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This is an embarrassing question but here goes…….

I am a soldier in the US Army and a born again Christian. Many times the army sends us away from home for long periods and we are separated from our families. I have read your responses to others concerning masturbation but my dilemma is this. I have done this but I do not use porn and I am thinking of my wife when I do it. My wife and I have a very healthy sexual relationship and when together we enjoy each other just as the Bible allows!!! Do you stand firm on your direction for those of us who are married and do this?? I have prayed and have not felt the same conviction as I have on other issues I have taken to the Lord. I know this doesn’t mean that okays it but that is usually the way he answers my issues.

Thanks for writing and your encouragement. You bring up a very important issue, masturbation within marriage.

Since you have read my other responses let me remind you of something I said within one of those responses.

“Masturbation is essentially self-centered, seeking to fulfill one’s own needs by oneself. ”

I’m afraid this still holds in your case. I fully recognize that the long separations are difficult. But by relieving your sexual tension on your own (even though you use your wife in your mental image) you are robbing your wife of her proper role and responsibility in your sexual relationship. For example, it is well recognized that the longer the time interval between sexual experiences, the greater the enjoyment and the more powerful the experience when finally consummated. By masturbating during separation you ultimately dampen the reunion for both you and your wife. Ask yourself, biblically, who should be the sole recipient of your sexual energies? I think you would answer that it should be your wife alone.

Masturbation also creates conflicting signals for your mind and body. A high frequency of masturbation creates a pattern in your mind and body on how it is best satisfied. And this will be apart from your wife. You may also fantasize situations with your wife that she may be unable to fulfill in person. This can also create a situation where your actual experiences together may not be able to measure up to what you have created in your mind. This can easily erect a barrier in your mind for when you are together.

Also this is still a sexual experience outside of marriage as God intended, which is fornication.

I challenge you to refrain from masturbation during your next separation with a willing attitude of submission and purity and see if it doesn’t make a significant and “very positive” difference in the intensity of your reunion.

Respectfully,

Ray Bohlin
Probe Ministries

8 Comments
  1. DOM. KAMBEWA 5 years ago

    masturbation is just for self centred people.
    In any way, there is no logic whatsoever.
    Refrain from the exercise .
    God made sex to be exercised by a male and a female partner, not with a doll, hands of oneself or something else.
    If you can’t control yourself, then you can get your partner wherever you go.

  2. Marsh Weber 3 years ago

    I’m under the impression that the respondent isn’t familiar with (hasn’t experienced) repeated military mobilization and deployment. As a career (now retired) servicemember, I have to applaud my brother for being strong enough to only focus on his bride, when in his moment of weakness (and stress relief.) He is trying to keep his marriage bed holy, and honor the “bride of his youth,” even when it is not humanly possible to be with her.

    I’d really like to hear the viewpoint of a combat veteran service Chaplain (Army or Navy) and their thoughts on this subject (during a seven to twelve+ month ‘boots on the ground’ deployment in ‘the dirt’.)

  3. Larry Cooper 3 years ago

    This also has been a struggle in my life, both in and out of the military. Everyone have good points and I also applaud everyone for their courage to remark on this subject. God’s word says that it is better to marry than burn to the single person seeking sexual fulfillment.. 1 Cor.7:9. But, it also says, in that marriage,” that the wife have control or the husbands body and visaversa. I would have that God is telling me. No matter who I think about as I masturbate. I am in command of my body. So. Am I not just pleasing myself. Is HIS Word not saying. Control the desire until we are with our spouse?

  4. Gideon Zaigi Ali 1 year ago

    From your above submission,masturbation is a sin.Am a Seaman with Nigerian LNG Shipping company limited.As a sailor I , only spend at times only 4 or 5 months with my family in a year.Am a Christian.l learned without frequent sex an individual may likely suffer prostrate cancer . I indulge in masturbation for relief and protection against such postulation .kindly reconcile such opinion for me.

    • Sue Bohlin 1 year ago

      I believe you have received false information about prostate cancer. Here’s some helpful information from the Mayo Clinic that says “there is no conclusive evidence that frequent ejaculation reduces the risk of prostate cancer.”

  5. Brad 10 months ago

    Masturbation will throw off your sleep cycle. One of the fruit of the spirit is self-control. However, by me allowing God to help me along life’s journey, the one thing that God has helped me with is that I have wet dreams and release from any build up over time. This is rare occurence but it has happened. To have images of your wife when away is much more reasonable or acceptible than looking for porn. Retired Pastor

  6. Kim 8 months ago

    What about if your husband has erectile distinction and he tells you to masterbate instead of leaving him I’ve been with my husband for 10 years with almost no sex at all I don’t do it cause I’m self centered I do it because Of the circumstances and not wanting to leave because of his lack of ability to be present in the moment

    • Sue Bohlin 7 months ago

      I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this disappointing situation. You are not alone.

      ED is a medical condition. It’s like a disease that impacts sexuality. So this really fits in the category of the “for better or for worse” wedding vows we take. 

      Here’s something to think about: what if you weren’t married at all? God intends sexual expression to be contained within marriage. If illness or a medical condition prevents a couple from being able to be sexually active, that’s like being single. In both circumstances, we glorify God in our sexuality by choosing celibacy. It is sad and disappointing to not be able to enjoy sex either because one’s spouse cannot or because one doesn’t have a spouse, but sex is not the basic need that our culture says it is. 

      Consider this: the Lord Jesus Christ, the creator of our bodies, became a human being and lived his entire life without sexual expression. He not only created our bodies to enjoy sex but not NEED it, He knows what it’s like to want to have sex but to say no to His desires. 

      God’s intention for sexual pleasure is that it is the glue that bonds a husband and wife together. If sex is not possible, that is a disappointment. But we honor our spouse and God by staying in the marriage, even if it’s sexless, because it still can and should be loving and supportive and intimate even without sexual expression. 

      Your situation is a very unfortunate part of living in a fallen world, and I’m sorry.

      Sue Bohlin

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