Anonymous asked: So my girlfriend and I have both been struggling for a while with masturbation. Her main reason for trying to break the habit is the overwhelming feeling of emptiness and loneliness, emphasized by it’s fraudulence. I want to stop, but I end up slipping up fairly regularly. Problem seems to be I don’t feel what she feels afterwards. I feel almost like I have a disconnect between the physical and the emotional, and I fear that’ll hurt us later on. I feel like I need a reason, but I don’t have one.
Unka Glen answered: Okay, so as we’ve covered recently on the blog, you can’t fix everything about you all at once, therefore there has to be priority to what needs to be dealt with now, and what needs to be dealt with later. And it makes total sense to let God decide that, rather than our own sense of guilt.
So in this case, you’ve either not done that, and you just decided on your own that masturbation is the top priority, OR you’ve prayed about it and God has told you this is the top priority. And beloved, if God almighty has specifically told you this is the thing to stop, then by God it’s time to pinch that off and never do it again. It’s time to remove all temptation, play no games, spend no time wallowing in emotion, and take up your armor and do battle.
If however, as I strongly suspect, you’ve both decided to distract yourselves with masturbation worries, while other priorities are getting less attention due to a divided focus, then what comes next? I mean, you can focus your attention where it belongs, and I’m sure you eventually will, but what do we do about all this other lower priority sin in the meantime?
This is the stuff we rarely hear about when it comes to Christianity.
How do we view sin that exists, and it’s not okay, but it isn’t the sin that God wants me working on today? I mean, we should know the answer to this, given we knew that when we got saved we were still imperfect, and that we would be imperfect until the day we died. So what are we supposed to think about all that imperfection in the meantime?
Let me give you three quick points on that:
1. At least keep it under control. Even if this isn’t your top priority, you can certainly focus on keeping it from getting worse. This is an important focus to maintain, because in some cases eliminating our top priority sin can sometime increase how often we turn to something else in that list of sins.
Working with some men in a drug rehab I noticed that even though they had stopped drinking and taking hard drugs, they had started drinking coffee, literally by the gallon. Later that month they found one of the men in the basement with a mouthful of coffee grounds trying to get the caffeine into his system faster.
Well, drinking a bit too much coffee is no bog deal, the kind of thing that would belong pretty far down the list of priorities for most of us, but when stopping something at the top of the list increases something at the bottom of the list, then that’s an indication that you really haven’t defeated the underlying addictive behavior.
2. Grab some patience. I hear a lot about how much God hates sin, but the truth is, He is remarkably patient with it as well. If you can’t find some patience with your un-dealt-with sins, then you will either: a) backslide, or b) lose your complete mind.
Patience is a Godly virtue, and it comes from God in infinite supply. Wallowing in guilt is a vain, empty, draining, distracting, ugly waste of time. You’re imperfect, so why are you overwhelmed by your imperfections? A humble person says, “I’ve got a long way to go, and God isn’t though with me yet”.
3. Get some perspective. I heard a pastor say once that we should be “crushed by the weight of our sins”. My Bible tells me that Jesus “was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” Isaiah 53:5.
You see, when you read the quote from the pastor it sounded real holy, until you actually read the Bible and find out how Jesus paid for all that, and acting like He didn’t is an insult to that sacrifice. Guilt has already failed you, so abandon it as a tool to help you climb this mountain.
A Godly perspective doesn’t put us in a state of heightened emotions like fear, it gives us the steely resolve of wisdom. A fierce determination to never be delayed or detoured, and to keep the main thing, the main thing.
…in the end you both have seen the down side to turning to your flesh for relief, you both know it’s not what you really want. And I’ll bet that if you deal with the bigger issues in your life, it might change how you see this thing, and who knows, that might go a long way towards solving this problem before you even get there.
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