Many use masturbation as stress relief, as a sleep aid, to celebrate, or even to entertain themselves in an attempt to practice self-care.
However, masturbation doesn’t meet any of those needs. That’s like saying food comforts my soul and makes me feel less alone. Well, food fills my stomach and fluid is enjoyable (that’s how those were intended to be used). However, if I’m using them for something other than the intended purpose, it’s a doorway to addiction.
We have to understand what we’re up against here.
This is something deeply entrenched inside many of us, some since we were teenagers or young boys. You may not even be aware of what triggers your struggle. For some, it may be a high stress moment at work or home that sets off a chain event which leads to masturbation. For others, it’s engrained as a way to slow down and relax after a long day. Regardless why stress triggers it, you have a real battle here.
Even people who don’t know Christ or don’t care about the Bible see the problem with masturbation. There are secular recovery groups and websites which talk about this issue. They realize when they stop the cycle of masturbation, their concentration improves, their mood gets better, and their depression reduces. There are many, many benefits to being sexually pure in this regard.
Using masturbation as stress relief has long-term consequences
If you continue masturbating year after year, you become dependent on the mood-altering experience and the chemicals it releases in your brain. You start to rely on it as an escape from stress, pain, or sadness.
The experience of masturbation to orgasm is very pleasurable.
After all, orgasm was intended to be one of the greatest pleasures we can experience in this life in our bodies. But, if you become dependent on the masturbation experience and the chemical releases in your brain and nervous system, it becomes like any drug. You’re going to go through withdrawals. It’s going to be hard to stop. You’re going to want to go back to your old behaviors.
There are practical things you can do to stop. Unfortunately, a lot of people will say they want to stop masturbating but deep inside they’re saying they want to stop unless, of course, it’s really hard. If that’s your attitude you’re not going to make it. It’s like saying you want to get a college degree but if you really have to study and have sleepless nights and make your brain hurt, then you don’t think you could do it. With this mindset, you’re not going to get a college degree.
Sexual brokenness is really relational brokenness.
You’re masturbating to try to feel connected with something even if it’s just the thoughts and images in your mind. That’s not a relational connection. The connection you need has to happen between you and God, you and your spouse, and you and who you really are. It can’t happen with just the drug-addicted part of you or even you and your brothers.
Masturbation isn’t a real solution to stress or anxiety. It’s only a temporary feel-good measure with long-term negative consequences. There are some practical things you can do and we’ll address those in another blog post.