Is Masturbation a Sin?

Hello Michelle,

How would you respond to someone who asks whether masturbation is a sin and if so what is the reason for it. The question raises because the bible says nothing about this topic.


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Hi Martin,

Thank you for this real and honest question. It is so important for us as Christians to address these issues, even if they may seem like taboo topics in some Christian settings. I want to point you directly to this article by Focus on the Family . It addresses almost all of the questions that you ask specifically and gives some good practical advice.

First, we need to make sure that we answer with love and care. For many people, this is a topic linked to personal shame or addiction. When we talk about the boundaries that the Bible puts on sexuality, we must also talk about hope, freedom and wholeness that the gospel offers to every single one of us.

Second, the Bible does not mention masturbation specifically, but the Bible has a lot to say about sex. The central message that the bible gives us is that sex was designed to be practiced only in marriage between a man a woman. This isn’t because God is prudish or old fashioned. It is because during sexual intimacy there is such a powerful physical, spiritual, and emotional union that takes place. The sexual union between a man and a woman in marriage is a picture and promise of the eternal love of God that is always selfless, sacrificial, and permanent. Any type of personal sexual activity makes sex all about individual gratification instead of relational dedication. Every time we step outside of those divine boundaries for sexuality, brokenness always ensues.

Third, Jesus said that all of the law could be fulfilled by following the command to Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. In this sense, all sin is a violation of love. When we sin we are either not loving God rightly or not loving others rightly-often it is a combination of the two. The good news of the gospel is that all of our sin has been covered and paid for by the cross of Jesus Christ. Accepting Christ as savior means surrendering every part four lives to him and his commands. When we do so, he promises to walk alongside us, to help us and to bring freedom from the brokenness that sin has had on our own lives and the lives of others. We do not have to hide our past or present struggles from Jesus, he already knows them, his death has covered them, and he invites us to walk with him daily for freedom, wholeness, and fulfillment.

Fourth, you don’t have to deal with this alone. The body of Christ is meant to be the visible hands and feet of Jesus. If someone is struggling with masturbation or any other type of sexual sin, you don’t have to deal with it alone. There are many people in the body of Christ that have walked this road before and would love to walk with you. It is important to reach out to your church or a close Christian friend for support.

Once again, thank you for this honest question.



Thank your for the thoughtfull answer :wink: