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HOWEVER: Growing up in a house where touching yourself was a sin, not the act of doing it while fantasizing.
I'm still kinda struggling with the idea of it not being a sin. I love getting myself to orgasm, it feels good; and even the mess is worth it sometimes. But how do you combat the idea that was ingrained into you; that it's a sin to enjoy your body?
When I married, and later was saved through our Lord and Savior, Jesus, I understood such laws became null.
I was quickly hit by a revelation which I can attributive only from the Holy Spirit and only to me; (I do not presume to demand such thinking of all)
My sexual energy and pleasure is the sole property of my wife, as hers is the sole property of me. If we selfishly deplete said energy on ourselves, it is a form of deprivation and denial of the spouses right to pleasures.
That makes it sin. However, I believe this is akin to eating meat; we are directed in one way; others may be directed in other ways. I speak only for us.
I agree with this conclusion. What is sinful and not very much depends on our motives and intentions as well as the consequences of our actions - all of which are very personal when it comes to subjects on which the Bible is silent, such as masturbation.However, I believe this is akin to eating meat; we are directed in one way; others may be directed in other ways.
This article gives food for thought:
I have read other articles that agree with the above referenced article, but this one is in my mind the most logical and convincing. Following the premise of the authors logic, how far could that be taken? How about viewing nudity, etc.
For me, I spent about half a century dealing with guilt when I did it - even when I did it as a married man where sexual pleasure was permitted in my life. Notice that I didn't say that I didn't do it, I just said that I felt guilty when I did do it because of improper teaching when I was a kid. (Mama said that I would go blind if I did it, and I guess, that based on what my Optometrist just told me, she may turn out to be right....)
But, I've overcome that. I think that the crux of the matter is the last two paragraphs immediately before the Conclusion in the link in the last post by @Thomas.
God has made it abundantly clear that things like adultery, fornication and other forms of sexual immorality mentioned in that second to last paragraph are wrong and against His will. What real student of the scriptures doesn't understand how God feels about adultery or fornication?
Not to mention His ability to make clear His will concerning other non-sexual sins, idol worship, murder, lying, stealing, disrespecting parents, etc.
So, IF He is that capable - capable enough to make crystal clear His view of those things, why, then, is His word so absolutely silent - cover to cover - about masturbation, something the author points out is so prevalent in mankind (and some animal kind).
That we, religious people mostly, have to take selected and often isolated verses, often out of context, and cobble them together to prove some point is the "adding to the Scriptures" that is condemned in the scriptures - to me anyway.
If that is what you are going to do, then I guess that you can condemn just about anything you want to conjure up. A sect of our denomination in past years conjured it up that you can't eat in a church building - no fellowship halls or anything of the like are allowed.... out of verses about church meeting situations where church buildings per se were way off in the future. But... they permit water fountains. Go figure.
I basically think that the religious world (the one that I grew up in anyway) has done just that with masturbation - made sin where God has never said that there was sin - which has made lots of us have to live with guilt that God never intended for this gift that he has given us to keep us from 'burning'.
I'm done ranting now...
That article was good, for the most part. The way he was talking about lust was a little iffy, yes; Lust is a firey desire, but lust in regards to fantasizing is it can very much lead to addiction.
You're probably right, considering how my parents were raised in churches that lead them to forbid Pokemon, Power Rangers, and for a short while: Batman. lol
I’d say your comment is a perfect illustration to my point about intentions and consequences. If your experience is that solo masturbation leads to sexual temptation, then of course you should refrain from it.I've never known solo masturbation not lead to sexual temptation...
That doesn't have to mean that masturbation is "off limits." Only that you may need to learn how to do it without guilty thoughts/imaginations.
One area where it can get a little grey is if you are trying to avoid getting caught, or judged by someone else--those fears can transfer a feeling similar to guilt... So definitely find a safe spot and time where you don't need to be bothered about someone potentially walking in on you, or that kind of thing.
Apart from that, don't suppress your conscience, inform it with Scripture, pray for a soft heart, and when you are horny, watch your thought life--what you allow yourself to feed on leading up to masturbation, and during it. If you can keep your thought life pure (i.e. by not consuming pornographic thoughts of women), you should be able to come out the other side not feeling guilty...
The freedom of being able to masturbate without guilt is definitely liberating, but it only comes with a pretty strong commitment to fight against inward temptation.
As always, thanks be to God for renewed forgiveness as well as opportunities to try again...