Although masturbation (solo sex) is a nearly universal behavior, it is rarely discussed in the church. However, the increasing support in the media for solo sex as a healthy activity means the church must begin to address it. The moral legitimacy of this behavior has long been debated in Christian circles. To arrive at a biblical conclusion, we need to go beyond prohibitions to consider the positive teaching on sexuality with its profound theological implications. God intends sexuality to teach us what it means to be made in His image and, more importantly, what it means to be in relationship with Him. When we understand the design of biblical sexuality, coupled with the nature of Christian discipleship, it is clear this is not a legitimate sexual activity. The central New Testament passage discussing sexuality in marriage makes clear that the focus of marital intimacy is satisfying my spouse — not my personal pleasure. In this way, our sexuality should reflect the larger call of discipleship to self-denial and love for others. Questions asked in this episode include: in what ways does the church need to improve the approach to sexuality? Why is teaching about sexuality in the church important? Since there isn’t a clear biblical prohibition against masturbation, is it a “sinful” behavior? Does masturbation impinge on your relationship with God? What about solo sex and singles who face unsatisfied sexual desires? Is there a place for masturbation in marriage? Teenagers have raging hormones and since they aren’t married, if they engage in solo sex, who is that hurting? How do parents address the subject of a masturbation and a biblical sexual ethic with their kids?
This Postmodern Realities extended episode is a conversation about biblical sexuality with JOURNAL author David White about his Volume 41 #5 feature article, “Solo Sex and the Christian.” To read this upcoming feature article, please subscribe to the JOURNAL. A six-issue subscription is now at a lower price of $33.50 (U.S. funds).