CHRISTIAN SINGLES ARTICLES BY DR. JIM RIVES
Here is a topic that is seldom discussed by Christian singles in Christian circles, but certainly one very applicable to the Christian single life. I do not find a "black and white" answer in the Bible, but there are some elements that we can draw out of it. Let me share some personal perspectives first.
When I was 11, my stepmother handed me a book that she had obtained while attending Moody Bible Institute. The book was about sex and how a Christian male should approach these urges. Wow - did that book get read faster than my schoolbooks! As I recall the essence of the book, it said that one should masturbate occasionally - but do so without thinking of any woman. Huh? May I be honest with Christian singles, here - 50 years later I have not found out how that is possible.
In the 1980's a professor from one of the Southern Baptist seminaries came to our church for a seminar. I do not remember the topic of the series, but I do remember that masturbation was one of the topics when he was speaking to adults only. He made the statement something to the effect that newer thinking on this subject revealed that they did not think it to be as harmful as previously thought. Huh? What did he mean harmful - or not? Well, being the good conservative group that we were - no one asked - and I was not about to take the lead.
Well, beloved Christian singles, I cannot recall any direct scriptures in the Bible that address the subject of masturbation. But it does address some topics that apply:
Matthew 5:28 God tells us not to look upon a woman to lust after her, for to do so is to already commit adultery in our hearts. And the scriptures are very clear on how He feels about adultery.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us that our body is the temple of God (for those who have become His children) and that whatever we do we should glorify God.
So how does a single Christian adult not lust, glorify God and handle the sexual urges that are "natural" in his or her body?
Oh, you want me to give you the answer? Well, beloved Christian singles, I suggest that it is a moment by moment, thought by thought process - and ongoing. It is not something to be answered once and for all. How Christian singles handle any thought is part of their Christian living and should be approached and carried out differently than others who are not adopted by God the Father.
I can say that I believe that for Christian singles to find themselves having a frequent diet of masturbation can lead to some serious complications. For example, it will increase the appetite of Christian singles for sex - and that the Bible is clear about not doing outside of marriage. If Christian singles find the need to use the Internet or any form of pornography to feed this appetite, they are literally playing in Satan's hand. Those pictures, etc. form a permanent impression in our minds and most challenging to get rid of - surfacing sometimes years later when you do not wish them to surface. Frequent masturbation can lead Christian singles to only see Christian singles gatherings as "meat markets" and their eyes are really wandering from body to body seeking gratification. This applies to men and women Christian singles.
If Christian singles find a strong appetite to masturbate and are finding themselves doing this frequently, I would encourage Christian singles to seek the services of a good Christian counselor. This could be an outward action striving to fill an inner void. A good counselor can serve as a guide to assist you to find the underlying forces and on to the freedom that will bring a more satisfying life to you.
Philippians 4:8 is where Paul was led by God to share "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."
Christian singles will need to develop their own understanding in how to handle this subject for their own single life. God made you - sexual drives and all. Ask Him to lead you in honoring these drives in a healthy and pure way. Related Christian articles for singles: Christian Singles and Pornogaphy. And: Passions and Christian Singles And: Sex defined by God for Christian Singles Also: Premarital sex, what is, and is not, permissible in sexual behavior for Christian singles engaged in Christian dating? And be sure you read: What every single Christian REALLY needs to know! (about sexually transmitted diseases) And: "Should Christian singles engaged in Christian dating have sex while dating to be sure they are compatible before marriage?" And: No, Christian dating should not include recreational sex, but for many Christian singles it does.
In His love,
Note: The answers provided in this site are intended to be as one provided by a minister. It is NOT intended to take the place of a licensed counselor. Dr. Rives encourages all who are seeking to resolve deeply rooted psychological, emotional or behavioral needs to seek the services of a trained and licensed counselor. The answers provided in this web site are intended to be words of encouragement and spiritual guidance as one would obtain from a licensed minister as well as the sharing of Dr Rives personal experience. Articles by Dr. Jim Rives used with permission, copyright © 2001-2009 JacobsMinistry.org Inc. (Arizona Non-Profit Corporation) All rights reserved.