You might be wondering what in the world brought on this post. Well, my wife is addicted to the TV show “Friends” and she recently bought one of the seasons on DVD. We have been watching them together every so often after our son Cole heads to bed.
In a recent episode, Monica walks in on her husband as he is masturbating. Not surprisingly the show makes this one of the main jokes of the episode and it’s all in “good fun.” While Friends can be a funny show, its no secret that they put forward a very distorted view of sex which, in my mind, is one of the downfalls of the show.
In the churches that I have grown up in the “M-Word,” as it is commonly referred to, has been one of those “off limits” conversations and preaching topics and I have yet to hear a really compelling reason “why it is wrong.” Now, before you jump into the comments to rip me apart. Hear what I am saying. Its’ not that I think masturbation is a good practice or anything. It’s just that I have thought the rationale that we have used to say “this is wrong” often falls short.
Let’s be honest, in the Bible, nowhere does it say, “thou shalt not masturbate.” I have been in a number of conversations with guys who like to try and rationalize that its okay to do it if you aren’t lusting (never actually heard of that actually happening!). I have also heard some really strange ways people use scripture to say why it’s wrong.
So, the question is out there. Is it wrong and why?
Well, first let me state, I do believe it is wrong. However, my reason is not so much based on lust as it is based on a deeper issue. To me, the issue is about a proper view of the sexual relationship between a man and a wife.
It’s my conviction that its shows like Friends (and the many other sex based shows on our televisions) that have brought us away from the deeper issue here. See, in these shows, sex is viewed as anything but a selfless act. In fact, in these shows, sex is the opposite. It’s all about what you get. Perhaps this is how we get language like “getting laid.” Think about it, most of our “slang” to describe sex uses language that is receiving in nature.
But, the point of scripture is that sex as it is designed is supposed to be an act of selflessness. It’s about giving more than receiving. It’s not about “getting your fill” or “getting laid.” It’s about a selfless act between a husband and wife.
Here is where masturbation comes in. What is masturbation at is root? Self-gratification. Its basic goal is to make oneself fulfilled sexually. There is absolutely nothing selfless about the act. Who cares if you can somehow masturbate without lusting, lust is not the point.
So, if the act of sex between a man and a wife is supposed to be, at its core, a selfless act, then the act of masturbation leads us away from God’s design for a biblical sexual relationship. In once sense, its really bad training for marriage. When you masturbate you are essentially training yourself to be a terrible sexual partner.
So, what do you think? (feel free to leave anonymous comments)