Here are 4 reasons you should not masturbate as a Christian man.
1. You Should Not Masturbate Because It’s a Sin According to the Bible
The word masturbation is not in the Bible but the category of masturbation is listed in the Bible. And to be clear, I’m not talking about the lust that is associated with masturbation, which I’ll talk more about in the points ahead. Here I’m talking strictly about the physical act of masturbation being a sin apart from the lust that comes with it. Some men say they can masturbate with a blank mind. This is still sinful according to the Bible.
The “F word” is not listed in the Bible, but it’s clearly a sin to use it because it falls in the category of foul speech (Ephesians 5:4, Colossians 3:8). “Insider trading” is not named in the Bible, but it’s a sin because it’s in the category of theft, deceit, and not following the laws of the land (Ephesians 4:28, Romans 13:1-2). The word “abortion” is not listed in the Bible, but it’s a sin because it’s in the category of murder (Exodus 20:13).
Likewise, “masturbation” and “self-pleasure” are not named in the Bible, but they are a sin because they are in the category of “sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 7:2), “a lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:5), and “burning with passion” (1 Corinthians 7:9). When you read 1 Corinthians 7:1-9, it’s very clear that the only sexual experience condoned by God is that which takes place between a husband and wife. Masturbation does not fall into that category thus it is a sexual sin.
If you’re married, all sexual experiences must be with your spouse. If you’re unmarried, you must pursue marriage to experience sexual pleasure with your spouse and in the meantime, you must abstain from all sexual pleasure.
Masturbation is condemned in the Bible through what is condoned in the Bible. Every sin in the world is not listed specifically in the Bible but through the categories of what is prescribed in Scripture we can know what is also proscribed through Scripture even if it’s not specifically listed in the Bible.
2. The Act of Masturbation Is a Sin and It Always Leads to Lust
Now, if you don’t like my explanation of categorical sin and you really wanted to see masturbation specifically forbidden in Scripture before you will accept that it is a sin, I think you could see this in Matthew 5:27-30. Jesus said:
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
What is Jesus referring to here when he said, “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away”? A logical inference based upon the context of this statement can easily lead us to conclude Jesus was referring to masturbation.
First he talks about adultery, then he talks about lusting with the eyes, and then he talks about sinning with your hand. Clearly the natural flow for someone who masturbates is to lust with their eye first and then masturbate with their hand. So it’s very reasonable to conclude Jesus was directly condemning the act of masturbation here. It would have been crude of Jesus to describe this sinful act in more detail. But by using the phrase “your right hand causes you to sin” when referring to lust in the verse right before this, it’s pretty clear what Jesus is talking about.
Is it possible Jesus was randomly referring to some other sin with the hand? Sure, that’s possible. But I think it’s very highly likely this is a direct condemnation from Jesus about masturbating.
At minimum, we can at least see how looking at a woman who’s not your wife with a lustful desire is a sin. And for the vast majority of men who masturbate, they use sexual images on a screen or just in the mind which is lust and therefore a sin. And for all who masturbate, this stokes the sexual fires in you which does not coincide with the command to “Flee from sexual immorality” ( 1 Corinthians 6:18).
3. You Should Not Masturbate Because It Will Keep You Single
A sexual desire is not the main reason a man should pursue marriage; but according to Scripture, having a strong sexual desire that you struggle to control is a sign you are called to pursue marriage rather than intentionally pursuing a life of singleness. As Paul said:
But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband . . . To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (1 Corinthians 7:2, 8-9)
A sexual desire will help you be motivated to pursue a woman. I’m not saying you should just pursue her to have sex with her. But God has made the sexual drive in a man to also be a way in which he loves his wife. This drive in your body is connected to your mind and heart when it comes to romance. When you masturbate, it’s like you are burning the fuel God is giving you that can help you be motivated to pursue a real woman.
Again, it’s not just about wanting to have sex. It’s about emotionally connecting with a woman. The sexual drive you have is also connected to the emotional drive you have to be with a woman. If you lose the sexual drive, it also decreases the emotional drive.
All that to say, if you masturbate, you will be single for longer because you will lack motivation for a relationship. You will also feel ashamed of yourself and thus not feel prepared for a relationship.
4. You Should Not Masturbate Because It’s Bad for Your Mental Health
I’ve been talking about the sinful effects of masturbation for a longtime, and perhaps the most common comment I receive on videos I make about this topic is, “But science says it’s good for your health.”
This is just dumb. You’re not going to die if you don’t masturbate. So relax. Get control of yourself and stop using idiotic reasons to justify your sexual sin. If you’re really concerned about your physical health due to a lack of sexual release, then spend more time pursuing a woman in a godly way so you can get married rather than sitting by yourself masturbating (1 Corinthians 7:1-9). Additionally, God has designed the body to have nocturnal emissions when your body truly needs to release.
However, what’s been interesting to see in the last few years is how many secular scientific studies are showing the benefits of not masturbating. Worldly men call this “no fap.” But Christian men have been saying this for a long time. Christian men know by experience that when we masturbate we feel guilty. It’s not good for your mental health.
Scientifically, this can also be seen through the loneliness masturbation makes one feel. The sexual release in the body produces oxytocin, which is a hormone that makes you attached to others. When you masturbate, you produce oxytocin by yourself, thus not having anyone to be attached to, which creates loneliness. As Doctor Anna Lembke writes in her book called Dopamine Nation:
While truth-telling promotes human attachment, compulsive overconsumption of high-dopamine goods is the antithesis of human attachment. Consuming leads to isolation and indifference, as the drug comes to replace the reward obtained from being in relationship with others.
Experiments show that a free rat will instinctively work to free another rat trapped inside a plastic bottle. But once that free rat has been allowed to self-administer heroin, it is no longer interested in helping out the caged rat, presumably too caught up in an opioid haze to care about a fellow member of its species.”
Here’s a playlist of videos I’ve done in the past: What Does the Bible Say About Masturbation?