“Keep your drink just give me the money. It’s just you and your hand tonight.”
This is a post about masturbation. If this is a subject that you would rather not get into, you have been warned!
Celibacy is kind of cool these days. Not just monogamy, actual celibacy. And not just with religious people. I’ve heard about quite a few ‘non-religious’ people who have decided to be celibate until marriage, for whatever reason. A few years after I started University I started to feel frustrated about my sex life. For four reasons:
I have to wait until after I got married to have sex.
Waiting is hard.
Whether I get married is not something that I have absolute control over.
Waiting is hard.
I am starting to learn to come to terms with the fact that there are lot of things in my life that I do not have control over. Sure, I can put myself out there, make friends with men and make my intentions for marriage clear but when I get married is not something I can control for myself. And even though the stats say that most people get married rather than remain single – how can I know that I’m not part of the small percentage of the people who will never say ‘I do’?
:: self sufficiency and self-reliance.
A lot of you feel the same way as I do, frustrated, but waiting in expectation. And because of all the desires surging on the inside of you, you feel like you can’t be blamed for occassionally taking things into your hands. Literally. You may even say things like, “At least I’m not sleeping around.” or “Well, I’ve only done it once this month.” and you probably have a million billion excuses as to why you were justified this time around. And then maybe after the guilt sets in, you go of a self-imposed guilt trip where you make promises and vows to God about how you will never ever do it again.
“By myself I can do nothing.”
Those words are simple, but profound. Profound because those words were said by Jesus. If you want some context, have a look at the book of John, chapter 5. I want to focus on is this: Jesus was making a point of His reliance on His Father for everything that He did. If you are a believer in Christ’s deity then you will not struggle to understand how profound that statement by Him is! Christ Himself, who claimed to be God, said that He could do nothing by Himself! He chose not to rely on Himself, He described Himself as not self- sufficient!
The message that masturbation communicates to us is this: you do not need anyone else to be sexually satisfied, you are enough. It puts the power in our hands and teaches us that sexual pleasure is something that can be had independently of another person, for yourself. I take issue with this because
:: good sex is more about giving than getting.
Yes, I do know that my ability to speak with authority on this is seriously impeded. Indulge me for a while longer. Take a friendship: the healthiest and most mutually beneficial friendships are ones where the one is not looking to see what they can get out of the relationship but commits themselves to giving to the other. It makes sense that the same would be true of sex. Masturbation and porn have a way of training us to look out for our own pleasure and not that of another. If you have been playing singles tennis for most of your life, it’ll be a huge struggle for you to adjust to playing doubles.
I wrote above about my frustration with God about my sex life and I went through a time of serious struggle regarding how one is supposed to live according to God’s high standards. But I believe that God is always right, even when I do not understand or when it is hard to obey Him so I kept trying to find ways of keeping myself from falling back into the sinful patterns I would find myself in. But then I realised that
:: in my attempts to do right I was still falling into the trap of self reliance.
We were never meant to live this life on our own steam. Weirdly, when it comes to God, the first step to victory is surrender. Our surrender needs to come from a place of seeing how much we have fallen short and how in need of God’s grace we really are. By ourselves, we really can do nothing. Nothing that is pleasurable, lasting and beautiful, in the powerful in the true sense.
Wait, don’t do it yourself.
Thanks for reading.