Debunking “Your Brain on Porn”

The website “Your Brain on Porn” or YBOP it is sometimes referred to has attempted to convince people that Porn use actually changes and warps the brain in a negative way. This is of course just one of many sites that attempt to use brain science to convince people that porn use hurts the brain.

As I have said many times on this site, anything can be abused including food, alcohol and even things like video games and gambling. So just as someone can have an addiction to food they can also become addicted to porn. But just because something has the potential for abuse or addiction does not make that thing wrong in and of itself. It is the abuse of these things that is wrong.

“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” – I Corinthians 6:12 (KJV)

So even though it is lawful for us to play video games, watch TV, eat food and drink alcohol if we come under the power of these things (become addicted to them where they control our lives) then the abuse of it becomes sin.

Sexual Imagination is NOT Lust

Biblically speaking there is nothing wrong with a man having sexual imaginations or looking at sexual imaginations on film (porn). This is not lust. Lust is not sexual arousal or sexual imagination – Lust is covetousness.

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” – Romans 7:7 (KJV)

Some would point to Matthew 5:28 to say that looking at porn is lust and therefore sin.

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” – Matthew 5:28 (KJV)

Rather than spend a lengthy amount of time here on that passage when others have handled it well I will refer you to a recent post by BiblicalGenderRoles.com author Larry Solomon entitled “The Church Women and Barbeques” where he dives deep into Matthew 5:28 and its actual meaning.

The point here is looking at a woman and being aroused by her or having a sexual imagination of her is not sin or lust or wrong in anyway. It is when we begin to have covetous thoughts of how we can actually possess a woman outside of marriage that our thoughts turn to sin.

Two other Christian authors have written some great posts about why it is not sin for Christians to enjoy erotica and porn. So again rather than me just repeating what they have said – I will let them say it in their own words.

Why Porn is not bad for Christians or anybody else

http://genesis2twentyfive.com/erotica/introduction.html

I actually agree more with the position of restoringchristiansexuality.com on this subject of porn than genesis2twentyfive.com but they both make some similar points. The big difference between the two sites is that restoringchristansexuality.com believes we can redeem the word “porn” and use to refer to imagery that does not violate God’s laws regarding sexuality.

Psychology Today takes on “Your Brain on Porn”

I don’t agree with Psychology Today in everything they write as they are not a Christian website. But that does not mean there is no truth in anything they write. They do have some well researched and well written articles.

In an article entitled “Your Brain on Porn – It’s NOT Addictive”, David J Ley Ph.D. writes:

“There has been a tremendous amount of hyperbole about porn use, with many authors and doomsayers claiming that viewing porn triggers dangerous neurochemical changes in the brain. But, groundbreaking new research says that it just ain’t so, and that people who are problem users of porn are actually people with high libidos, NOT people whose brains have been warped sex and porn.

Popular antiporn advocates such as YourBrainonPorn and the group called Fight The New Drug , argue that porn use is a public health issue, not a free speech issue. These advocates often assert that if people and society only knew the damage that porn use was causing to our brains, that we would regulate it, in ourselves, and in the access that is allowed…

Fascinating, rigorous new research has now been done, which actually examined the brains of alleged sex addicts, and guess what? The results are a bit different than the rhetoric. In fact, the results don’t support that sex addiction is real, or reflects any unique brain-related issues at all.”

New research, according to this article, demonstrates that the different and higher reactions to porn and other sexual stimuli are not due to changes that porn causes to the brain – but simply differences in libido between different people.

In other words – if you have a higher libido you are going to have a larger reaction in your brain than someone with a lower libido – porn use does not make you have a higher libido.

This is the same argument people have tried to use regarding violent video games. Violent video games do make kids violent, the kids that are violent already had violent tendencies BEFORE they ever played those games.

In fact it could be argued that violent video games actually give people with more aggressive tendencies a virtual outlet so they don’t feel as compelled to act these things out in real life. In the same way I would argue that porn use rather than increasing actual sexual immorality (use of prostitutes or engaging in other sexually immoral acts) decreases these things because it gives men a virtual outlet for their natural sexual desires.

You can read the full post from Psychology today here:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/women-who-stray/201307/your-brain-porn-its-not-addictive

Here are some more resources on this issue.

Porn is not the Problem – You Are

Five reasons you need to watch porn

Ten Reason porn is actually good for you

http://www.webmd.com/men/guide/male-masturbation-5-things-you-didnt-know?page=2

The difference between good porn and bad porn

Is “Christian Porn” an oxymoron?

Why Porn is not bad for Christians or anybody else

Sex is a need, not just a want

SexIsANeed

Do human beings need sex or just want sex? Some people believe that sex is nothing more than a desire or want.  After all – no one ever died from not having sex.

But the truth is there are many needs that we have as human beings that if they go unmet my not result in our death.

Most human beings need to be around other people.  If you were to take most people and remove them from all human contact it would eventually make them go crazy.

No one one would argue with that fact that women have the need to emotionally connect with their husbands.

But for some reason when it comes to sex – we somehow tend to set that aside as want, rather than a need.

I heard this saying about sex:

“While no one ever died from not having sex, many marriages have died from not having sex”.

What a true statement – let that sink in.

Human beings, both men and women need sex. The way we approach sex as men and women may be very different, but sex is a need regardless.

God identifies sex with the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter in Exodus 21:10-11:

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” – Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

If you were wondering, the “duty of marriage” literally means “conjugal rights”, or right to sex. The only people who do not have a need for sex are those whom God has given the gift of celibacy for his service (like the Apostle Paul).

God reiterates this fact in I Corinthians and makes sure we know that obviously sex is a need not just for women, but also for men:

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)

The one exception to sex being a need is if a man or woman is given the gift of celibacy as opposed to the gift of sex.

Conclusion

Christian husband do you see giving your wife sex as something that is just as important as making sure she is feed and clothed?

Christian wife do see that your husband needs sex with you as much as he needs food? If God calls sex a need, then we ought to regard it as such.

A review of Michael Pearls Freedom from Addictions

Every Mans Battle1

Michael Pearl on his NoGreaterJoy.org site wrote an article entitled “Freedom From Addictions” – this article was forwarded to me by one of my loyal readers (thanks – Jeff). Obviously if you have read many of the articles on this site, especially those on masturbation and the viewing of erotica, I do not believe these practices are wrong, in and of themselves.

However I have stated many times on this site that engaging in masturbation and viewing erotica (even erotica that does not depict Biblically immoral behavior) can become wrong if we allow these things to control us, instead of us controlling them.

““Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be brought under the control of anything.”

I Corinthians 6:12

For instance, food is good, and it gives us pleasure to eat our favorite dishes. However food can become bad if we live our entire lives for our next meal. The same principle applies to our sexuality, which is a gift from God. When experienced in measured amounts (just like eating in measured amounts and at appropriate times) the pleasure we receive from our sexuality can be a very good thing, and we don’t have to feel guilty about it.

But if you abuse the freedom God has given you with regard to your sexuality, and you spend every waking hour of the day looking at erotica and masturbating, then you are now being controlled by your sexuality, instead of you controlling your sexuality.

Michael Pearl’s full article – “Freedom From Addictions” can be found at http://nogreaterjoy.org/articles/freedom-addictions/

With all that said – let me highlight some quotes by Mr. Pearl and show where I agree with him on some things, and disagree with him others.

Mr. Pearl states:

“Addiction is the state of being enslaved to a substance or habit, the cessation of which causes emotional distress or bodily trauma. It takes away from ordinary life responsibilities such as work, relationships, or health, and consumes a disproportionate amount of time and energy…

Addictions can be substance based, like drugs or alcohol, or non-substance based, like video games, social media, gossip, exercise, gambling, shopping, overeating, abusing one’s self, and pornography. Addiction comes through frequent and continual reliance upon the action as a source of pleasure. Any source of pleasure can become an addiction. All addictions begin with pleasure and turn to dependency.”

I completely agree with Mr. Pearl’s definition of Addiction as stated here.

Mr. Pearl States:

“Researchers can place you in a functional MRI (fMRI) machine and show you a series of pictures, noting the part of your brain that has activity, and how intense that activity is compared to the average subject.”

I have cited on multiple occasions the research findings from the book “His Brain, Her Brain” that confirm that there is actually a biochemical reaction that men get from seeing women, whether clothed, partially clothed or nude:

“the average man’s brain is sexually stimulated by visual cues and is built for variety…

Using functional MRI scans, researchers examined the brains of young men as they looked at pictures of beautiful women. They found that feminine beauty affects a man’s brain at a very primal level – similar to what a hungry person gets from a good meal or addict gets from a fix. One of the researchers said, “This is hard core circuitry. This is not a conditioned response.” Another concluded, “Men apparently cannot do anything about their pleasurable feelings [in the presence of beauty]”

Dr. Walt Larimore, MD – pg. 99 “His Brain, Her Brain”

So I agree for the most part with what Mr. Pearl said about MRI’s revealing what we are attracted to. I think it gets a little subjective when we start talking about what is normal “intensity” for one man, than another as I think some men are just more visual than others.

Mr. Pearl states:

“Some things are harmful (wrong) only when done in excess, like eating, shopping, use of electronic media, etc. But other things are harmful (wrong) from the very first experience, like drunkenness, getting high on drugs, or viewing pornography…”

Mr. Pearl mentions some things that are only wrong when done in excess – agreed. But then he lists some things that when done only once cause damage. One bout of drunkenness could cause damage, if your drove, operated machinery or tried to do many other things, so on that I would partially agree. However if a surgeon were operating on man and the only pain reliever he had was alcohol, then in this case it would be right for this surgeon to get this man drunk(and this drunkenness would not cause damage) before performing surgery, so as to alleviate the pain(“Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish..” Proverbs 31:6).

But then we come to pornography. I agree that there is bad pornography that is harmful to a man even from the very first use of it. If a man is feeding his mind with images of homosexual sex (including lesbians), incest, orgies, swinger sex and other disgusting or perverted acts I agree this is harmful.

But Mr. Pearl would include under his definition of pornography, regular nudity, such as nude women, paintings, drawings, photos and movies of couples engaging in normal heterosexual sex. On this I would have to disagree with his inclusion of these as wrong for a Christian man to view when they are not.  These images do not violate God’s design of heterosexual sex and there is no shame or wrong in enjoying the sight of such images.

Mr. Pearl’s attack on man’s maleness

But then Mr. Pearl gets to one of his most false statements in this post:

“It takes repeated experience over a period of time to develop an addiction for alcohol or drugs. It takes longer to develop addictions to social media, gambling, gossip, and overeating. But the day a boy goes through puberty he is already addicted to pornography, for he is created to crave the female form in all of its beauty and lust. It just takes one glimpse at the naked form on a cell phone for a young boy to be fully addicted, like the former alcoholic who takes a single drink and finds himself entirely in the grip of the addiction he laid down ten years earlier. All young men are recovering pornography addicts and will remain so the rest of their lives, even if they have never seen the first image.”

Mr. Pearl takes a very negative view toward male sexuality, even more than I usually see from those Christians who believe similar to him.

So the day a boy starts puberty, he is already “addicted to pornography”? That is like saying the day a baby is born, they are “already addicted to food” because they have an instinctual desire to feed from their mother’s breast.

Instead of looking at a young boy’s coming of age, and his appreciation of the female form as a gift from God, Mr. Pearl sees male sexuality as a curse, a sin, something to be suppressed. Mr. Pearl’s attack on male sexuality is not found anywhere in the Word of God, but they are as Paul states in Colossians 2:22 – the “commands and doctrines of men”.

Mr. Pearl would claim he is not a Christian ascetic (a believer in the false heretical doctrine that says Christians are not to enjoy anything pleasurable – even sex with their own wife). But by his statement that when a boy starts puberty, he is “addicted to pornography” Mr. Pearl is falling into the error of Christian ascetism, he is just using a targeting his ascetism to particular practices which he deems to be immoral.

Lies told about erotica, and the real truth

It is possible, very possible, for a young man, a middle aged man, or even an elderly man to enjoy erotica that does not depict Biblically immoral acts, and also for a man to masturbate with or without these images and NOT become addicted to either one.

The great lie that is told by many Christian leaders (and even non-Christians who come from feminist backgrounds) is that erotica (which they lump in with true bad pornography) and masturbation always lead to addictive and deviant behavior that becomes more and more depraved.

The truth is that this does not have to be the case. In fact, the reason that people do perverted things is not because of Erotica, or even because of truly bad pornography (which is wrong), but because they already had this evil in their heart to do long before they ever looked at a photograph.

Let me describe the process that happens to many Christian men (and see if this describes anything you have gone through as a man).

The act sex between a man and woman is reserved for marriage, our sexuality is not

As Christian men, we are raised by our Christian parents, and taught by our Christian churches to believe that sex is reserved for marriage. This is a very Biblical concept, not just a tradition.

“Marriage must be respected by all, and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge immoral people and adulterers.”

Hebrews 13:4

This passage from Hebrews makes it clear that God only sees one kind of sexual contact between a man and a woman (and only a man and woman – see Romans 1:27) as honorable, and that is within the bounds of marriage. Premarital sex, homosexual sex, orgies, adultery and all other sexual acts between two persons outside of the marriage bed are by definition dishonorable, and will be judged by God.

However, while God calls us as Christian men to wait until we are within the protected bounds of marriage to have sex with a woman, he does not tell us as men that we must suppress our entire sexuality until we are married.

Many people have a hard time with the concept that our sexuality, and the act of sex between two persons are two very different things, but they are different.

The first signs of womanhood and manhood

For a young woman, the first sign of her womanhood is the day the she gets her first period. For young man, the first sign of his manhood is the first time he receives pleasure from the site of a woman’s body. It is as though a switch flips, one day he notices nothing, and the next day a whole new world opens to this young man.

Sometimes he finds himself looking at a woman’s cleavage as she passes by. He goes to school one day, and all of sudden he notices that his 24 year old school teacher is attractive. Where did this come from? One day she was just his teacher, the next day, she was a woman. The next time she comes by his desk to help him with something, it takes all he can muster for him not to look at her cleavage as she bends over his desk to help him with his school work.

Many Christians would tell this young man that he must suppress his desire, and the refuse to take pleasure from viewing any woman’s form (whether fully clothed or unclothed). They will train him to “look away” if a woman’s cleavage comes into his view, and to think of other things when his mind begins to wonder what a woman looks like without her clothing on.

 Mr. Pearl’s techniques for suppression of male sexuality

“I promised to tell you how to be free from your addiction. The thing that has prevented you from ceasing your disgusting behavior is the misery you feel when you cease partaking… Science tells us that it takes about 45 days to wean the brain off of an addiction and rewire it so that it does not punish your attempt at abstinence. They sum it up in two words, “Reject and Replace.” Reject the old habit no matter the emotional cost, and, just as importantly, replace the old pleasure source with a new pleasure that is wholesome. Stop drinking and start exercising, or learning to play a musical instrument, or learn a new language, or take up that hobby you always dreamed of. Stop viewing pornography and start running or swimming or studying something interesting.”

Mr. Pearl – it is no more “disgusting” for a man to masturbate to an image of a beautiful woman than it is for you to see a commercial for your favorite food, then go home and eat that food when you are hungry. God reserves the act of sex for marriage, but our sexuality does not have to be repressed until marriage.

This is why God gave us the tool of masturbation, so that we could experience our sexuality without violating his laws before we are married. Even within marriage, masturbation can be a wonderful tool to balance out libido differences between a man and woman, and also help when either spouses has medical condition that temporarily makes them unavailable for sex with their spouse.

The absurdity of Mr. Pearl’s “50 day rule”

Mr. Pearl’s “50 day rule” may or may not apply to many real addictions, but it does not apply to things built into our human nature, like our two hungers, one for food and one for sex. You won’t lose your sexual desire for women, or you the pleasure you receive from the female form (even fully clothed) just because you stop looking at erotica for 45 days.

Most people have a natural need for human contact. If you take a person and locked them in solitary confinement away from all human contact for 45 days, do you think all of a sudden they would not need any human contact?

This is the utter absurdity of what Mr. Pearl is teaching with his 50 day rule. It is rubbish plain and simple.

In fact I would argue that suppression of normal sexuality actually leads true perversion. Many men who feel trapped in their own male bodies by their natural male sexuality, instead of looking at erotica that does not depict Biblically immoral acts, look at images with group sex, lesbian sex and all kinds’ images of immoral behavior. This is because they believe “if I am going to sin, I am might as well sin big”, then of course after they sin by looking at true pornography, they have a sudden rush of guilt that befalls them after they are done. This is cycle many good men of God fall into.

There is a better way

Instead of this cycle of guilt, there is a better way, a way to experience your sexuality, and that is to look at erotica that DOES NOT violate God’s law. Then when you masturbate, you have NOTHING to feel guilty about. I hope to spread this truth to as many Christian men as I possibly can, and I hope those of you reading this who agree with me will do the same.

You can choose to stop being ashamed of your God given male sexuality. You can learn to experience and enjoy your male sexuality to its fullest, both before marriage and after marriage all within the bounds of God’s law.

See my post – “Overcoming the Guilt Associated with Masturbation” for many Scripture passages that will help you on your journey out of Christian Asceticism and into Christian freedom.

Besides masturbation, you don’t have to be ashamed of glancing at beautiful women and enjoying the pleasure of their form. See this great series from BiblicalGenderRoles.com – How should Christian women respond to their men looking at other women

At the end of the article form Biblical Gender Roles, there is a helpful section for men about how to experience their male sexuality(enjoying the view of women around them) without acting in a ungentlemanly manner.

Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture passages are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible

How should Christian women respond to their men looking at other women?

guybeingstoppedlooking

This is a new 3 part series by BiblicalGenderRoles.com about the issue of men checking out other women(other than the one they are with).

This really delves into the issues of how women feel about this, and how they typically react to it, and how they actually should react to it. It also has a helpful addendum talking to men about how they go about looking at other women.

Here is are some excerpts from this series(make sure to click on the links in the bottom to go to next article in series):

“Many Christians (both men and women) would admit that it is natural for a man (and teen boys) to be drawn to beautiful women…

But these same people would also admit that it is natural for a woman to be jealous when she catches her man glancing at an attractive woman. Other women who are not coming from the perspective of the wife or girlfriend, may just say this behavior “objectifies women” and they become angry when men look at them.

So we have reached a philosophical impasse – both behaviors are natural in each gender, yet they are contradictory to each other….

As believers in Christ, we understand that we all have a sin nature. But we also have a God given nature. In the Garden of Eden, before Adam and Eve ever sinned, God gave Adam a distinct and different male nature and he gave Eve a distinct and different female nature. He literally built Eve for Adam, and he made her nature almost completely the opposite of his….

So the question is – is man’s natural inclination to look at a variety of attractive women (even when he is in a committed relationship) a corruption of the nature God gave him in the Garden of Eden?”

Click here to go to this great series on How Christian women should respond to their men looking at other women

How to overcome the guilt associated with Masturbation

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I have had many Christian men ask me about this question and I decided it was time to take on the “guilt” side of masturbation. For some it was a parent scolding them and for others it was a Sunday school teacher or Pastor telling them that masturbation was a heinous sin the eyes of God. Perhaps it was the stories told of a man named Onan in the Bible who was killed for masturbating.

Guilt is not a bad thing, if we are feeling it for actual sin. But often times as believers, we are made to feel guilty for things that are not sins. Christian teachers add things to God’s law, and then try and heap guilt on other believers for doing things that God has given us the freedom in Christ to do.

I am not saying all these teachers have nefarious motives. Many of them are guided by good intentions, and they genuinely believe they are serving God by teaching men to not only fight against sexual sin, but to also suppress their God-given, male sexuality.

The way to fight guilt about masturbation, is the same solution to most every problem in the Christian life. We need to hide God’s Word in our hearts, memorize his Word, and mediate upon it. Below I list 8 Biblical principles, and the Scriptures upon which they are founded. If you will just mediate upon these passages, I promise that the guilt of masturbation will eventually fade from your mind, and will become only a bad memory. You can finally have that peace that passes all understanding.

Open Bible, with textured granite background.

God recognizes masturbation as a normal bodily function

In Leviticus 15, God recognizes three distinct bodily functions. The first is a man having an emission of semen, separate and distinct from having sex with a woman. The second emission of semen is during sex with a woman. The third discharge, is the blood a woman has when she menstruates. What is interesting here is God never says any of these bodily functions are sin, because if they were a sacrifice would have to be made. Instead they were only “unclean” until evening. This had to do with disease prevention, and nothing to do with sin. If God though a man having an emission of semen was sinful, then he would have demanded a sacrifice for it.

Open Bible, with textured granite background.

Onan was not killed for masturbating

First of all, the context of Genesis 38:6-10 is not even of masturbation, but of “pulling out”. This is when a man is about to ejaculate while having sexual intercourse, he pulls out to let his semen fall on the ground.

For centuries, and even to this day, some Church teachers have wrongly taught that God struck down Onan for masturbating. This could not be further from the truth. The truth of the matter is, he was struck down for not fulfilling his duty of Leveratite marriage to raise up an heir for his brother’s estate, and especially for the deceptive way in which he did it. He would enjoy his brother’s wife sexually, but instead of doing his duty and ejaculating inside her to give her a child, he would pull out. This was the heinousness of his crime and the reason God struck him dead.

Open Bible, with textured granite background.

Masturbation is NOT selfishness

Ephesians 5:29(HCSB)

A common tactic of anti-masturbation Church teachers is to claim that masturbation is an act of selfishness. First let us point out that the Scriptures never teach that masturbation is a selfish activity. As stated in Biblical truth #1, God even acknowledges masturbation as normal bodily function, in the same vein as sexual intercourse and women having periods. If masturbation was a sin, he would have stated it was in Leviticus 15, instead of comparing it to activities we know are not sin, such as sexual intercourse and a woman menstruating.

Put another way, if masturbation is a selfish activity, then so is having sex with one’s wife, and so is a woman having her period. Masturbation is no more selfish than it is to eat or drink, or to have a bowel movement. These are all natural bodily functions. Is it selfish to enjoy our favorite meal? Is it selfish to sit in a bath tub and enjoy a hot bath? Is selfish to take a vacation day and relax? Is it selfishness to read our favorite book or watch our favorite movie? No! Selfishness is not taking care one’s own body, or experiencing various pleasures that God allows, selfishness is when we ONLY think of our needs and wants, and not the needs and wants of anyone else around us.

Open Bible, with textured granite background.

Masturbation is not the cause of Lust, Masturbation is the cure for Lust

1 Corinthians 10:13(HCSB)

Masturbation is not the temptation! This a lie that Satan wants us to believe, and many Church leaders throughout the centuries after the Apostles died, fell for this lie and many other lies. The temptation is to have premarital sex, or adulterous sex, or homosexual sex, the temptation is to commit sexual immorality.

Masturbation is actually the “way of escape” that God has given us to relieve our minds of the temptation to sin. Take for instance if a young collage age man is feeling tempted about having pre-marital sex with his girlfriend. If he masturbates just before he goes on this date, his temptation to have pre-marital sex with be greatly lessened.

If a man is being denied sexually by his wife, and perhaps he is tempted by a woman at his work, masturbating can relieve this temptation.

Satan wants us to take away the gift of masturbation that God has given us, so that we will be more tempted to commit actual sexual sins.

Open Bible, with textured granite background.

Sexual arousal and Sexual Fantasy are not Lust

Matthew 5:27-28(HSCB)

A common tactic used by many Church teachers is, if they will admit that the Bible never condemns masturbation specifically, they will say it condemns it implicitly because they say being sexually aroused by someone of the opposite sex you are not married to is lust, and this usually precedes, or comes during masturbation (sexual thoughts of another person). I actually agree that masturbation without any fantasy at all is very difficult, and can actually be very frustrating.

But the entire premise is wrong. Jesus never condemned sexual arousal or sexual fantasy in Matthew 5:27-28, what he condemned is the desire to possess another man’s wife. Literally he condemning sexual covetousness – which is the strong desire and the fantasizing about actually taking possession of a woman outside of marriage.

A man simply being aroused by the site of a beautiful woman is not Lust. Even if that man imagines what it would be like to have sex with that woman, still no lust has occurred. It is when he begins to plot, to think about how he could lure that woman into having sex with him outside of marriage, then he has lusted, then he has truly coveted her. And if he does not catch and confess his covetous thoughts, they may lead him to the physical act of adultery, instead of just the mental act of adultery.

Open Bible, with textured granite background.

Is it not wrong for a young man to look upon, and sexually desire single young women

Job 31:1(KJV)

Can anyone seriously say with a straight face that they think Job was saying he never looked at any young ladies, or never thought any young ladies were pretty? That is not what he is talking about at all in Job 31. What Job is talking about is lusting after young women, and lusting in this case is a man thinking about, plotting, how to get young virgins into bed with him outside of marriage.

This builds upon Biblical truth #5, but more specifically targets young men, whether they be teenagers or young college students. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a young man sexually desiring, or getting sexual pleasure from looking at the young woman around him. There is nothing wrong with masturbating to thoughts about them either. In fact as we talked about in Biblical Truth #4, masturbation may keep you from having premarital sex with that young woman you are dating.

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Masturbation glorifies God

I Corinthians 10:31(HCSB)

“How does masturbating glorify God?” This is another question that might arise in your mind, or one that has been presented to you by a Christian who opposes masturbation. The Apostle Paul tells us in I Corinthians 10 that even our eating and drinking has the capacity to glorify God. These are normal bodily functions that God has given us not only for survival, but also for our enjoyment. Therefore we honor God in any bodily function we perform, and even in the enjoyment of our body as long it does not violate God’s commands or his principles for Holy living. It also glorifies God by helping to keep us from real sexual sin (Biblical Truth #4)

Open Bible, with textured granite background.

Do not submit to unbiblical rules and teachings that forbid masturbation

Colossians 2:18 & 21-23(HCSB)

Asceticism is the idea that by avoiding all things that give us pleasure in this world, we can attain a higher state of spirituality. This false teaching is not unique to Christianity and is found in many other faiths. Monks are good examples of those who follow ascetic teachings, denying themselves all forms of pleasure thinking it will bring them closer to God.

Asceticism had already crept into the Church while the Apostles were still alive and writing God’s Word. This is exactly what Paul was fighting against in Colossians 2. Unfortunately, not long after the Apostles died Asceticism poured into the churches. Eventually you had church teachers even teaching that it was a sin for a married couple to take pleasure in sex. Sex was seen only as a necessary evil for producing children and it was common for early church leaders to have married couples take vows of celibacy, lest they indulge in this “worldly pleasure”.

While modern Church teachers today no longer condemn taking pleasure from sex within marriage, they still continue to repress the normal sexuality with which God has designed us all. Some of these Christian teachers actually teach young teenage boys that it is a sin for them to become aroused by the site of beautiful young girls around them. Still others teach that if a man is engaged to his girlfriend, he must confess every sexual thought or fantasy he has about her until they are actually married.

Modern Christian teachers still condemn masturbation, teaching unbiblical doctrines that ever emission of semen a man has must be with his wife during sex. However we can clearly see from Leviticus 15 that God acknowledges men having emissions of semen – WITHOUT their wives present, masturbation. He never condemns it and puts in the same category the natural bodily functions of having sexual intercourse with your wife, or a woman having a bloody discharge from her period.

Conclusion

Don’t let anyone steal your joy, or take away the “escape” or the pleasure that God has given you through his wonderful gift of masturbation. Always return to these 8 Biblical truths – and enjoy the freedom, not to sexually sin, but to enjoy what God has given you.

Just remember – Christian teachers not too many centuries ago were telling married couples that they could not even enjoy sexual intercourse together!

Is masturbation selfishness for a Christian?

Man looking in his underwear

Is masturbation a selfish activity for a Christian? Does it violate the Biblical concept of putting God first, others second and ourselves last?

As believers in Christ, one of the first Biblical principles we learned growing up is that true joy comes from putting God and others first. We were taught this simple acronym:

Jesus first: Jesus Christ, his will, and his glory should be the first concern we have as make our daily decisions and plans for life. In fact Jesus said if we loved others more than him, even our family more than him, we were not worthy of him.

Others second: The second group is others. This would be your wife and children, parents and then all others. In other words you take care of your family before you take care of yourself, and then you take care of brothers and sisters in Christ before yourself, and then strangers before yourself.

Yourself last: What I always found interesting in church is, when they got to the “You” part of joy, they rarely said much and moved on, it was simply a place holder, to remind us we always come last before Christ and others.

The JOY acronym is a very Biblical and Christian concept that we find all throughout the Old and New Testaments, here are just a few passages from the Gospel of Matthew which illustrate these important truths:

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:36-40(NIV)

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

Matthew 10:37(NIV)

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

Matthew 16:24(NIV)

There is absolutely no question that God calls on us a believers to put him first, others second and ourselves last.

In fact in Matthew 10:37, we are called to “deny” ourselves, take up our cross and follow Christ.

Doesn’t putting yourself last and denying yourself make masturbation wrong?

In light of the Scriptures I have just presented, many Christians throughout the centuries and still even today have believed that Christians must deny themselves all forms of pleasure, whether it be having sex with our spouses, eating foods we enjoy or participating in sporting or leisure activities.

Masturbation has been has been seen by many Church leaders and Christians as the antithesis of the “self-denial” that we are called to in the Scriptures.

But before I answer these weighty charges against masturbation from a Biblical JOY perspective, let’s look at some other Biblical passages:

“Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.”

Exodus 23:12(NIV)

 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”

Leviticus 19:18(NIV)

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

I Corinthians 10:31(NIV)

For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

Ephesians 5:21(KJV)

While there are many passages in the Bible that illustrate the JOY principle, there are also many passages that address us taking care of our bodies, as the care of our bodies is indeed important to God. Throughout the Old Testament we see the God is interested in the health and cleanliness of our physical bodies.

God did not rest on the 7th day because he needed to, he rested to provide an example for us, as physical beings to give our bodies the refreshment, and nourishment they need. While we are no longer under the Sabbath law, I believe the principle of the Sabbath still remains, that we are to give our bodies the proper rest and refreshment they need.

God does not say it is wrong to love or care for or meet the needs of our body. Where we sin is when we abuse our bodies with drugs, alcohol or unbiblical Christian activities amongst other things.

In fact when I deny my body the rest it needs, by constantly working 7 days a week, and months on end with no rest, I am dishonoring God by neglecting the needs of my body.

It is one thing to fast and pray for a short time, and fasting can actually cleanse the body. But fasting for too long can cause great harm and damage to the body. So even fasting, when abused, can become a sinful and dishonoring activity to God.

The body needs a sexual release, and when it does not get one sinful thoughts can begin to creep in. I wrote an entire post on the subject of how Masturbation can actually help to keep you sexually pure. When we neglect our bodies the need for sexual release, even through masturbation, we dishonor our body, and we dishonor God.

Let me ask you something, if you purposefully withheld having bowel movements, or urinating, for days or weeks on end, and thus hurting your body, would you think this somehow honors God?

Anything that is not sinful, that our body needs to perform, whether it is eating, drinking, bowel movements, urinating, passing gas, having sex with our spouse and yes even masturbation by ourselves brings honor to God. Why? Because we are using are bodies as they were designed to be used, we are caring for our bodies and meeting the needs of our bodies, in ways that are not sinful.

Now even the natural needs of the body can abused, when we do things out of place or in the wrong way.

Passing gas with just family or friends might be amusing, but passing gas in front of strangers or in the middle of a church service would not be honoring to God.

Having sex with our spouse honors God, but if I start sticking my tongue down my wife’s throat in front of her parents, that may not be so honoring because of the time and place.

For masturbation it is the same, in the privacy of my home it is one thing. To just jump out in front of visitors or others and start masturbating would be wrong, again it would be the wrong time and place.

An illustration from massage

Many Christians will say that the only legitimate God honoring way to relieve sexual tension, or sexual hunger is through intercourse with our spouse when we are married, they say to masturbate is the just pure selfishness.

Imagine if we applied this same principle to those who have neck and shoulder tension. That would be like saying we can only get relief by having our spouse rub our neck or shoulders, and it would be wrong to use some massage device on ourselves, or get a massaging chair and have that work out the tension for us.

Many Christians simply refuse to look at masturbation as a legitimate means by which God gave man the ability to relieve sexual as well as other stresses that we may face in life.

Conclusion

It is absolutely true that God calls us to put him first, others second and ourselves last. But this principle does not make masturbation anymore wrong than us eating or having bowel movements is wrong.

It is not wrong to take care of the needs of our body, whether it getting proper rest, eating, having bowel movements, having sex with our spouses, and yes even masturbating when we need sexual relief, in fact I would say that we are honoring God when we take care of these various needs of our physical body.

When I get proper rest each day – I am honoring God because I am caring for the body he has given me.

When I take a day, or even two days off (when I don’t work Saturday) – I am honoring God by giving my body the refreshment and rest it needs.

When I eat my favorite foods, I am honoring God by caring for the body he gave me. (Obviously if I eat too much of my favorite foods then this same activity can become the sin of gluttony).

When I have sex with my wife, I am honoring God by giving her my body, as well as the sexual release that both our bodies need.

When I have a bowel movement, I am honoring God, by relieving my body of the waste that it needs to.

And yes, even when I masturbate, if it is done in a correct way, and under the right circumstances, I am honoring God by relieving the sexual tension that has built up in my body.

Not only are things like eating, sex with our spouses and masturbation needs of our bodies, but God has also given us these things for our joy and pleasure.

God calls to put him first, and to deny our SINFUL desires, he does not call us to deny the legitimate needs and desires of our bodies, we have only to keep them in balance, and do things in the proper time and place.

Masturbation is not a selfish activity anymore than eating food is selfish, it is all how much, when, where and under what circumstances it is done.

Does objective beauty exist?

Summary of this post – objective physical beauty does in fact exist, and it is biologically driven for the most part. This does not mean that subjective beauty does not exist at the same time, because it does. Also just because someone does not match objective physical beauty standards it does not mean that can’t be beautiful in other ways.

Biblical Gender Roles

Group of four happy smiling women

Plato famously said “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”. This is a question that Plato and many philosophers have asked for centuries. I have actually held an opinion on this question since being in high school (over 20 years ago) and while my opinion has been refined a bit, it basically has remained the same.

Let me be clear before I begin, that in this post for the most part we will be discussing physical outward beauty, and not as much the inward beauty of the mind and soul. In other posts I will touch on inward beauty as well. This will be the first post in a series of posts I will be writing dealing with the subjects of beauty, body image and physical sexual attraction.

Also in this post I am discussing beauty as it relates to sexual attractiveness in human beings, as opposed to animals…

View original post 2,506 more words

Masturbation can help to keep your sexual purity

group of casual people smiling isolated over a white background

I realize the idea that masturbation can help keep your sexual purity seems like an oxymoron. In fact at most churches Christians are taught just the opposite, that masturbation causes them to have impure thoughts and the act itself is a sin. But masturbation is not a sin, and it can help keep you sexually pure.

I am a born again Christian, a Bible believing Christian. I am married, and I have a wife to have sex with. I wrongly thought when I was a young Christian teen that all this sexual temptation would go away as soon as I was married. Let me tell you Christian friends, it does not. In fact after you have had the real thing (sex with a woman), it can get worse.

I agree with other Christians that we do face a battle against sexual temptation. Where we disagree is where that battle is and what tools God has given us to wage that battle.

I agree with anti-masturbation Christians that we must war against thoughts of having premarital sex or adulterous sex. That means if I even think of how I could get a single woman into bed, or a married woman into bed (that I am not married to) that is what Jesus Christ called “lusting after a woman” in Matthew chapter 5. From this point forward I will refer to anti-masturbation Christians as AMCs.

Where the disagreement comes in is about sexual arousal, sexual fantasy and masturbation. AMCs believe all three of these things are the enemy, and we must war against them. I believe these are a tool, to keep us from truly sinning.

If we understand God’s boundaries that we cannot think of luring someone into premarital or adulterous sex then we need a tool to get rid of the sexual tension that most people face. The only people who do not face sexual tension are those whom God has given the gift of celibacy, they are basically asexual and do not have a sex drive, but this is a very small percentage of the population.

Your body needs a physical sexual release

Your body needs a natural sexual release, especially if you are a male (but many women do as well). Approximately every 72 your sperm ducts fill up and hormones are sent through your body tell you need a release. Anti-masturbation advocates will tell you God’s tool for release is nocturnal emissions, otherwise known as wet dreams. So somehow it is ok for your mind to subconsciously think about having sex with a woman, which causes you to ejaculate in your sleep, but if you consciously had the same thoughts about her that would be sin? I don’t think that AMCs have clearly thought this out.

While women do not have sperm ducts that fill up like men, they do have hormones that release once a month around the time they ovulate. These hormones in essence make them horny, so that if they were married they would want to have sex with their husband when they are fertile. This is the only reason the human race has survived.  So while a woman may not need to masturbate every other day like a man, she may only need to masturbate one week a month around the time of her ovulation.

You mind needs sexual release too

I have seen some well-meaning Christian web sites that recognize the fact that human beings need regular sexual release, whether they are married or single. But because they cannot let go of church tradition, and actually see that lust is more than being sexually aroused or having sexual fantasy, they must still condemn that. So basically they tell people that they have to masturbate with no sexual thoughts whatsoever.

Let me tell you, I tried this a few times when I used to believe the way they did, and man is it brutal to try and masturbate without any sexual images in your head, or in front of you. You seriously feel like you are only partially relieved when you are done.

The reason is that our sexual release is supposed to be both a physical AND mental release for it truly give us relief. I am not sure what a woman needs to think about(since I am not a woman), but I know for sure that a man needs to think of a hot naked woman while he masturbates to truly relieve both his mind and his body of the sexual tension that has built up.

How AMCs brutalize young single men with their teachings

I remember what it was like to be a young single Christian person (20 years ago) and I understand the great sexual stress these people face. In fact I think the doctrines of AMCs are the most brutal when it comes to Christian singles.

You are told as Christian single to just concentrate on other things, put your sexual frustrations out of your mind. As young men, you are told to “bounce your eyes” anytime an attractive woman walks by. Basically if Christian men truly followed these teachings they would have to walk around everywhere looking at the ground. This is utterly ridiculous.

Other times Christian men are taught that they need to train their minds not look at women as sexual objects. Then they can look at women with no sexual arousal because they see them as a “person” and not as a “sex object”. Again if any single Christian man is reading this, if he is being honest with himself, he knows this a bunch of bologna.

I teach my teenage sons not to look at woman as ONLY objects of sexual pleasure. What that means is, there is nothing wrong with my sons accepting the fact that God wired their brains to receive sexual pleasure from just the site of a beautiful woman. She does not have to touch them, talk to them or even know they exist. Just the sight of a beautiful woman sends off pleasurable signals in a man’s mind.

It just so happens that for men, the same part of the brain that gives them pleasure from smelling their favorite foods or makes them hungry from seeing a food commercial on TV is the part that gives them pleasure from seeing a beautiful woman, whether on TV, in a magazine, or in real life.

If you are a woman – you don’t have that wiring so it will be hard for you to understand, you sexual wiring is completely different than a man’s. But if you want to roughly understand how many get pleasure just from the sight or scent of a woman, then imagine how you receive pleasure from smelling your favorite foods, or seeing a commercial for your favorite food and you partially understand how men work in this area.

But what I teach my son’s is that women are both people and objects of sexual pleasure for a man. I realize that may be very hard for many Christians, especially women to understand. Women don’t understand that many times men are objects for them as well, but men are a different kind of object for women.

For women, men are objects of physical and financial security. Women want a man who will be able to protect them and provide for them, it is built into their nature. A man’s intelligence, his ambition, his strength and assertiveness is what attracts a woman to him.

The only difference with a woman objectifying a man is that usually she has to get to know him a bit to discover if he has the qualities she desires. This is why women typically are not attracted to weak willed, unintelligent and unsuccessful men. It is true that there are many more things to a man’s personality, but these things are minimum things most women look for.

So with my daughter, I would teach her there is nothing wrong with her seeing men as objects of physical and financial security, but that she also needs to see them as people too.

So in summary – I don’t want my son’s to be whoremongers who ONLY see women as objects of sexual pleasure and I don’t want my daughter to be a gold digger who only sees men as a paycheck. But there is nothing wrong with my son’s seeing women BOTH as objects of sexual pleasure and as people, and there is nothing wrong with my daughter seeing men as BOTH objects of physical and financial security and as people as well.

Your sexual nature has no off switch

But what AMCs do, is ask you to reprogram your mind from how God designed you as a young man to be. They treat your sexual nature as one and the same with your sin nature and that is not Biblically true. God gave you a sexual nature, and he did not design you with an off switch until you get married, it only has an on switch and it turns on during puberty and never turns off for the rest of your life.

There are only two ways to relieve sexual tension

The only two ways to truly relieve sexual tension both physically and mentally is masturbation or sex with another person. Married sex (between a man and woman) is the only kind of sex between persons that God honors.

How a Single Christian person can keep themselves sexually pure by masturbating

At the end of this post I will supply a link to an article I wrote with refuting all the arguments that people try and use (even with Bible verses) against masturbation. I highly encourage you to read it. But once you read the Bible and understand there is not guilt, or shame in masturbating this is how masturbation can keep you sexually pure.

Feel free to appreciate the women around you. God made your mind able to get pleasure from women’s beauty in the same way he made your nose able to get pleasure from smelling your favorite foods. The boundary that God has set for you is that you do not start fantasying in your head about how you could approach this woman to have sex with you outside of marriage.

When you need to, masturbate to images of beautiful women whether only in your mind or pictures you have found. I wrote an entire article on Christians and nudity as well. Please see that at the end of this post. The boundary God has placed on you viewing nudity is that you cannot derive pleasure by looking at “bad porn”.

Bad porn is any photo, or film of people engaged in homosexual sex, group sex, rape sex or bestiality as all these things violate God’s design of heterosexual sex.

But there is absolutely no sin in you as a man enjoying paintings or pictures of nude women or even couples engaged in normal heterosexual sex as God designed it. You were wired by God to think about and appreciate the female form, and to think about and appreciate the thought of heterosexual sex.  This is why photos of heterosexual sex bring you so much pleasure – they are a thought put to paper – its like an instant lifelike painting.

As a man, when you look at images of beautiful women, or imagine that beautiful woman walking down the street, you relieve BOTH you mind and body of the sexual tension that has naturally built up. You will then be able to go about your normal life’s business (school, college or work) and not have to deal with this sexual stress.

Another way masturbation can keep you sexually pure as a single Christian is in your dating life. You may be finding yourself tempted to have premarital sex with your girlfriend or fiancé, and the best way to avoid this temptation is through masturbation. You can even masturbate with images of your girlfriend or fiancé in your head, or maybe you have a picture of her in a swim suit.

How a married Christian person can keep themselves sexually pure by masturbating

Single people might ask – why would you ever have to masturbate when you have an actual person that you can legally have sex with?

Well there are many reasons. Sometimes because of health reasons a couple may go long periods of time without being have to have sex. This is common for women with high risk pregnancies where the doctor may forbid sexual intercourse for a time (of course there are alternatives to intercourse). Other times a husband may be in the military and away from his wife for many months at a time.

Then there are sex drive differences between men and women. Sometimes masturbation can be a great equalizing tool to take the edge off.

Masturbation can keep married people sexually pure by allowing them to release that sexual tension before they would go and do something truly sinful. Perhaps a woman rarely has orgasms through intercourse with her husband and they have tried everything else, masturbation can keep her in check and keep her from be tempted to stray.

The same goes for a man. Maybe his wife routinely sexually denies him (which she should not do) and he is being tempted to seek out a woman at work or a prostitute for sexual relief. Masturbation can keep him in check when these thoughts and feelings arise.

Conclusion

Contrary to the teachings of AMCs, masturbation is not the enemy of Christians. It is an ally to keep them from truly sinning. It can help Christians to remain sexually pure.

Related Posts

https://thegiftofsex.com/2014/04/25/is-masturbation-wrong-for-a-christian/

https://thegiftofsex.com/2014/04/18/what-does-the-bible-say-about-lust/

https://thegiftofsex.com/2014/05/03/what-is-the-biblical-view-of-nudity/

https://thegiftofsex.com/2014/05/12/the-false-teachings-of-every-mans-battle/

Why Porn is not bad for Christians or anybody else

My Christian husband wants my panties

Holding Panties

Your husband is in the military or has a job where he may be separated from you for long periods of time. Now he is making what seems to be strange request. He asks for you to send him a pair of your panties. He makes it clear, he does not want a clean fresh pair, and he wants a pair you have worn, a pair that has your scent on them.

To many Christian women (and non-Christian women) this might seem like a perverted request. Only perverts go around smelling women’s underwear right? Wrong.

There is a difference between a man going in strange women’s homes and taking their underwear – that is a problem. If your husband starts wearing your underwear, that is a problem.

But there is no problem and no perversion in your husband who spends long periods of time away from home (very common for military families) to make this kind of request. The reason is very simple, the scent of you in your panties reminds him of you. It is a physical, tangible reminder of the woman he loves.

Many women think men are only visual creatures, but men also love a woman’s scent. This can be a huge turn on for men. This is why it is important not only for woman to perform oral sex on her husband, but also for her to allow him to perform oral sex on her. A women’s scent can be intoxicating to her husband.

Will he most likely masturbate while smelling your panties? Probably and that is OK.  The Bible never forbids masturbation.  Would you rather your husband do that(masturbate to your panties) instead of him seeking out a prostitute while he is away? I think most women would answer with a resounding yes.

I am writing this article because I recently heard of a family member who lives in another state having marriage problems. She and her husband are both Christians, he is in the Navy and she stays home to take care of their children. Over several different deployments over many years, he has asked her to send him a pair of her panties, with her scent on them. She would refuse, she made him feel perverted each time he would ask, no matter how he explained that he just wanted to feel close to her while he was gone.

She would tell him that he could just text and email, and call her to feel close. But she was not understanding how God made her husband. She was seeing things through her own female way of thinking and not his male way of feeling.

The sad part of this story is eventually her husband began seeing prostitutes while he was on deployment. He eventually admitted this to her and it almost ended their marriage. They are working through their issues in counseling now.

But this woman admitted to my mother, that she so wishes she could go back and send her husband her panties like he asked. He was reaching out for his wife’s love, and instead of meeting her husband’s need, she rejected him and made him feel like a pervert.

I truly hope Christian woman, that if you are reading this today and wondering what you should with this request from you husband, that you will respond in love. God has said your body belongs to your husband.

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

I Corinthians 7:4(KJV)

If you husband asks for your panties when he is away, it is a compliment. It means he misses you and wants to have a part of you with him. Yes God owns our bodies, but he has rented them out to our spouses. You have a duty to give your husband whatever he requests, as long as it is not sinful, and this is not sinful.

The false teachings of Every Man’s Battle

Every Mans Battle1

Every Man’s Battle, while preaching freedom from “the slavery of sexual sin” actually enslaves men to traditions and teachings of men. It treats “maleness” as the enemy and tries to make a false contrast between “maleness” and “true manhood”. The authors of this of this book, rather than calling men to war against their sin nature, calls them to war against the male nature that God designed them with.

Every Man’ Battle was originally published in 2000 but has since spawned more books and workbooks and has been taught in churches across the country and around the world. Its authors Steven Arterburn and Fred Stoeker first convey their struggles with lust in great detail.

In fact most negative reviews of the this book come from Christians who scorn them for going into so much detail as they may be causing people to have “impure thoughts” by just describing their experiences.

A little about me

I am a born again Christian, I have been saved for over 30 years and have studied the Bible for over 20 years as an adult. I have taught Sunday school classes and filled pulpits for friends of mine (in Baptist Churches). I say all this to let you know a little of my background. I am not a preacher, but I have taught in churches and filled pulpits for Pastors.

I don’t teach in churches anymore and I don’t preach anymore because over the years I have come to have many differences with church traditions and church teachings that I have found have no scriptural support whatsoever. I won’t hijack a Pastor’s pulpit or teach his Sunday school having the differences I have (and they are more than on the topic of sex).

But there are times and places to take a stand against false teaching, even by good Christian men who have nothing but good intentions in their hearts, which I am sure Mr. Arterburn and Mr. Stoeker have. If the Apostle Paul withstood the Apostle Peter to his face over his wrong behavior, I think it is ok if I take these author’s to task in the main ideas of their book.

Church traditions and teachings are not always right, the Protestant reformation showed us that. But even the leaders of the reformation did not tear down all the false traditions, they left some intact. Even the radical reformers who were the forerunners of modern Baptists still left some false church traditions intact.

My purpose has always been to try and remove all the ruble and tradition and our cultural biases, and get down to the pure Word of God, to truly follow the noble idea of the reformers of “Sola Scriptora”, or Scripture alone.

So with that said as a backdrop on the Christian Brother who is correcting his brothers in Christ, let’s begin.

From this point forward I will refer to Every Man’s Battle by the acronym EMB.

Lust and Impure thoughts

I and other Christians who are challenging EMB’s approach to sexual temptation agree that the Bible talks a lot about Christians avoiding lust. We just don’t agree with how they have expanded the meaning of words like “lust” and “impure thoughts”. Let’s take a look now at some Biblical passages on purity and lust.

Here are some passages on Biblical purity:

“Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”

Titus 1:15(KJV)

Here are some passages on Biblical lust:

24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life.

Proverbs 6:24-26(KJV)

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Matthew 5:28(KJV)

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Romans 6:12(KJV)

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Romans 13:14(KJV)

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16(KJV)

Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

1 Corinthians 10:6(KJV)

Any surface reading of these passages would tell us as believers that God wants us to have pure thoughts and fight against the lusts of the flesh. But what does it mean to lust? What does it mean to have a pure thoughts, and a pure heart?

Biblically speaking, keeping your heart and mind pure means thinking on things that God considers to be good, honest, just and lovely. It means not thinking on things that God considers to be evil.

EMB, and many Christians from the early church on have loaded purity and lust with expanded definitions that the Bible never does. They say lust means not only thinking about luring a woman who is not married to you into having sex with you, but even the mere arousal at the sight of her form, or sexual thoughts about her(like imagining what she looks like naked) is also lust.

EMB says “impure thoughts” are any thoughts about the sexually pleasing form of a woman who is not your wife. EMB says lust is not only thinking about how you can lure a woman who is not your wife in having sex with you(whether she is married or single), but it is also thinking and deriving pleasure from the form of any woman who is not your wife.

But what does the Bible say about purity and lust?

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 4:8(KJV)

Philippians 4:8 is one of the greatest passages in all the Bible dealing with the thought life of a Christian. God wants our thoughts to pure, he wants us to think on things which he considers to be good. But often times we read things into a Scripture passage that is not there.

Some have taken from Philippians 4 that Christians are always supposed to be thinking of rainbows, flowers and waterfalls (all beautiful things). But what about the commander in the battle field who is thinking of how to defeat his enemy and save his men? Is this also a pure thought? I would submit to you that the answer is yes. It is a virtuous thought, one of honor. Saving his men and defeating his nation’s enemy is a good thing

What if a man is a hunter, and he is thinking of the best way to catch a deer. Is this an impure thought? Of course not.

Let’s now bring this into the sexual arena. If a man is thinking of how beautiful some woman was that he saw on TV, or in the mall, or at work is this an impure thought? The answer is no. It is completely natural for a man to scan women’s forms and derive pleasure from them. EMB based on their expanded definition of lust says this is also wrong.

But does the Bible say what lust is?

Actually it does.

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Romans 7:7(KJV)

Lust is covetousness. It is a common misconception in modern times that lust only applies to sexuality. Lust (which is covetousness as the Apostle Paul states) applies to desiring to possess or do anything that would be sinful to do.

If you derive pleasure from the form of a woman’s body, or even have a sexual fantasy of what it would be like to be with her, you have not lusted after her. If however, after having the fantasy about her you begin to fantasize about how you can actually take her, how you can lure her into having sex with you outside of marriage, then you have lusted after her. It really is that simple.

So in this context, an “impure thought” would be thinking about how you can get a woman into bed with you without first being married to her (that covers single women, prostitutes, and women married to other men).

The Bible’s definition of sexual immorality

The authors of this book use the term “sexual immorality” or various forms of the phrase multiple times on almost every page of the book. The definition of sexual immorality is the entire foundation of the doctrines they espouse in this book so I think we need to deal with that now. We will first compare how the Bible defines sexual immorality and then we will compare it to EMB’s definition to contrast and show the differences.

In the King James Version the word now translated as “sexual immorality” was “fornication”. This was an old English word that meant sex outside of marriage, whether that was incest, adultery, use of harlots or prostitutes and premarital sex. Some people get confused when we talk about adultery and fornication. Adultery is always fornication (it is one type of fornication), but fornication is not always adultery. Biblically speaking, Adultery only occurs when a married or single man sleeps with a married woman – that is the most literal definition of the term.

In the original Hebrew the most common word that is translated as fornication was “zanah”, or literally harlotry. In the New Testament the Greek term for sexual sin was “pornia” or a form of that word, and yes this is where we get our modern word “porn” from. Pornia was much the same as the Hebrew word in that it referred to harlotry and incest.

Some to my left have wrongly tried to argue that none of the Bible’s terms for sexual immorality forbid premarital sex. They error though in the fact that the Bible always present the only kind of sex between a man and woman that God honors is within the bounds of marriage. In fact in the Old Testament if you had premarital sex with a virgin who was not pledged to be married – you were forced to marry her and pay her father the bride price. God never looked positively on premarital sex.

I agree with the authors of EMB based upon Ezekiel 23 that God does condemn sexual foreplay between non-married persons. Some have tried to argue that God only condemns intercourse, but he does truly condemn any blatantly sexual touching of the erogenous zones by non-married people.

This is how the Bible defines fornication (or as it is now translated “sexual immorality”):

  1. Unlawful physical sexual contact – Any physical sexual contact between a non-married man and woman is forbidden in the Scriptures. This would obviously include fondling of breasts or genitals, oral sex and intercourse. Any other physical contact that is not sexual foreplay would not be forbidden.
  2. Lustful (covetous) thoughts – Any thought about getting a person you are not married to, to have sex with you outside of marriage is sin. Just the thought, just the fantasy of trying to lure them into having sex with you outside of marriage is a sin, even if you never act on it.

Now in contrast to how the Bible defines sexual immorality, let’s see how EMB broadens and expands God’s definition.

EMB’s expanded definition of sexual immorality

EMBs authors, much like the Jewish religious teachers who came before Christ, have sought to broaden God’s definition of sexual immorality.

They would add a third type of sexual immorality to the two items I shown above.

EMB says that if you become sexually aroused simply by the visual sight of any woman you are not married to then you have sinned. They would also say any sexual fantasizing about any woman other than your wife is also sin. EMB also condemns masturbation.

Now I will give a few quotes to illustrate their broadening of God’s definition of sexual immorality:

For males, impurity of the eyes is sexual foreplay

EMB – pg.66

Masturbation while fantasizing about another woman besides your wife or “fantasy intercourse” while dreaming is the same doing it. Remember the standard Jesus set? “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit ‘adultery’. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.(Matthew 5:27-28)…

Impurity of the eyes provides definite sexual gratification. Isn’t that foreplay? When you see a hot movie scene, is there a twitch below your belt…No doubt about it, Visual sexual gratification is a form of sex for men. As males we draw sexual gratification and chemical highs through our eyes.

EMB – pg. 68

So as you can see, the authors here have expanded God’s definition of sexual immorality from the two points I gave above. Specifically they have expanded the definition of Biblical lust. I will say in their defense that they are following church tradition. The early church father’s fell into the error of teaching that sex was a necessary evil only for reproductive purposes.

Our author’s probably feel enlightened compared to them by telling people that sexual desire is not bad within the confines of marriage.

I will stand firm in telling you, challenging you, to find any Scripture passage that says sexual arousal, desire or fantasy in and of themselves are wrong. Sexual covetousness is wrong, but arousal and fantasy in and of themselves are not wrong.

A word on what is, and what is not Sexual foreplay

EMB expands sexual foreplay to having any pleasurable thoughts or sexual fantasies about a woman who is not your wife. As I said earlier I agree that foreplay is forbidden, but having thoughts about someone’s form or what it would be like to have sex with them is NOT foreplay.

Sexual Foreplay requires the interaction of two people, either through visual flirtation, physical flirtation, or audio flirtation sexually trying to arouse one another. It is a two person activity.  So yes this would by definition, make phone sex, or web cam sex with anyone other than your spouse, sinful sexual foreplay even though you are not actually touching them.

It is impossible to have sexual foreplay with inanimate objects(like pictures and movies), or even with an actual person without their express interaction with you.

But someone might say “Ah wait, a man can make unwanted sexual advances toward a woman can’t he?” Yes he can, he might grab a woman inappropriately or brush against her giving himself sexual pleasure by doing so.  He may say sexual things to her, or comment on her body.  But if she is not positively receiving these actions, but either ignores them or acts negatively towards them, this is not by definition sexual foreplay – it is actually sexual harassment – which is completely different(and is also sinful).

It is absolutely ridiculous to assert that a man is having sexual foreplay when he is aroused by(or even fantasizes about) a picture of a woman, a movie of with a woman, or the sight of an actual woman who is not actually engaging with him.

What about Matthew 5 and Job 31?

The authors of EMB address these two famous passages in the Bible about a man lusting after a woman, in an attempt to broaden God’s definition of sexual immorality. There is a great article on these two passages that you should look into:

What does the Bible say about Lust?

I will summarize it by saying this. When Jesus talked about lusting after a woman, the word lust is talking about a sinful covetousness. The sinful desire was him fantasying about getting a married woman to sleep with him – that is what sexual lust is in the Bible.

Job 31 deals with lust as it relates to single people. Job was saying he made a covenant with his eyes not to “think” on maid. In other words, he would not look at a young single woman and fantasize about how he could have sex with her outside of marriage, this would include looking at prostitutes and thinking about he might hire them. So yes I agree with the authors of EMB that both Matthew 5 and Job 31 both talk about sexual sin in the mind. But the sexual sin is that of sexual covetousness, or of desiring to get someone to have sexual contact with you outside of marriage. Just the thought of that, even if it is never acted on, is sin.

Being aroused by the sight of a woman who is not your wife is stealing?

This is not new to EMB. I heard this all growing up in church during youth group.

Though saved and free to walk purely, I had still chosen to look at women in dishonor.

Oh don’t be so hard yourself, one might say. It’s natural for a male to look. That’s part of or nature. It’s natural for a male to look. But what you’re doing is stealing. The impure thought life is the life of a thief. You’re stealing images that aren’t yours. When you had premarital sex, you touched someone who didn’t belong to you. When you looked down the blouse of a woman who isn’t you wife, you were stealing something that isn’t yours to take. It’s just like walking down Main Street behind someone who drops a one-hundred-dollar bill out of his pocket, and you pick it up….

Similarly, if a woman’s blouse falls open, you can’t say “Hey, that’s in my sight line, I get to have that” No, you have look away. Otherwise you’re a thief. You need to leave that valuable creation in the hands of God and her husband or her future husband.

EMB – pg.72

Are they kidding? Let me be clear on something – looking at a woman, whether fully clothed, partially clothed or nude is NOT stealing anything! If I go into a restaurant and I enjoy the smell and look of the food on various people’s plates as I walk to my booth is that the same as if I picked up their plate off the table and started eating their food? The answer is no.

The beauty of women belongs to world, in the same way that the beauty of a tree belongs to all of us.

Group of Women

If I drive down the street and see a beautiful apple tree in my neighbor’s yard am I stealing from him if I look at the beauty of his tree, or even if it makes me hungry for an apple? The answer is no. If I go and grab an apple off his tree, then I have stolen.

Now when I say a woman’s beauty belongs to the world that does not mean I think women should be walking around nude all the time (although I do think there is a place for nudity in art and photography). See my article on Christians and nudity for more on that.

What is the Biblical View of Nudity?

What it does mean is that I have no problem with my wife or my daughter wearing attractive clothing. I just don’t want them dressing like prostitutes or whores. But unlike many Muslim men, and also some Christian men, I don’t expect every inch of wife and daughter’s skin to be covered.

The Bible says to everything there is a time and a season. So in the summer time, I don’t have a problem with my daughter wearing shorts. When my daughter goes in swimming pools when we go to hotels I don’t have a problem with her wearing bathing suits, even two piece bathing suits. I believe everything father has to decide where the line is and my daughter understands my line.

But to force a woman to completely cover her body from head to toe at all times is like having a beautiful rose garden and then building a 20 foot wall all around it so no one else can enjoy its beauty besides you.

A woman’s body belongs to her husband or future husband alone, but her beauty belongs to the world.

Is Masturbation a sin?

The authors of EMB make several broad attacks on masturbation to include it in their broadened definition of sexual immorality. It is kind of funny that the authors acknowledge the Scriptures are silent on masturbation, but then they turn around say for us to be holy we need to stop masturbating.

“Scripture is silent on the topic of masturbation. Some might even make a case that isolated instances of masturbation to relieve sexual tension are okay, if you’re focusing on your wife, not some supermodel, during periods of separation and illness. Wanton masturbation, tied to pornography or whatever gets your motor running, is always sin, putting distance between you and God. If you desire holiness, you must stop masturbating.”

EMB – pg.105

So let’s get this straight, the Scriptures are silent on masturbation, but if we want to be holy we have to stop masturbating? Sounds like the authors are preaching the commands of men as the commands of God.

But in all fairness to the authors of EMB, as well as a host of Christian teachers who teach against masturbation – here is the real issue. Because of how they define Biblical “lust”, masturbation must be wrong. I agree with them that most masturbation would involve some sexual fantasy with someone of the opposite sex.

Masturbation while trying to clear all sexual imagery from one’s mind may be possible, but it is grueling. It is like trying to eat food without tasting it or enjoying it, just quickly swallowing it before it can touch your taste buds.

I honestly think that many of these anti-masturbation advocates sit up at night wondering why God did not just give them a law against masturbation so we could get rid of this pesky issue once and for all. What they don’t realize is, the silence of the Scriptures on masturbation actually speaks against their expanded definition of Biblical lust.

If it were truly sin to be aroused by, or derive sexual pleasure from just seeing a woman’s form (whether fully clothed, partially clothed or fully nude) and this gratification naturally leads to a desire to masturbate, why would God have not addressed such an important sin of masturbation? The silence on the subject speaks volumes.

I wrote a lengthy article subject of Christians and masturbation here:

Is masturbation wrong for a Christian?

To summarize what I wrote, masturbation in and of itself is not wrong for a Christian. The authors of EMB are correct that the scriptures are silent on this issue. I wrote that masturbation can become wrong when it becomes obsessive to the point that it interferes in our work, church, marriage or other interpersonal relationships.

The ultimate purpose of our sex drive and sexual natures is to help provide oneness in our marriage and for procreation. However while these are the ultimate purposes for our sex drives, it is not the only reason. Orgasms provide mental relief from various stresses. It also provides an invaluable way to release sexual tension, especially for single people so they will not fall into actual sexual sin.

This brings me to the next subject of singles and sex.

Single men

EMB and Sexuality for Single people

“..the question for singles remains: What are you going to do with the sexual pressure you sometimes feel? First of all, you have to take by faith that once you get your eyes and mind under control, the sexual pressure will drop off dramatically. You bring most of the pressure onto yourself through visual sensual stimulation and mental fantasy.

Even so, there remains the male seventy-two-hour cycle of sperm production. Without the impurity of the eyes, the pressure generated by lust is gone, but there’s still a natural physical pressure for release, though much weaker. “What am I going to do about that?” you might ask. “How will I get release?”

God has supplied the way of release, something with which you’re familiar. Clinically it’s called “nocturnal emissions”.

EMB – Pg.109-110

There is very little research on nocturnal emissions. What we do know is that it is caused by having an orgasm or ejaculation during sleep from what many would call a “wet dream”. EMB actually tries to say your dreams will be “purer” by their definition of purity during these times.

Let me just be as straight as I can on this. This is one of the biggest bunches of bologna in EMB. Nocturnal emissions are not going to solve your need for sexual release (orgasm). Your body has to have sexual releases, whether from conscious stimuli (both mental and physical) while you are awake, or from unconscious stimuli while you sleep – that’s it plain and simple.

EMB talks about people who claimed to have not masturbated for years whether with their techniques or others. Of course they claim this is not just a matter of will power, but also the power of God. They say that as you starve your mind of all sexual imagery and learn to bounce your eyes, the pressure just gradually goes away. All of this is utterly and completely unprovable! Do they have people following these people around everywhere, 24 hours a day to make sure they never masturbate? Do they have people reading their minds to make sure they are not having erotic thoughts?

Maleness vs Manhood

Maleness vs Manhood is a major theme in this book. But what the author’s do is to ask men to go to war with their male tendencies as if they are part of the sinful nature.

The author’s after attacking the natural male ability to receive pleasure from visually stimulating women or images of women, then try and reign in their comments with these words:

“If we get into sexual sin naturally-just by being male-then how do we get out? We can’t eliminate our maleness, and we’re sure we don’t want to.

For instance, we want to look at our wives and desire them. They’re beautiful to us, and we’re sexually gratified when we gaze at them, often daydreaming about the night ahead and what bedtime will bring. In its proper place, maleness is wonderful.

We must choose to be more than male. We must choose manhood.”

EMB – Pg.71

Sin is not caused by our “maleness”, it is caused by our sin nature. Our sin nature tempts us to go beyond God’s limits, just as Adam and Eve went beyond the limits God set for them in the Garden of Eden.

For instance, men have a tendency to more aggressive than women. It is what makes men better in sports, business and combat than woman. God built this natural aggressiveness into man to make him a good hunter and provider. But a man’s God given, naturally aggressive nature can lead him into trouble when he uses his aggression in a negative way that goes outside the boundaries God has established.

For instance when my son played basketball his coach got on him for not being more aggressive. He needed to dig into his natural male aggression to fight to get that ball. However other team mates of his were too aggressive and breaking the rules of the game and getting foul calls all the time, and the coach had to have them pull back on their over-aggressiveness.

In the same way our male sexuality is not a sinful thing. Our appreciation of the female form and the chemical pleasure fireworks that go off in our head form seeing the female form are not sinful.

We get into sinful behavior when we begin to lust after(covet) a woman in the sense that we begin to think about how we can get a single woman to have sex outside of marriage with us, or how we can get a married woman to cheat on her husband and have sex with us. Simply being aroused by and enjoying a woman’s female form is not sin.

The author’s here try to put a much smaller boundary around our male sexuality than God does. The authors of EMB falsely tell us that the only woman we can receive sexual pleasure from seeing is our wife. That is a box that God NEVER put around male sexuality.

I agree with EMB authors about sexual addiction

While there may a few disagreements over how we define sexual addition, I agree with the authors that sexual addiction can be a problem for some people. Just like there are food addicts, there are sex addicts. It is when we take a good thing that God created for our benefit, and we over use it and become obsessed with it to the neglect of other areas of our life.

As I have pointed out here and many other places on my blog, I do not see any problem from a Biblical standpoint with being visually sexually aroused and masturbating. But where it can become wrong is if you start to look at women as only sexual objects. If it interferes with your intimacy with your wife then you need to get your masturbation back under control. If it interferes with your job where you looking at nude images where you work then it is a problem.

If you are food addict, you don’t stop eating, you start controlling how much you eat. If you are sex addict, you don’t stop having sex, or even masturbating, you simply control how often you do those things. If you are beginning to see women as nothing more than sex objects, then you need to get some counseling to help you with that.

Women are objects of sexual desire for men, to say otherwise would be a lie. In the same way that women are objects of sexual desire for men, men are objects of physical and financial security for many women. But for men to see women as ONLY objects of sexual desire, and not also as people with their own feelings, wants and desires is wrong. We cannot separate a woman’s sexual appeal from her humanity.

The teachings of EMB as well as majority of Christian churches causes people to fall into sexual sin

Because of their adding extra rules to God’s boundaries around sex, EMB and other likeminded Christian teachers have actually caused many Christian men and women to fall into sin. The reason is that they are not allowing people to have any normal sexual release outside of sex within marriage, when God does allow it.

When people are completely denied any sexual release, sometimes it leads to very perverted behavior. The Catholic Priest sex scandals are a perfect example of this. I truly believe that if these priests were allowed to be married and have normal outlets for sexual release many of these things would not have occurred.

I have pointed out in my article on masturbation, and in my article on Christians and nudity that it is not wrong for a man (or a woman) to look at a nude image. It is wrong for someone to look at pornography because those are photos or movies of actual people committing actual fornication.

What happens with many Christians is because they have been taught all nudity and all sexual fantasy is wrong, they go right to the hard stuff, right to the pornography. The reason is they figure, if all of it is sin, then you might as well go big. I used to be in that camp when I struggled with my highly sexual nature.

I have stated this many times on this blog. My wife has many health problems and there been many periods of time where we could not have sex. This used to be a horrible struggle for me as I thought every time I masturbated or fantasized sexually I was sinning. I lived under a cloud of guilt constantly asking God to forgive me.

As I was studying biology (specifically brain structure and chemistry differences between men and women) for a different subject (gender roles) I came to the realization – we are built as sexual beings. Sexuality is even bigger in most men than most women. Our visual drive, and need for variety is hardwired into the male brain. We can no more stop appreciating the beauty of a woman, than appreciating that sugar is sweet.

So you have a choice. You can follow EMBs teachings that add to the Bible. You can try to “bounce your eyes” and “starve” yourself of any visual sexual pleasure, other than your wife if you are married. You can walk around with your head staring at the ground everywhere you go, you can get rid of your TV so you will never see another sexy woman on a commercial or TV program. If you believe EMB’s expanded definition of Biblical lust than this is what you must do.

You must declare war on your maleness, until you have squeezed into the tight little box they would have you put it in, only then will you be in their eyes, a true man.

Or you can try a different path, one where you can have sexual release without sinning, and without guilt.

So if EMB is wrong, how should men handle the battle against sexual temptation?

At end of this review, I now want to offer a positive plan for Christians who want to keep from having premarital sex and also stay away from pornography.

You must first overcome your guilt about masturbation

One of the major themes in EMB is the guilt that is associated with masturbation. They say this is one of the indicators that tells us masturbation is wrong. I would submit to you that the only reason many men feel guilt when they masturbate is because they have been told it was wrong either by their parents or by their church.

When men and women realize that masturbation is not much different than having a bowl movement or urinating the guilt goes away. Masturbation releases pressure in the mind and body. But just like bowel movements and urinating, we don’t need to go around talking about it. I don’t tell people how many bowel movements I had last week, any more than I tell people how many times I masturbated last week. But we all know we need to have bowel movements, and we all know we need to have orgasms, whether through sex with our spouse when we are married, or by ourselves in the act of masturbation.

As a Christian you need to have faith that masturbation is a natural tool for sexual release that God has given you to keep you pure for marriage. It is also a tool that he has given married people to equalize out the differences in sex drives as well as help during times when one spouse cannot have sex.

Sexy brunette in black lingerie

You need to overcome issues with nudity

Another thing that many Christians, and even non-Christians have been taught is that viewing nude images of women, or sexually fantasizing about women is wrong. Christians like the authors of EMB teach that this a violation of the Bible’s command for people not lust. Non-Christians(mostly feminists) say if you are receiving sexual gratification from looking at someone you are “objectifying them”.

Regarding looking at other women EMB states:

“You don’t even know this woman; who are you to be attracted to her?”

EMB – pg. 151

This reminds me of a woman I was talking to in a Christian forum a while back. She said a man has no right to be attracted to a woman he does not know anything about. She said the shallowest thing a man can do is walk up to a woman at party or gathering and ask for her phone number, real attraction must be more than that. She said that is an example of “objectifying women”. While I agree you would not want to marry someone on looks alone, the act of simply being drawn to someone and asking them out because they are attractive is not shallow, it is how men are designed by God.

As a man, you must realize that you can look at women as both people with thoughts, feelings and desires and as objects of sexual pleasure. Many feminists and Christians will try to tell you must choose between seeing women as people or objects of sexual pleasure, but that is a false dichotomy, because they are both. Sexual deviants, molesters and rapists come to see women as ONLY objects of sexual pleasure and that is why they do the horribly wicked things they do.

But for the health of your mind, you have to see them as both people and objects of sexual pleasure. If you try to deny either, you will have problems. If you deny a woman’s personhood, you will become a sexual deviant. If you deny that women are also objects of sexual pleasure, you will cause your body and mind to become overwhelmed because you convince yourself you cannot look at women and derive pleasure from them. You will become like someone who is constipated walking around but never able to get any relief.

It is no more a sin for you to see a Victoria Secret commercial and feel horny than it is for you to see a pizza commercial and feel hungry. The issue comes in what you do when you are hungry or horny.

If I see a commercial for pizza, get hungry, order a pizza and then when the delivery guy comes I knock him out and steal the pizza I have sinned. If however I pay for the pizza after being made hungry by the commercial no sin has occurred.

If I am married and see a Victoria Secret commercial, get horny and then go have sex with my wife no sin has occurred. If I am single or married, see a Victoria Secret commercial, get horny, and then go masturbate to those images in my mind, I have not sinned.

The difference in marriage is, you need to be careful that your masturbation does interfere with your ability to have regular relations with your wife. It should be used as a supplement to sexual intercourse with your wife, but it should never replace it or interfere with it.

If as a single or married person, I get horny from a Victoria Secret commercial, and then go and look up pornography, and masturbate to it – I have sinned. Why? Because I am receiving pleasure from watching other people fornicate.

If as a single or married person, I look up pictures of nude women (not images of pornography) and I masturbate to those images, no sin has occurred.

Freedom

Conclusion

I have presented two choices to you. The first choice is to believe that EMB’s and many other Christians expanded definition is what lust actually is. You will be at war with your natural male urges to receive pleasure from looking at beautiful women, and you will spend most of your life looking at the ground.

Your other choice is to embrace the freedom that God has given you, and the natural tools he has given you for sexual release. As a man, realize that the most natural thing in the world is for you to derive pleasure from viewing a woman’s form, it is no different than deriving pleasure from a beautiful field of flowers.   Your need to for sexual release, for orgasms, is no different than your need to have bowel movements or to urinate.

Something I did not address in this is post is, as a man you also have a need for variety. Men are naturally polygynous. Just because we are living in a modern Western culture that treats polygamy as perverted does not make it so. Study the Old Testament and you will find many of the Old Testament patriarchs were polygamists. The Bible NEVER condemns this and the Mosaic Law actually regulates how polygamy is to occur.

Just recognize that while God has given you a natural mechanism for sexual release, and the gift of sexual arousal, he has also placed boundaries on how far you may go. You cannot get involved in sexual foreplay, oral sex or intercourse until you are married. You cannot look at pornography because that is deriving pleasure from real people committing fornication.

But you can feel free to walk through a mall or store, or any other gathering of people and see a beautiful woman and derive pleasure from her form. One of the purest things in the world is a man admiring the form of a beautiful woman. When you are feeling the need for sexual release, imagine a gorgeous woman and give your mind and body the release it needs through masturbation.

If you are single person and dating, masturbation can be your best friend. Masturbating before you go on dates can keep you from getting into sexual foreplay and premarital sex. Just honor God’s boundaries, and accept the freedom he has given you.

Yes every man does face a battle.  But it is not a battle against his God given “maleness”, but against the sin of covetousness. His battle is against thinking about trying to lure women he is not married to into bed, whether they are single or married to other women. He battle is against engaging in premarital sexual foreplay, oral sex or intercourse.  His battle is not against his God given design, or the natural mechanisms by which God has given him the ability to receive pleasure and have sexual release before and even during marriage.