Teen Struggling With Masturbation

Will God send me to hell for masturbating? I’m a Christian, and everybody knows me as a “good kid” — active in youth group, involved in school leadership, cooperative with parents and teachers, and respected by my friends. But nobody knows about my masturbation habit. I feel really guilty.

Take a breath. God isn’t going to send you to hell because you masturbate.

Masturbation is complicated and controversial because the Bible never mentions it. That’s why Christians have different viewpoints on its spiritual and moral significance. And that’s also why we have to be careful about laying down hard and fast rules.

Still, there are helpful guidelines in God’s Word about the overall purpose of sex.

The meaning and purpose of human sexuality

Sex isn’t intended to be all about me. Instead, it’s designed to be part of the give-and-take interpersonal relationship of marriage. The Bible has two important things to say about the meaning and purpose of sex:

  • Sex is central to the process by which husband and wife become one flesh (Genesis 2:24).
  • Sex and marriage are intended to serve as a picture or symbol of the union between Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:31-32).

We don’t judge you for struggling with masturbation. But with God’s Word in mind, we’d also like to help you break the habit because God has created you to experience sexual fulfillment on a much higher level within the context of marriage. We don’t want anything to threaten your chances of knowing that joy to the fullest when you’re married.

Breaking the habit

Masturbation can become addictive because of the powerful hormonal and psychological components of human sexual behavior.

  • Some people carry this habit with them into adult married life — where it can become a serious obstacle to healthy marital intimacy.
  • Masturbation usually involves sexual fantasy. And God tells us in Matthew 5:28 that fantasy hurts a person’s mental and spiritual purity.

So, what can you do to break the pattern of masturbating? One of the best places to start is understanding that masturbation can be a self-soothing behavior. In other words, it’s a way to cope with the pressures of life and try to meet your need for peace, security, comfort, and reassurance.

If you think that might have something to do why you masturbate, ask yourself how you can replace it with a more positive activity — talking to a friend, reading a good book, listening to music, working on a project, or serving other people.

Above all, the pain a person is trying to numb with masturbation is just another sign of a God-shaped hole at the center of every human heart. Only a personal relationship with the Lord can fill that empty space in a deep, lasting, and satisfying way.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

One of the best ways to deal with difficult or sensitive subjects like this is to talk with a caring, trusted adult — even if it seems embarrassing. Your parents or youth leader can discuss aspects of this issue that seem confusing. You might even want to get some help from a professional Christian counselor.

Would you call us to talk more? We have a staff of trained Christian therapists who are available for a free over-the-phone consultation. And they can also give you a list of qualified counselors in your area. They’ll be glad to help in any way they can


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