Masturbation is a major issue that many, if not most, teenagers struggle with or have questions about. In a study conducted by Alfred Kinsey, 93% of adult males and 62% of adult females admitted to having masturbated.Two University of Chicago Sociologists and a New York Times science writer surveyed 3,432 Americans between the ages of 18 and 59, and discovered that 60% of men and 40% of women said they had masturbated within the past year. One of the authors of that study (with a colleague) reported in a 1967 study that 90% of males and 48% of females had masturbated during their high school years. We get a few visitors a month from people typing masturbation in one of the many search engines that list our site. The sad thing is that there are not many Christian sites who see masturbation as a problem, or they choose to avoid mature subjects altogether. Many teenagers even fall deeper into their sins while trying to find legitimate answers to their questions online. When they type masturbation into the search box, they get a bundle of porn sites and no real answers, many of you know what I am talking about. If you are struggling with masturbation or have questions about this subject, you do not need to be ashamed, or embarrassed, because you are not alone. I fought with it for years and years, and so have many of my friends and ministry partners. You are not weird for the feelings you are having inside you because, they are perfectly normal feelings that you just need to learn to control instead of allowing them to control you. What is wrong with relieving the sexual pressures that build up inside of us? We really do not have to relieve our sexual tension on our own because, a lot of times they are relieved in our sleep in what are called, "Wet Dreams". These natural releases of sexual tension are a normal way God has given us to relieve such tensions. We bring sin into the picture when we try to relieve our sexual tension on our own. We may look at porn, or form a mental picture of a member of the opposite sex in our minds, and pretend to have sex with them to release our sexual tension. The Bible says in Matthew 5:28 that this is "committing adultery in our hearts." Not only is masturbation a sin, but it's very harmful to us because, it begins to take our lives from us. A person who feeds his sexual desires with masturbation lives in a "dream world" where all they think about is sex. In this "dream world" the opposit sex is seen as objects of pleasure, and not as human beings. We also get caught up in a cycle of masturbation, shame, repentance, and masturbation again. Something inside of us knows that it is wrong, yet we do it anyways. After we masturbate we feel a sense of shame, and self-hatred, then we ask the Lord to forgive us,and then we promise him that we will not do it anymore. Then the next day we masturbate again and the cycle repeats itself over, and over, until we decide to take back control of our lives. If this is where you are today, then we have ten steps you need to go through to overcome this controlling sin. The following is adapted from a ten-step process prescribed by St. Clair and Jones for addressing masturbation found on page 267 of Josh Mcdowell’s "Hand Book on Counseling Youth". 1. Get honest with God. Realize that the lustful thoughts that lead you to masturbation are a sin against God. Be honest about your sin and ask for cleansing. 2. Nail down a stake. A “stake” is a fixed point that marks the start of a journey. Decide that you want to please God more than you want to please yourself and make the decision to “walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16 NASB). 3.Renew your mind. This problem started in your mind, so let God change your mind. God’s way of renewing your mind is to get you into the Bible. That’s where God’s thoughts are found. He wants His thoughts to become your thoughts. Read one chapter of the Bible every day. Memorize one verse a week. 5.Focus your eyes. Keep your eyes away from anything that turns you on sexually. Obviously you can’t live in a monastery so your eyes won't see sexually-stimulating objects. But don’t keep on looking at them—especially pornographic material, soap operas, or R-rated movies. 6.Control your body. When your body feels like it will explode if some of the sexual pressure isn’t let off, bring it under control with exercise, serving others, or fun physical activities (like riding a dirt bike or playing a game of one-on-one basketball with a friend). 7.Confide in a friend. Ask a person of the same sex who is spiritually mature to hold you accountable. Get him or her to ask you regularly if you are avoiding lust. 8.Avoid tempting situations. Resist a second look at a sensually dressed person, and avoid magazines and TV shows that stimulate you sexually. Be on guard when you’re alone, especially where it’s easy to be tempted. 9.Press on despite failure. If you fail, don’t get discouraged. It took time to get into this habit; it will take time to get out of it. If you fall, don’t lie in the dirt, but get up and dust yourself off by immediately confessing your sins and receiving God’s forgiveness in faith. Don’t, though, accept failure easily. 10.Go for total victory. You don’t have to sin. You don’t have to let the radiator get overheated. As you offer yourself to God (instead of to sin, as an instrument of wickedness), your sexual energy will be channeled to make you a powerful man or woman of God. Trust Christ. Obey Him. He will give you victory. Footnotes *(1)Excerpt from Page 263 of Josh Mcdowell’s book, "Hand Book on Counseling Youth" *(2)(King James Version of the Bible) Matthew 5:28, "But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."