Addicted to masturbation and porn

by

August 29, 2018

Dear Pastor,

I have always read your responses to various individuals in THE STAR, and I can say that I love the advice you have been giving to people over the years. I have always been listening to you on the radio ever since I was a child because my mother always leaves the radio on right throughout the night as we slept. I can say that sometimes I am listening to you even when I am sleeping, and sometimes you are the voice that wakes me up in the morning for school, besides God and the alarm clock.

I am a 21-year-old final-year male student at university, and I can say that I am suffering from loneliness and depression. I am very addicted to masturbation and porn and I want to stop. I have been trying to stop for almost a year now, but I keep caving and going back to my sinful ways. I do it because in the course of my miserable life, I rarely have any sexual experiences with women, and because of this, I don't get feminine attention that easily. I am lonely and depressed because of this because I feel like the pace is leaving me. I have been rejected countless times. In fact, I have always been rejected, or girls tell me they have someone else (I respect that, I wouldn't want to do anything to jeopardise it). Or sometimes these girls say they are not interested or don't see me like that, or they would rather be single right now.

I feel as if I am going to remain like this for the rest of my life, no matter how hard I try. I don't like to compare, but I am going to have to do this to get my point across. I am not a badly shaped person. In fact, I am tall, slim built with fair complexion. I would not say I have ugly face, but I consider myself to be attractive. I have used my last resort to quit masturbation and porn, which is by praying to God about it. So far, I still watch porn, but don't masturbate to the point of orgasm. I keep reading Psalm 51 as guidance and placed a picture of Jesus on the phone as a constant reminder not to sin.

Please advise me on what I should do.

F.P

Dear F.P

First of all, I want to thank you for reading my column in the STAR newspaper and for listening to my show on Power106 FM.

Concerning what you have asked me to address, I would like to emphasise that contrary to what many may believe, the Bible does not address every subject that people question. My fundamentalists friends will disagree with me, but that is a fact. The Bible, for example, does not directly address the matter of porn. It addresses sexual sins such as fornication, adultery, incest, bestiality, homosexuality, etc. But, unfortunately, it does not say anything about porn. So, whatever I may say to you, I can only draw inferences from the Bible.

The penalty for such sins was death. The first thing we have to determine is, what is porn? Some people insist that there are soft porn and hard porn. One can say that it is any type of sexual material that can arouse sinful sexual behaviour. Some people would not even read or discuss anything about sex in magazines. Some of the textbooks that those of us who are in counselling have used while doing post gradwork in seminary or university would be condemned as pornographic literature. Even what psychologists and Christian medical doctors have written about sex is often looked upon with scorn.

Having said the above, let me try to address your concerns and settle your nerve. You are engaging in two habits that are not easy to break. In his book, 'Christian counselling', psychologist Gary R. Collins points out that "A controversial government commission report on pornography has drawn attention to the dangers and also the widespread use of pornographic literature and films."

"Masturbation, probably the most common sexual behaviour apart from intercourse, is so prevalent that it hardly concerns sexual researchers, even though the practice brings guilt and anxiety among boys and young men.

NOT MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE

Masturbation is not mentioned in the Bible at all. Many Christians have tried to link what Onan did as a form of masturbation (see Genesis 38), because Onan spilt his semen on the ground. Many family counsellors do not consider masturbation to be a sin because they do not see it as a harmful practice. Such counsellors have come under severe criticism for taking this stance.

I believe that your habit of looking at porn would definitely increase your desire to masturbate even if it you wish to stop. So, learn to put away pornographic literature or sexual films that may tempt you to masturbate. You know that this habit is not easy to break. Learn to develop self-control. You may fail from time to time, but don't condemn yourself. From time to time you will feel the desire to have sex; that is normal. But, endeavour to do things that would please the Lord, such as reading healthy Christian literature and engaging in church activities and becoming active in sports.

Some years ago, a survey was done among evangelicals: 31 per cent of lay persons and 30 per cent of pastors considered masturbation to be wrong, while 32 per cent of lay persons and 35 per cent of pastors said it was not wrong. And the remainder of persons said that it depends on circumstances.

Most people who masturbate are just like you. They feel guilty after they have done it. So, again I say, don't condemn yourself. Take this matter to God in prayer. After you are married, the desire to masturbate may decrease.

Pastor

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