Masturbation in Marriage

Masturbation in marriage happens all the time.

One spouse is usually hiding it…

and the other spouse is either naïve and oblivious, or ticked off and hurt.

Doesn’t seem like the best scenario, does it?

As Christians bombarded by the message DON’T DO IT, or just COMPLETE SILENCE, it is easy to feel like all masturbation is bad – even in marriage.  However, for some couples, masturbation within marriage can fit into God’s design for sex. Masturbation can make the two into “One” or helping them “know” each other better. This has been one of the huge areas of growth in my marriage. In Awaken-Love classes, I find it to be a topic that can be both surprising and liberating for Christian women.


Opening Up the Conversation of Masturbation in Singleness

Song of Songs 8:4 – “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”

I have a single friend in her thirties, that by the grace of God, has never been awakened.She loves the Lord and no matter how long it takes, she intends to wait until she marries. Fortunate circumstances in her life have made waiting easier for her than many others. As a kid, she never  stumbled upon the pleasures that her body can experience and learned to masturbate. Boyfriends never made her heart pound, tested the waters, or pushed the limits. Amazingly, she was never exposed to movies, books or pornography that whet her appetite enough to take things into her own hands. And no one has taken what was not theirs to take. She looks forward to marriage and thoroughly enjoying sex. Her body has not been awakened and so it just makes life…simpler.

Honestly, most of us are not that fortunate.

Many kids accidentally discover the pleasure their body holds and begin a life of self-comfort at a young age. Media screams sexuality – from music, to movies, to magazines, to books, to live streaming video of pornography – it is everywhere. Dating provides all kinds of challenges as limits are pushed and hormones surge. 30% of women and 20% of men experience some kind of sexual abuse. And so in some way, shape, or form, many of us are awakened before marriage – whether we want to be or not. Just because we have been awakened, does not mean that we cannot begin living with sexual integrity. It might just take more determination. 


Masturbation – What does the Bible really say?

Masturbation is probably more taboo to talk about then sex.  Most churches would like to take a black or white stance on the topic, but the Bible does not address masturbation. God calls us to live in the tension of being created sexual from the time of birth and knowing that God created sex as a way to join husband and wife together to make them into One. He does not give us clear guidance about masturbation. What may benefit one person, may lead others astray.

The one passage about masturbation that people quote from the Bible  is Genesis 38:9. According to Jewish law, in order to carry on the family line, Onan was to have sex with his dead brother’s wife. Because of Onan’s greed, whenever he had sex with her, he pulled out and spilled his seed on the ground. Onan was not masturbate. It was probably more similar to natural family planning. Now I don’t think God had anything against NFP. He was angry with Onan because of his disobedience.

The Bible does not specifically address masturbation. But plenty of biblical principles impact our decisions about masturbation.