Lust and Masturbation: The Struggle

First, I want to thank you all who have commented. You continue to encourage and challenge me, making me want to continue to write, confess, and seek God’s truth on these issues. Thank you.

Someone recently asked if I was actually struggling with masturbation, actually resisting, or if I’ve just accepted it. Here’s my answer:

First, I will say that I’ve definitely struggled with the mental/moral debate of whether it is sinful or not. I’d say that a great number of those who’ve found my blog have done so seeking the answer to the same question. As I read my past posts I can see the evidence of my struggle with this. More and more I am coming to understand that masturbation is something I should struggle against. The journey behind this belief has been a long one. To be honest I’ve waffled for years due to not wanting to really know how God truly sees this. Not wanting to really know that crucifying these specific desires of my flesh is actually what is best for me and most glorifying to Him. At times I’ve declared that I believe that, but when it’s really difficult, all the same questions/excuses resurface. But God has indeed used this blog, this space that was created for me to wrestle and seek the truth, to better understand the why behind the belief that I shouldn’t masturbate. And for that I am thankful, even though it strips me of my excuses.

At this point I absolutely must acknowledge Torik89 and her blog “Women Masturbate.” She has delved into the why and has done so without judgement, simply sharing her story and what God and experience have taught her. As I’ve tried to navigate through the thick forest of this topic, her words have at times been a machete to clear away the brambles, and at times been a gentle sunbeam to guide me through the trees. Thank you, my friend and sister-in-Christ, for your amazing heart and wisdom for leading me and others toward the light.

Second, the battle against my actual fleshly urges…oh man. Where to start?

The Mental/Spiritual: I’ve read that the mind is the most powerful sexual organ. This is true. There’s the whole debate about being able to masturbate without lusting (which of course brings up the whole “what constitutes lusting” debate, which I won’t go into now). Let me put it this way. I’ve tried to masturbate without thinking any sexual thoughts. It didn’t really get me anywhere. Because my mind is my primary sex organ. Which means that most of the time my mental state is what determines my masturbatory habits. If I’ve given my mind sexual material to recall, whether by viewing, reading, or imagining it, most likely I’ll find myself indulging the habit instead of fighting it. And if I’m not filling my mind with eternal, Philippians 4:8-type things, then my mind’s habit is to seek the sexual. My spiritual walk with God is crucial to being in the right frame of mind to repel sexual thoughts, and therefore resist masturbating.

The Physical: It is rare that I’m ever not in the mood for sex. So, you can imagine that I, being a woman with a cycle of hormones, go through regular bouts of EXTREME horniness during that time that I’m supposed to be making babies. So, sometimes the actual physical need is super strong even when my mind is in a good place.

So basically – If I’m not spending time with God/walking in the Spirit then my mind will go to sexual thoughts, and then my body will respond and most likely I’ll give in to masturbating. This is most of the time. Sometimes it’s the opposite. My body will crave sex so strongly that my mind will go to sexual thoughts and I’ll masturbate, even if I have been spending time with God, and then I’ll often distance myself from God because of that.

Everything is connected.

So the simple answer to the question “Do I actually struggle?” is yes but sometimes no. Sometimes I’ve fought to the extent of getting out of bed, even though I was really sleepy, and making myself do something. Other times I’ve gone weeks just giving in. Currently, I read this blog every night because it helps me remember to resist. Another problem is that my mind and body go there when I’m sleepy. I’m sure some of you know what I mean by this. It’s hard to fight when you’re half-asleep.

I’m praying about talking to someone I know personally about this. I have told people in the past but it’s been a while since I’ve done so. I know that it needs to be the right person, and I’m not sure who that is.

All-in-all, I’m trying to remember that the main why is not for me to be a better person, but to glorify God. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and my life has been given to Christ. I owe Him all of me, and I want to be obedient to Him, and I want to love Him above all.

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Encouragement for the Single

The absolute most encouraging thing I’ve ever heard about being single was from David Platt in this series:

http://www.radical.net/media/schurch/view/872/secret-church-family-marriage-sex-and-the-gospel-part-3?filter=series

He talks about singleness at 27:14, and you can read the transcript by pressing “Read” beneath the video because he goes REALLY fast.

The rest of the series is so good. Crammed full of scripture and challenging truth. Check it out!

Some Things I’ve Learned

An update on things that I’ve previously mentioned:

1. Bushbaby and Captain Adorable

It’s over. PRAISE GOD! It’s over! Actually it was a little over a month ago but I’ve been swamped so I didn’t get the chance to write about it.

First, I must change his moniker to “Captain Adios” because he’s bye-bye.

Remember when I was all jealous and wanted a relationship and all that? Well…watching this relationship take place cured me. It cured the crap out of my jealousy. It was awful.

Why is it that abusive guys somehow know which women to go after? They have like this 6th sense about it. “Hey, she’s sweet and beautiful and easy to guilt and manipulate…let’s do it!”

It started so wonderfully…and then the personal issues came out and vomited all over that relationship and everyone within a mile radius of it (which, sadly, included ALL roommates involved). Poor guy has serious trust issues. Bushbaby is a fun, caring, and giving person. She’s not hard to get in touch with. She knows how to take care of people. And yet he found something about her to take issue with 90% of the time. Ok, folks… if you are having unhappy disagreements 90% of the time within the first 6 months of the relationship…and are only happy or even just neutrally okay 10% of the time… do yourself a favor and breakup with that.

He accused her constantly of “Not being as serious about this relationship as he was.” He used that line when she didn’t text him every 15 minutes. And countless other times when he found little things she did or didn’t do that bothered him.

Here’s what I learned from this situation:

A. Get to know someone before jumping right on into the relationship. Take it slow. The crazy will come out sooner or later and hopefully before you’ve declared your love so that you’ll know if it’s a crazy you can handle.

B. Don’t tell God what you need because He might just give it to you. Instead, tell God “I don’t know what I need, but You do. So I’ll take that instead of what I think it should look like.”

C. SAY NO TO EMOTIONAL ABUSE

What is Emotional Abuse?

Abuse is any behavior that is designed to control and subjugate another human being through the use of fear, humiliation, and verbal or physical assaults. Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as intimidation, manipulation, and refusal to ever be pleased.

Emotional abuse is like brain washing in that it systematically wears away at the victim’s self-confidence, sense of self-worth, trust in their own perceptions, and self-concept. Whether it is done by constant berating and belittling, by intimidation, or under the guise of “guidance,” “teaching,” or “advice,” the results are similar. Eventually, the recipient of the abuse loses all sense of self and remnants of personal value. Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be far deeper and more lasting than physical ones (Engel, 1992, p. 10).

Bushbaby broke up with him and never cried or felt sad about doing so. Because she was freed from this awfulness. She said she just felt relieved and happy…and like she was herself again.

So this is me…confessing that I’m eating my words right now. Jealousy is stupid for many reasons, and this is one of them.

2. The world of dating

Okay, so I’ve talked about online dating and weddings and all that. After my post-wedding meltdown I had a really good conversation with my dad that helped me. He basically told me to let myself off the hook about needing to meet people at weddings. And I did. My new wedding strategy is to just enjoy myself…whatever that means. Talk to who I want to talk to. Period. If I want to sit with my friends then I’ll sit with my friends and have fun.

Still not online dating. Still fine with that.

I’ve been a little more proactive about asking my friends to set me up. A few of them have people in mind and I’ve urged them to make it happen. We’ll see.

3. The Man-Longing In General

I’ve actually been pretty good (hence the lack of posts, recently). I got to hang out with an old high school friend who is in the same situation as me and noticed that she was really frustrated and I…wasn’t. It was a nice surprise to realize that I’m pretty content right now. Of course there are still days and still moments. I’ll have moods of loneliness or I’ll masturbate. I’m still horny the majority of the time. But I’m not unhappy or discontent with my singleness.

4. There’s No Nice Way To Confess That You Masturbate.

No matter how many times you write it. I masturbate. Yup. Still horrible.