Masturbation and Widowhood

Does God condemn a widow for self-stimulating as a way to relieve sexual tension? My husband died a year ago. His death brought a lot of pain, of course — but I’ve been able to get through most of the practical adjustments. Still, there’s one thing my friends can’t help with: the sudden loss of my sex life. Sometimes I masturbate to deal with the pressure, but I feel so guilty.

Before saying anything else, we want you to know that we’re deeply sorry about your loss. Only God can explain why this heartbreak has been allowed into your life, and we believe He’ll make everything clear when you see Him face to face. He loves you and cares for you intimately; He won’t let your suffering be wasted.

But to come to your question, the Bible never directly addresses the subject of masturbation. So we have to be careful about laying down hard rules around this issue — or claiming to know the mind of God (though Scripture does address behaviors often related to masturbation).

Still, considering your circumstances, we do not believe that God condemns you for seeking sexual release through masturbation. From what you’ve shared, the relief through occasional self-gratification doesn’t exploit another human being (as would viewing pornography or reading erotic material). And you aren’t having sex with another person outside of marriage.

Rather, the death of your husband has left you with no way to calm the sexual urges in you according to God’s physical design. Your motive isn’t lustful or rebellious toward the Lord. We understand the struggle you’re facing, and we know it can be agonizing.

Would you be willing to call us to talk more? Our hearts go out to you in this season of grief, and our staff of licensed or pastoral counselors would be glad to help in any way they can. They’re available for a free over-the-phone consultation, and they can also suggest qualified counselors in your area. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Passionate Commitment

God’s Design for Sex

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