Reader Q/A: Does the Bible Forbid Masturbation?

Question: I know the Bible says lust is wrong, but can I masturbate if I don’t lust?

Reader Q/A

The Bible never mentions masturbation, which, given the sheer number of laws and regulations that are outlined, is rather telling in itself. In other words, I believe God left masturbation out of the “rules” because He trusts us to use wisdom and the guiding of the Holy Spirit to discern the correct answer for our own individual selves.

The Bible does, however, clearly calls lust a sin and warns us of its detrimental effects. You simply cannot argue that lust is anything apart from sin if you are looking at it from a Biblical perspective.

Can You Masturbate without Lust?

I don’t know. That isn’t a question I can answer for you.

I’ve heard of some guys who can do their thing while thinking about mowing the lawn or whatever. But I know for me there is no way to separate the action from the mental fantasy. If you’re one of the guys who can keep your mind from wandering into lustful thoughts while masturbating, then I don’t see any reason why it would be a problem Biblically.

For me though, this is simply not possible. I can’t separate the two, so in my case the answer is no. But that doesn’t mean it’s the same answer for you.

Can You Masturbate without Becoming a Slave to it?

The other thing to consider, is can you masturbate without it becoming compulsive? The apostle Paul addresses this issue in his letter to the church in Corinth:

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything (1 Corinthians 6:12).

When looked it in the broader context of this letter, it’s clear Paul is referring to sexuality. No, he’s not saying that everything is okay. The Bible as a whole clearly puts that idea to rest. But He is talking about the areas of sexuality where God allows us the freedom to make decisions based on His leading, such as masturbation.

Paul tells us that just because you may have the freedom to masturbate (apart from lust), it isn’t wise if you become its slave. And chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you are very aware of how easy it is to become a slave to masturbation.

This is why you need to ask yourself if you truly are in control of your masturbation? If it’s controlling you, then perhaps masturbation is not a wise choice for you.

Deciding for Yourself

The bottom line is God hasn’t given us a blanket answer that applies to everyone. This is a decision He wants to make with you individually.

So seek His wisdom. Consider these questions I’ve brought up and answer them honestly. If you seek His direction in this area, He will let you know.

Thank you again for your question. I hope this answer helped bring you more clarity.

Grace and peace to you in Christ,

This question was taken from the recent Reddit AMA I did for NoFapChristians.

If you have a question about pornography addiction, my personal story, or anything else for that matter, you can send it to me by filling out the form on the Contact page (or just click my picture in the sidebar on the right). I will do my best to answer every question personally and will never post your question without your permission.

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