticism teaches men to treat their bodies “harshly”, it tells them to “touch not, handle not, taste” not. The problem is these are based on human tradition and not God’s Word. God has given us food, drink, sex and children, and the satisfaction of a hard day’s work for our own pleasure. These are not things to run from, they are things to embrace.

Now are some people, a few specially chosen people, called by God to live celibate lives as both Christ and Paul told us? Yes. But they are the exception, and not the norm. No person should embark on the celibate life without a lot of prayer and consideration to make sure they truly have the gift of celibacy.

The rest of us, the majority of us, do not have the gift of celibacy, but instead we have the gift of sex.

But isn’t sex reserved for marriage?

Yes and No. Yes – Sexual intercourse, oral sex or any other sex between a man and woman are reserved for marriage. Homosexuality and sex with animals is completely forbidden. But nowhere is the act of giving one’s self an orgasm forbidden anywhere in the Bible. This act used to be called masturbation and in recent times is called solo-sex.

As I said earlier, the false teachings of Christian Asceticism taught that God only created sex as a necessary evil for procreation. They taught that God only made sex for having babies and that was it.

But the truth is that God created our sex drive, and our subsequent ability to have an orgasm for these three reasons:

  1. Pleasure, and relaxation. Viewing the opposite sex, especially for men, can be very pleasurable. Having an orgasm can relieve stress and relax a person.
  2. In the context of marriage, sex goes even further than pleasure and relaxation, and draws a couple closer together. It helps them to express their love, it takes on a spiritual meaning in representing the oneness of Christ with his church.
  3. Also in the context of marriage, sex is meant for procreation. God never intended for couples to get married and purposefully never have children. While having children is certainly not the only reason for which God designed sex, it definitely is one of the primary purposes he had in mind.

Sex and Communion have something have in common?

Yep I said it and now I will back it up. The desire to have sex, and the desire to eat are either called “base” or “primal” urges. They actually originate in the same part of the brain. The same area of the brain that makes a man hungry when he sees an image of food he likes or smells food he likes is the same area that gives him pleasure when he sees a beautiful woman, or smells her perfume, or even natural scent.

Normally when we eat, it is to sustain us, but often times it is purely for pleasure (i.e. junk food). We try to choose foods we like, or we see or smell some food we would like to try and we eat it.

But when we take communion, it takes on a spiritual meaning. Yes we are still eating, but in communion this eating takes on a completely spiritual meaning. Here is a “base” operation of our body, being used to represent a beautiful spiritual symbol. It represents the unity of the church, as well as the remembrance of Christ’s broken body and shed blood for us.

In a similar way, sex in the context of marriage takes on a dual meaning. Communion only has one purpose, and that is to symbolize Christ’s sacrifice for us and the unity of his church. But sex (another “base” desire) has dual purposes and meanings. In one sense it is meant for physical pleasure and relaxation and also to draw us closer to our spouse. But it also has a second meaning, a spiritual meaning. In marriage it represents the unity of Christ and his church.

So how does this relate to masturbation?

The point is that masturbation is purely a physical expression of our sexuality, and it does not take on the dual meaning of sex within marriage. Basically masturbation is not much different than having a bowel movement.

The only difference between a bowel movement and masturbation is that masturbation not only relieves physical stress, but also helps to clear the mind as well.

Can masturbation be unhealthy or wrong?

Masturbation can be unhealthy or wrong under these circumstances:

  1. You are compulsively masturbating to the point that it interferes with your job or other interpersonal relationships.
  2. If it stops you from seeking out relationships and ultimately marriage to the opposite sex.
  3. If it interferes with intimacy in your marriage, or makes you somehow unable to perform sexually with your spouse.
  4. You are watching people looking at bad porn(group sex, homosexual sex, rape sex, violent sex, as opposed to normal heterosexual sex as God designed it).

What are healthy ways a Christian can masturbate?

The first thing to realize is that it is very difficult for many people, especially men, to masturbate without some sort of visual stimulation (either in print, or using some images in our mind). In fact it can be a down right grueling experience without these things.

Certain types of porn – those of just naked women or couples engaging in normal heterosexual sex as God designed it are an option. I realize what I just said probably made you fall out of your chair. Let me refer you to the topic Christian porn(porn that falls within Biblical boundaries) as discussed on a great Christian Porn site(one the only ones I know of):

The Difference between Good Porn and Bad Porn

Why Porn is not bad for Christians or anybody else

The Bible does talk about us not “uncovering the nakedness” of our close relatives. But this was a euphemism for incest. The Bible was forbidding sex between close relatives. There is also a famous story about Ham seeing his father Noah naked, but this was not a command about nakedness. The issue was that he was mocking his father’s nakedness after he got drunk, that was his sin.

But isn’t looking at nude pictures lust?

Biblically speaking lusting is thinking about possessing someone or something that does not belong to us. For instance if you look at a young woman and are sexually aroused by her, or imagine how she looks naked, there is no sin. Actually having sex with that young woman, is reserved for marriage. You cannot possess her sexually without first marrying her. To think thoughts of how to entice a young woman to have sex with you outside of marriage is a form of covetousness.

Even when viewing someone married to someone else, the sin is not in the arousal or the imagination of that person, it is in the coveting. If you begin to have covetous thoughts about how you may lure them to have sex with your or leave their husband you have sinned.

So yes it is healthy for you to masturbate using nude pictures, paintings or drawings, or even porn(that stays within the heterosexual bounds(one man, one woman), not group sex or homosexual sex).

I have pretty much have covered the issues surrounding how to masturbate in a healthy way. Now I want to cover healthy reasons why we should masturbate.

What are healthy reasons why we should masturbate?

  1. To relieve the various stresses of life, work and other issues (as long as it does make us remove ourselves from interpersonal relationships.)
  2. To make up for differences in sexual drive between a husband and wife. Even in a healthy marriage, there times when our sex drives just don’t measure up, but we don’t want to bother the other spouse. In these times it is ok to masturbate to balance out the differences in drive.
  3. When married couples are separated by long distances – a good example would be when men are in the military.
  4. For married men to fulfill their need for sexual variety. It is not wrong for a married man to view nude images (not fornicating images) of various women and masturbate.
  5. For single Christian men and women to avoid fornication. This is one of the biggest reasons young teens and adults should not be shamed for masturbating, but should in fact be encouraged to masturbate. Many a teen or young adult would not have had pre-marital sex if they felt masturbation was an acceptable alternative.

The four reasons I give above are primary reasons why we should masturbate. There is one other that I wanted to treat separately because it is more complicated. More often than not this issue affects women more than men. Some women simply have a hard time having an orgasm through intercourse. It is just a medical fact. Even after exploring all the possible physiological and physical issues it just is difficult for some women.

These same women don’t feel like asking their husbands every time they have sex to manually stimulate them or perform oral sex (but husbands should be willing to do this if asked). So at some point these women may go off on their own and masturbate to give themselves some relief. Some women don’t need this, or rarely need it, others need it almost every time.

There is no sin in this behavior. Ladies, I would just give a word of caution that you make sure you have tried everything first with your husband to try and have orgasms with him. Many women find, (and their husbands do as well) that when they both take the pressure off her to have an orgasm during intercourse she actually has one!

Conclusion and Application

It is not a sin to masturbate. Masturbation can be abused like anything else (including eating). But when done in a healthy way, and for the right reasons, masturbation can be wonderful part of the gift of sexuality that God has given us.

29 thoughts on “Is masturbation wrong for a Christian?

  1. I am married but I have started looking at adult web sites on the compuer which leads me to masturbation I feel very ashamed and looking for a way to tell my wife I am addicted to masturbating to porn on the computer how should I tell her? I know this will hurt her feelings which I do not want to do.

    1. As Christians we should feel shame when we sin. Sometimes sin we commit is against our fellow man, including our spouses or our children.

      First let’s define the sin we are talking about. It is not a sin to look at a naked woman and be aroused by that. It is not even sin to masturbate with the image of that naked woman in your head. It is however a sin to look at unmarried men and women having sex, because they are committing fornication, and you are taking pleasure in someone else’s sinful activity.

      So if you have been going to adult web sites and looking at unmarried men and women having sex you indeed have sin and have something to feel ashamed about. You should NOT be ashamed of your sexuality, or the fact that nakedness or sexuality turns you on, that is completely normal. You should NOT be ashamed of the fact that a naked woman other than your wife turns you on, again this is completely normal and never condemned by the Bible.

      Your shame should be constrained to the fact that you took pleasure in other people’s sin, mainly that you masturbated to other people fornicating.

      Now comes the big answer to your question – do you tell your wife? My answer is NO. Your sin is not against her, it is against God. Contrary to some popular Christian teaching, you cannot be unfaithful to your wife with an image or movie. That is not a person, it is only the image of a person.

      Lustful thoughts require sexual covetousness. Did you look up the porn actresses you were watching, and find their phone numbers and addresses? Did you fantasize about going to California or wherever they are and paying them to have sex with you? If all you did was get pleasure from watching them have sex, then you have not lusted, yet you still have sinned because Christians cannot take pleasure from the sins of others.

      It might feel great to unload your sin upon your wife. You might feel like if you tell her about it that you it will be so traumatic that you will never ever do it again, because you know you will have to tell her. Let me stop you right there. Many a good husband has had the same exact thought as you and they found out the hard way how wrong they were.

      Most women think they want their husbands to share everything with them, when the fact is they simply cannot handle or process this type of thing. If you tell your wife, she may never look at you the same ever again. It will almost assuredly break down the trust in your marriage, and eventually when trust goes, the love goes.

      So you need to ask the Lord for forgiveness, and find another MAN that can help hold you accountable about the porn. Make sure it is someone you can trust that will not betray your confidence.

      Also understand that as male, most men have a need for sexual variety. There is nothing wrong with you looking at pictures of naked women, you just cannot look at pictures or movies of people fornicating.

      You will never stop being drawn to the female form, you simply need to channel that sexual energy into non-sinful outlets.

      Also make sure you are being intimate with your wife, and that you are enjoying her sexuality. Masturbation and looking at nakedness is not wrong in and of itself, but it can become wrong if it negatively affects your sexual intimacy with your wife, or if interferes in other areas of your life like your job.

      1. Thanks for the advice– I probably should have told that I went to counseling with my wife but she decided to stop going because her sister is sick because of her cemo treatment, anyway I have been struggling because we rarely have sex and she always makes me feel guilty for masturbating,, what should I do? Well I usually give into sin and look at porn and masturbate several times a day, I always feel shame and guilt after I go to these porn sites but it is like an addiction I pray for the power to stay away from them but when I get aroused I always go back to these porn sites. I think I am addicted to these porn sites but I always tell myself it is okay because I am only masturbating and not having sex and this is when. I feel all the shame and guilt of looking at porn, if anybody can offer me any advice I would greatly appreciate it I would also like to know if there is a support group for men who are in sexless marriages- thanks and god bless you.

      2. Rick,

        I really feel your struggle – I have been there myself many times over my life(I am almost 40). Like you I am dealing with a wife who has a lot of different health problems and her health and emotional issues often cause a lot of problems with us being physically intimate. We who are Christians and know God’s law understand it is not right to take pleasure from watching unmarried people have sex. For me it was a long struggle with many ups and downs when it came to pornography, with the internet it is so freely available, you don’t even have to pay for it anymore since there is so much free stuff out there now. You don’t have to go to some shady adult bookstore, it is all there, available in the privacy of your own home.

        For me it took some time, and I tripped up many times, occasionally I still trip up. That’s a big admission for me, and some people reading this site looking for anything to discredit me will take this admission, that I still get tripped up and look at a porn site as saying I have no right to speak on this subject. But what I was able to do over time was, realize that nudity in and of itself is not wrong and that I could direct myself toward erotic images when I felt drawn to porn, and then I could take care of myself as needed. As I have said many times on this site, our brains are wired for sexuality, and as men our brains are naturally wired to desire to see, and to take pleasure from the female form(whether clothed, partially clothed or fully nude). We simply have to train our mind to use healthy forms of nudity to fulfill this natural desire, and not unhealthy ones or things that have images of people breaking God’s law.

        The problem with 95% of porn support groups is – they will teach you that all viewing of nudity is wrong. They will teach you that you are objectifying women. They will teach you that you have to suppress your natural sexual desires, and they will in fact call them “unnatural”.

        Rick – I am going to tell you something that a lot of people will not understand. You have to forgive yourself. You have to give your guilt to God, and you need to accept his forgiveness. We all sin each and every day, in so many ways. You may find this a strange thing, but once you start giving your guilt to God, asking for and truly knowing each day your are forgiven it in many ways becomes easier. You will find yourself not thinking about porn as much, and when you do if you immediately redirect yourself to simple erotica and then take care of yourself you will have nothing to ask forgiveness for, nothing to feel guilty about.

        Let me put this another way. The Bible clearly says Christians should not curse. From time to time a curse word will come out of my mouth under certain circumstances. I ask God to forgive me and all is well, I am forgiven and that sin no longer hangs over me. I realize with porn it may feel different, because you think about it before you actually do it, and it certainly lasts longer than a curse word or two coming from your lips in a spontaneous moment. But the principle remains the same. God forgives us, for sins that happen in a moment, and even for sins we try to fight before eventually giving into them.

        So yes I like you have a wife that has a lot of physical and emotional issues. We don’t have sex that often because of these issues, and even when we do have sex it is rarely anything more than missionary position in our bed. Maybe 4 or 5 times a year we have really great sex where we do more than what I just described. So I am often left to fulfill my sexual needs through erotica, and for the most part that works and I don’t have to feel guilty. But occasionally I am pulled back into the porn from some ad or some other thing and you know what – afterwards I ask God to forgive me, I give him the guilt, he knows my heart that I love him and I love my wife and I move on. I hope and pray at some point you will be able to do the same my friend. Ask God to forgive you, receive his forgiveness, give him all your guilt and shame, move on.

      1. When she caught me in the shower that morning masturbating she later told me it hurt her feelings because in her eyes I was masturbating because she felt that she was not sexually arousing me anymore–I told that was not true but that I enjoy jacking off in the shower by myself–she did not believe that but it is the truth, oh well she has already moved on but I find most women to be like that.

      2. Yes many women do not understand masturbation..except for the ones who do it themselves and are honest to admit it..thats why it is not a conversation u want to have with ur wife…but maybe ur wife wont sneak up on u in the shower anymore..lol

  2. Jeff

    I have really been enjoying your site and how clearly you have presented things from a Biblical perspective.I would have never thought different about these matters a yr ago, but what started causing me to do some research is that I could have victory in so many areas of my life and yet i couldn’t understand why i couldn’t kick this one. i guess i was never meant to. I enjoy my You Tube channel, which is tremendous source of stimulation and arousal,as well as other sources.Thanks a bunch. i don’t have to feel like I’m constantly sinning in this area. I enjoy the pictures you post as well. Keep it up. You should add a video selection to your page.lol

    1. Well she caught me jacking off again this time I was out in the garage and spilled some motor oil 10w30-penzoil to be exact–anyway I felt my self geeting excited and put some motor oil on my hand and grabbed a porno mag and about 5 minutes later she walked in the side door on the garage and saw me jacking off–she got mad when I asked her to leave and let me finish jacking off-oh well we made up later and had great sex in the pool that night..

      1. Rick,

        A couple of things about what you said – I am not judging you, just offering some Christian brotherly advice. You need to be careful of masturbating in public, or semi-public places where people could just walk in. Also as I hope you have not gotten the impression that I am OK with all pornography, but I am saying looking at nudity itself is not wrong. It would be wrong to look at photos or videos of unmarried people having sex. Again I am not judging – just clarifying a few things.

  3. Jeff

    Here is something I had just though about this week: How dose developing the habit of masturbating carry on into marriage and how does it affect its intimacy in marriage? I’ve been married for 24 yrs and how I felt about it is starting to become a veg memory.I know I restrained myself from doing it for a few yrs leading up to because i wanted to ‘ keep’ myself for my wife. Just wanted to get your thoughts on it. Does it help or hinder intimacy?

    1. I think it could both hinder and help intimacy. I could hinder intimacy if you are not discreet about it. For instance if you had to take a bowel movement would you just stop in the middle of the road and do it? Or would you do it privately? It can also hinder intimacy if you do it so much that you don’t want to, or need to do anything with your wife – this is an issue for some men, but not for others. It can help the intimacy in your marriage if you have an extremely high sex drive and your wife just could not keep up and then you take care of yourself so you are not acting frustrated toward her.

  4. Jeff

    In Proverbs 5, we are told to’ rejoice with the wife of thy youth’ Prior to that we are told to ‘ let thy fountain be blessed’. are these two separate enjoyments or are they one in the same?

    1. I do agree with Proverbs and other areas in the bible that talk about masturbation but my problem is when I get on the computer I often go to porn sites and masturbate after I have ejaculated I feel guilty and shameful because I know I have.committed a sin ,how do i deal with my shame and anger i feel towards myself,for i know it is a sin going to these filthy porn sites. When I masturbate in the shower I do not feel the same guilt because I do not feel like I am sinning,if anybody has felt like this please give me your thoughts on this subject’s thanks and god bless.

      I

    2. I don’t think Proverbs 5 is talking about masturbation per say. I think it is talking about about using your fountain with your wife(or wives), and making legitimate children that will be you own, instead of your bastard children from whores running around in the streets.

  5. Jeff

    I agree with so much of what you have to say on this site. What I am having a hard time reconciling is the hiding, deceit, sneaking, and just general dishonesty that tends to come along with this. For instance, if my wife happens to come along and ask me if I’ve looked at anything on the internet recently,what do i say. Hope you can help me with this.

    1. Jeff,

      I feel your concern, and it is something I should write about, and I have plans to. I will try and give you a short answer to your dilemma and perhaps I will have a longer answer later. Not one place in the Bible does it tell a man he must tell his wife all of his thoughts, or all of his actions. This is a modern phenomenon where men are told they must tell their wives everything. For that matter, it goes the same for wives, they do not have to tell their husbands everything.

      Now there is a difference between a husband and a wife, in that the husband is the wife’s authority and as Ephesians 5:24 states “wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” I would suggest you visit http://biblicalgenderroles.com/ for more on the topic of the Biblical roles of husband and wife.

      Now do I think it is ok for a wife to go a secretly spend money, and then not tell her husband about it or try and cover it up with some falsehood? If it is for a surprise birthday present for him, then ok it is fine. But if it is to buy some expensive purse she wanted, then it is not fine, and the reason it is not fine is because he is her authority in all areas, especially money and she needs to submit to him in this and be honest.

      But guess what – if a husband decides to keep secret bank account so he can save money for his families future and not have his wife bugging him to spend the money all the time – nothing forbids him from this, he is the head of his home and he does not have to tell his wife everything. In fact if a husband is decides to manage the family finances and simply give his wife an allowance each week with her having no knowledge of family finances, nothing Biblical forbids him from taking that approach as the leader of his home.

      Your issue is a much bigger one than masturbation. It is one of taking the spiritual leadership in your home. Yes if she asks you if you have looked at anything online and you say no, when you have that is a lie.

      She is not your authority, you do not have the answer the question. You can tell her that you have a difference on this issue, and you do not feel the need to discuss it, that you love her and you will always love her and be faithful to her. There are some things about you, that she will never understand, and that you and she will never agree on she needs to leave it at that.

      That is one approach. The next approach is if you feel you cannot confront her and take the reigns of your marriage and family, then you can take the approach of the fact that you are protecting your marriage. If she asks and you say no, it is no more different than if she asks if she is wearing something does she look fat in it – there are many small areas that we do this kind of thing all the time. There are many ways in which wives may be very sensitive, and sure we can be brutally honest, or we can protect our wife’s feelings and tell them what they want to hear.

      Contrary to common teachings telling lies, Lies are not always forbidden in the Bible. The Jewish mid-wives lied to protect baby Israelites when pharaohs soldiers came to kill them and Rahab the harlot lied to protect the Israelite spies who came to Jericho. The Bible clearly says that God blessed these people for their actions in these cases.

      A lie is wrong when it is done to cover our own wrong doing, or the wrong doing of others. A lie is not covering a wrong, when it is protecting the innocence of someone, or saving human life, or protecting the feelings of someone.

      For instance, if you wife asks if she looks fat in dress – and you think she does, but you no it would serve no good purpose to tell her so and it would only hurt her why would you tell her yes? Your lie is not covering any wrong doing, but instead protecting her feelings.

      So to bring this full circle, if your wife asks you if you have looked at anything online and you don’t believe that what you looked at was wrong(even if she would), then when lie and say no, you are not covering your own wrong doing(because it is not wrong doing), but you are instead protecting her feelings and the peace of your marriage.

      You have to decide which of these approaches you will take my friend.

  6. Jeff

    As always I appreciate your response. This is very good and I do see your point here. Still have to give this a bit more thought ,but the main point is that,as you said, I, as her husband,, are her authority and ultimately I have to answer to God for the choices I make for me and my family.She doesn’t have that responsibility as a wife.

  7. Jeff

    I guess this brings up another question….I know, I full of questions. : ) What does it Biblically mean to be ‘ faithful’ to your wife?

    1. Sorry again for taking so long to answer this question, I completely forgot about it. Obviously Ephesians 5:26 says that husbands ought to “love” their wives. Ephesians says a husband is to “cherish”or “care” for this wife depending on translation. What it actually means is to protect and guard his wife, as mother hen protects and guards her eggs. The “love” of Ephesians 5 is not a romantic love, but an “Agape” love, a love of the will, of duty, not of emotions – because it is not based on feelings, it is an unconditional love.

      But faithfulness, unlike the modern definitions(and by modern I mean many centuries old), does not mean monogamy. A man being faithful to his wife is actually best presented back in the Old Testament in Exodus 21:10(NIV):

      “If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.”

      Once a man marries a woman, he has an obligation to feed her, cloth her and have sex with her even if he marries another woman, that is the definition of Biblical faithfulness to one’s wife.

      So Biblically speaking, it would not be unfaithfulness for a man to find other women attractive, or even fantasize about other woman. If we were living in a society that allowed polygamy, it would not even be unfaithfulness for a man to date and marry another woman while married to his first wife. If you are feeding your wife, clothing your wife, having sex with your wife and loving her with the sacrificial agape love(love of the will, of duty) that God calls you to, then you are being faithful to your wife.

  8. Jeff

    Thanks for getting back with me. I was getting a little anxious to here your answer would be to this, and just as I thought, it wasn’t the answer I would traditionally have been given. That is very interesting and it makes alot of sense. I would never practice polygamy,( one woman is enough, lol ) but its good to here that this was something that God never condemned,just regulated it. Wow, dating another woman, with the intent of marrying! That would never fly with 99% of western culture women. Ive asked a few other questions on a few of you other posts.

  9. skree99

    Is to alright to fantasize about a person that you already had sex with (meaning a person that you had pre-marital sex with (on numerous occassions) ?

    1. Yes – I think so as long as this fantasy does not turn into covetous thoughts where you want to seek them out to have sex again. The danger is covetousness. So you need to have a clear boundary set in your head. If you can’t think about them sexually without it turning to covetous thoughts then perhaps you should think of someone else whom you have not had a previous relationship with.

  10. nicolas

    dude -you are right on -these naysayers that equate masturbation as an act that can’t be done without lust didn’t know me when I was 11 and the only thing I knew was , wow…this is awesome.

  11. M

    Comments like that which Augustine made make me quite angry to be honest, because clearly according to that in Corinthians about marital sex, it’s not only NOT a venial fault, but you’re actually commanded NOT to abstain. It’s sad that many have a wrong view of sex even today.

    And you’re right, people should get to know their bodies so they know what they like.

    I’ve been greatly blessed by this site and I can’t thank you enough. Keep posting your great posts! God bless

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