How to Deal with Masturbation and Pornography as a Christian

What the Gospel says about Solo Sexual Stuff

Hiding Behind ComputerHow do you handle the solo sexual stuff? How do you deal with masturbation and pornography as a Christian?

I’m writing about this because you asked. You send me questions about this almost every week, and you deserve an answer. As both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Ministry, I’ll do my best to offer you both truth and hope on this topic.

For starters, if the gospel isn’t big enough to have answers for this kind of touchy stuff, what good is it? There is no problem in our lives for which God does not have an answer. The answers may not be simple or easy, but that’s why we’re talking about it.

Pornography and masturbation are not the same. I don’t believe God judges them the same. I’m addressing them together because they often go together; masturbating while watching pornography.

If you’re struggling here I encourage you to read all the way to the end of this article. I’ll share with you a dramatic story of how one person found amazing freedom from her private sexual hell. I know Jesus can do the same for you!

How you are affected

Here are some of the people I’ve heard from:

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7 Categories of Health Spending that will make you Healthier Tomorrow

Spending your Health Dollar Wisely

Health SpendingTwo hosts on a podcast I heard recently were talking about a high-tech state-of-the-art health evaluation. It included a full-body MRI, a slew of blood tests, a complete look at all your genes, along with measuring just about everything else you can imagine. The service includes permanent membership in a growing database that will alert you to health risks in the future as science discovers more about what your specific genetic profile indicates. As a participant you are encouraged to decide how long you want to live, and therefore to take every step possible to achieve that goal. It’s all done for the worthy purpose of helping you be healthier tomorrow.

And it’s available to you today for the small sum of $25,000!

Even if I had $25,000 I wouldn’t spend it on this high-tech health evaluation. But even more importantly, you don’t need to have or spend that kind of money to be healthier tomorrow. Health spending doesn’t have to be difficult. We know enough about health and longevity to make very wise decisions today. Scientists are now beginning to talk now about reaching the limit of what medical care can do to improve and extend our lives. What is going to make the biggest difference going forward is our lifestyle.

If you’re already spending money on a lot of supplements or medications, take a step back and consider whether you’re spending your hard-earned health dollars in the place they will make the most difference. It’s not that supplements are necessarily bad; it’s that they are way down the list when it comes to what will make the most difference for your wellbeing tomorrow.

Wise Health Spending

Here are a few things worth spending your money on if you want to be healthier tomorrow.

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To the Woman Whose Husband is Addicted to Pornography

Woman AloneI hear from you regularly, you whose husband’s eyes are filled with many other women and not with you. You don’t even want to think the words, but he’s addicted to pornography. And every one of you carries a sadness I would love to be able to heal.

I think about you and carry you in my heart:

  • The 60-year-old patient sitting on the exam table fighting back the tears, who shared, “My husband hasn’t touched me in years. He spends every evening in the basement looking at other women on his computer.”
  • The friend riding in the back seat of my car as we were returning from a Christian event, almost choking on the words as she told how her “good Christian husband” kept promising to stop looking but never followed through.
  • The young mother writing to me about how she was trying to protect her two children from her husband’s internet porn while he seemingly refused to even admit he has a problem.

Sometimes you get angry. At him. At life. At marriage. At God for not fixing him even though you pray – and pray and pray and pray. You feel used and abused by the man who promised to love you even if he hasn’t done anything to hurt you physically. You wonder why you’re not enough. What if you hadn’t gained that extra weight? What if you kept yourself looking more sexy? What if you never said NO even if what he wanted seems disgusting?

And you’ve probably tried doing all those things, and more. But nothing makes any difference, at least not for very long. Some of you may worry about his soul,

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Why Do Some People Beat the Odds?

Mountain ClimberSome people remain stuck. Their addictions are just as strong as ever. Their life is defined by loneliness, anxiety, anger, or fear. Their traumatic childhood continues to dictate their emotions and behavior decades later. Their unhealthy lifestyle and the diseases it leads to catches up with them, while they continue to live the same way. They may die young, miserable, and lonely. They may get older, but nothing else changes.

Other people overcome tremendous obstacles. They beat their addiction and live clean and sober for the rest of their lives. They leave their fear, anger, PTSD, and self-destructive behaviors in the past. They quit smoking or lose 100 pounds or otherwise make dramatic lifestyle changes and realize the benefits. They stop relying on violence, control, or illegal activities. They grab poverty by the horns and make something of themselves, and then help others. They forge strong connections with other people and experience loving friends and family. The trajectory of their life changes in ways that make their future entirely different.

What makes the difference? Why do some people remain stuck even while continuing to pray “God, help me!” repeatedly? Why secret magic ingredient do other people have that allows them to get better in spite of the odds against them?

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Someone Else NEEDS Your Story

EncouragementChelsea had just turned 40. Something about passing that milestone caused her to pause and look over the trajectory of her life. It was more than a little depressing. She had spent nearly ten years in a violent marriage before getting divorced a few years ago. Now that her ex-husband was in jail both she and her children could breathe a little easier. Her physical scars had long healed, but the emotional wounds still made it difficult to even get up in the morning.

But as bad as her own trauma had been, Chelsea could now see danger signs in her children. Her 13-year-old son was getting into physical fights at school and seemed to be angry all the time. Her 10-year-old daughter was already overweight and a frequent victim of bullying. She knew that unless she faced and overcame her own demons her children were likely to fall into a life of violence, victimization, or both.

Chelsea could name a dozen bad lessons her children had learned from her, such as how to handle difficult emotions, where self-worth comes from, how to be a victim, how to handle stress badly, and the rolls men and women play. She was ready to make a change.

The effect of your choices on your own future should be enough to push you to make good decisions today. But it’s your impact on others that is even more sobering.

Whoever said “No man is an island” was right.

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