How do you answer the question of whether or not it’s okay for widows to masturbate? Well, I got asked this very question back in August and I’ll admit, I’ve been hesitant to answer it. Here’s the comment from our Are sex toys allowed in a Christian marriage post:
I am a widow now for just a little over a year now. I am in my early 60″s and when having memories of my husband and I being intimate, arouses the want in me for his touch and desire for him, which is impossible to have. Would it be wrong to have a sex toy? I have talked to a very close friend, who also is a widow and she said, she doesn’t think it is wrong. I have mixed emotions, please help me know your thoughts on this.
In my stance against masturbation, this scenario, above all others, makes it seem harsh. After all, she’s a widow. She didn’t choose to leave her husband, she’s hurting over the loss of intimacy. She’s not thinking about another relationship. What’s the harm? But, I can’t avoid it if I want to be intellectually honest with my stance. So, here we go. Let’s tackle this. Is it okay for widows to masturbate? I’m going to stick with “no”.
1. Instructions for the church
There’s a little-known passage in 1 Timothy 5 that is directed at widows. Actually, it’s directed at the church in how to care for widows. But, in it, Paul makes some interesting comments:
Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. For some have already strayed after Satan. – 1 Timothy 5:9-15
So, Paul is talking about what widows the church should care for, and which should go find a husband. In fact, he has an age, but I think we need to adjust some for lifespan changes since Paul was writing this. One source I found said that life expectancy in the classical Roman era was under 50 years old (assuming you didn’t die before the age of 10). So, a 60-year-old widow would be considered quite aged. These days with our life expectancy at an all-time high of near 70, and many lasting even longer, this changes the timeline a bit.
2. Paul warns us about our passions
Interestingly though is the reason Paul gives for not enrolling a widow under 60 (a woman not yet nearing the end of her life). He says:
For when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry. – 1 Timothy 5:11b
And that made me think of another verse from Paul:
But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. – 1 Corinthians 7:9
It seems to me that Paul is not giving any ground to satisfying your sexual desires. That you have two choices:
- Control them
There’s no option given to masturbate, no hint that that’s okay. Arguably, you could say the lack of any wiggle room seems to indicate masturbation would be lumped in with “sexual immorality”:
But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. – 1 Corinthians 7:2
The practical side is that you might one day decide to re-marry. It will be difficult to go from having exclusively solo sex for a time to partnered sex again. We see this as an increasing problem with younger men and women. They get married with a history of solo masturbation. Then they have troubles with true intimacy.
However, even if you choose not to re-marry, there seems to be a greater concern for Paul, and for me as well.
3. Focus on your spouse or focus on God
It seems Paul is saying the choice you have is to focus all your sexual energy and redirect it to serving God. If you cannot, then get married. Why? Because the middle ground is dangerous:
Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. – 1 Timothy 5:13
I think it’s because masturbation has a tendency to make you self-focused. It wears at your generosity, your hospitality, your desire to give to another. It is a purely self-serving activity that benefits no one except gratifying your immediate desires. The spiritual implications of living a lifestyle that is so “me” focused is devastating to your relationship with God. God seems to be willing to share your focus with a spouse. I think that’s because marriage teaches us about God. Having children teaches us about God. But, God is not willing to share himself with yourself, if that makes sense. While marriage is outward focused, self-gratification on this level is purely inward focused. Not only that but the chemical reactions in our brain are so strong and so binding that they imprint this behaviour very strongly. Solo masturbation makes us selfish.
4. Is it okay for widows to masturbate?
I’m going to say “no”. I think it will harm your relationship with God, and others. It will change your character. It will make you self-focused. Instead, focus on God. I know that sounds like a glib response, but I believe it’s the biblical one. Devote your life to Him, and I believe you will find it even more fulfilling than a lifetime of self-induced orgasms. Of course, this applies to widowers as well.
That’s my opinion anyways. You’ll have to decide your own. What do you think?
If you’re looking for other articles on the topic of masturbation:
- Is masturbation a sin?
- Why masturbation is a problem, whether you’re married or single
- Why do married men masturbate?
- Is Mutual Masturbation OK for Married Christians?
- Mutual Masturbation Survey Results
- If masturbation is sinful, what do you do if you don’t orgasm during sex?
- What Is Your Opinion Of Solo Masturbation Due To Separation?
- Is masturbation for medical reasons okay?
- What do you do if you suspect your spouse of secretly masturbating?
- My Husband Admitted To Masturbating, How Do I Get Over The Hurt?
- Why does my low-drive spouse masturbate?
133 thoughts on “Is it sinful for widows to masturbate?”
This is such a harmful and dangerous topic, it’s sad too because I like a lot of the other articles published here. There is zero reason to do theological gymnastics in order to stop widows from masturbating. Absense of mention is not evidence for abstention. Evidence does show that masturbation can be a healthy natural sexual function (extremes and hard cases aside). This is an attempt to be more conservative than god. I’m so sad for the people genuinely curious who are rule followers by nature and who will read this and live a life of burden and unbecesaery sexual suppression. I weap for the widows and military wives and people in sexless marriages and those with disabilities. Your burden is heavy, your teaching is harsh and damaging – and while coated in Christian politeness and piety – it is nothing but man made self righteousness and artificial rules. I wish you hadn’t posted this.
Absence of abstention is not evidence for masturbation either. You can’t have it both ways. I’ve presented a logical reasoning to my stance. Feel free to return and share one of your own. We can’t have a rational conversation if all you share are feelings.
Initially I was not going to respond to this but after some thought I “felt” I should. My initial hesitation comes from my “feeling” having read many posts of the past using solely analytical arguments (or logical reasoning if you prefer) and trying to process the frequent “theological gymnastics” that this approach seems (in my view) too often about assuring a “win” on a position and avoiding any significant concession. A master of the analytical argument can almost always find a way to support an argument and counter any opposing position. As humans, it is our unique God given feelings that often allow us to take analytical arguments and filter out the part that appears to be for arguments sake only, self-serving, and find what’s truly best applying a bit of God’s unconservative grace. Joe actually and rationally shared more than feelings citing the “theological gymnastics” , “absence of mention”, etc. but was dismissed with the oh so common circular reasoning defense regarding his comment on “absence of mention”. As an engineer I truly understand the value of the analytical argument when used to aid decision making but when divested of “feeling” can lead to cold, harsh, life-devastating impacts when the matter is of the heart and soul. On this topic I would much prefer to be on the side of “feeling” and be compassionate than to have the best technical argument. Even if you can not, I would grant this dear lady her moments to “feel” a bit of what she felt in the touch of her beloved husband and sense that closeness and love again. I would like to think God will not judge too harshly for being compassionate on this controversial topic.
I think that is the problem that we get into with Christianity. We mistake having compassion with compromising our integrity. I believe we should approach what is right and wrong without compromise. There is truth and there is not truth. There’s no compromise on that, and that can be ascertained logically and analytically.
The application of that theology is different. We should endeavour to teach with compassion and mercy, teaching that while sin is detrimental to our relationship with God, He is merciful and will forgive us if we turn back to Him.
However to compromise on what I know is right because I feel it is harsh would be to put my feelings above what I believe God’s will is. That would idolatry in my mind.
So, no, I don’t think God will judge too harshly. I think He will judge with the perfect blend of harshness and compassion as He always does.
Jay Dee, I understand what you are saying regarding compromise, right and wrong, etc. and do not disagree. However, we often assume we know more than we really do about right and wrong, sin, etc., are in love with our own arguments, or are so determined to make our case we miss a fuller truth. I wish the truth, right and wrong was always as clear as you try to argue it is. I like this forum because you are willing to address difficult topics and certainly credit you for that. But I have read more than enough posts to believe you will not infrequently do what it takes to hold a position even if it takes questionable “theological gymnastics” or circular reasoning that simply causes others to just back down and give up. Your methods and argument style seeking the “truths”, “rights and wrongs” may not be used as altruistically or be as infallible as you would like to think. Often it just comes across that if someone holds a different postion than you that they are plain wrong, that your arguments are infallible, and the oposing view/case is dismissed without honest consideration. Don’t be so in love with your talents and abilities; humility actually makes one more believable as motives are not as easily questioned and people just simply listen better.
Those are quite the accusations to make. Of course, my perspective is different than yours. What you see as “being in love with my own argument” I see as being convicted of a truth. What you see as “theological gymnastics”, I see as synchronicity in the scriptures.
But, I am not afraid of being wrong. I used to believe masturbation was okay. I defended it in the past, using many of the same arguments as I see in the comments. So, I don’t dismiss the arguments raised without honest consideration. Quite the opposite. I’ve already held them in the past and recanted them.
I appreciate the different perspectives, though, even if I think they’re wrong. I do dig into some of them, and whenever I do, I find my conviction strengthened because I find even more in the Bible to support what I see to be God’s truth. Not because I believe it, but because I believe it’s right.
I’m more concerned with following the truth than I am about my own “love of my talent and abilities”. In truth, I’m more concerned with following the truth than I am about what anyone thinks of me, including myself. When I’m wrong, I admit it and let people know, publically if need be. If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you may have seen those public apologies and corrections.
As for pride/humility. Well, there’s really no way to answer that without sounding prideful, is there? Though I disagree with your assertion that “humility actually makes one more believable”. I don’t think that’s so. I believe humility makes one more likeable and makes it easier to follow. Not more believable.
wow. You are extremely mean and nasty. It is very simple and covers many subjects … never add to the Bible and never take away from it. About 85-90% of those that call themselves ‘a Christian’ fail this measuring stick … sadly you fall squarely in 85-90%
I believe I’m drawing from Biblical principles, as I’ve outlined in many posts. If you have an actual argument, bring it.
‘don’t had to the Bible and don’t take away from it’. That will solve all your issues.
God doesn’t think like you think. I went through an extremely painful divorce many years ago, and God loved me enough to tell me after the first time I had masturbated, that it was a sin. He showed me that it opens the door for lust and fornication and that there is a spirit of masturbation. He protected me and said His grace was enough. Indeed it was–I’m now happily remarried. NOT masturbating after my first marriage failed allowed my sexual needs go “back to sleep” for a season, so I could be faithful to the Lord and wait patiently.
Masturbating is “awakening” our sexuality in the wrong season, if done outside of the marriage bed. (Song of Solomon)
Spirit of masturbation? Seriously???
Remarriage is a much weightier topic to worry about than masturbation. What about those who have been abandoned by their spouse… and are remaining separate or reconciling? They may remain single for years interceding for a prodigal spouse. Touching themselves while thinking of their beloved is far better than holding out for an adulterous subsequent marriage in my view.
Firstly, I don’t think “Option A is less sinful than option B, so therefore it’s not a sin” is a good argument.
Secondly, why are we assuming the second marriage is adulterous?
Also many, many Christians preach that if a spouse is abandoned that the innocent party cannot ever get married again – ( am certain that Jay Dee would feel this way.
Why would you feel certain of that? You don’t know me, and you clearly aren’t a mind-reader.
And I don’t feel that way.
some Baptists feel very strongly that way … and many brethren … I was brought up that way. Based on your comments I was certain that you would also feel that way. I have found that if we never add to the Bible and never take away from it … that solves all interpretation issues … all interpretations/opinions should be kept to themselve.
I’m neither Baptist, nor Brethren and never have been.
I’m not suggesting adding to the Bible – I’m suggesting you move beyond a legalistic framework and rather than simply follow lists of does and don’ts, see the principles behind the rules.
your calling me legalistic!?!?!? holy crap … it is the other way around!
Again, the way I have overcome the nonsense spouted by Baptists, Brethren or whoever is to never add to the Bible and never take away from it … that solves all interpretation issues … all interpretations/opinions should be kept to themselves. Please keep your interpretations/opinions to yourself. To say that a widow cannot look after herself is wrong but anal is OK is really messed up.
You’re going by a list of “dos and don’ts” – how is that not legalistic? That’s like when I tell my kids to clean up the kitchen, then later I come back to find the counter a mess and their answer is “well, you didn’t SAY to clean the counter”. It was clear in the principle of “I want the kitchen clean”.
You’re saying “well, it doesn’t SAY don’t masturbate”, but I believe it’s clear in the principle of “sex is designed for husbands and wives to enjoy together”.
So, yeah, from my perspective, yours is a legalistic approach to what is right and wrong.
I agree with joe
I am wondering…..have you been widowed (widowered)? do you know what it feels like to miss intimacy and never have it again?
if You can say “no” to either of these question….you have no business in the least… giving advice on it.
I think that’s one of the great mistakes of this generation: the idea that you can’t make a decision unless you’re in it. However, the Bible, and psychology, is clear that you should make decisions like this before you are in the situation because once you are there, you won’t think clearly. You will do what tempts you, not what fits your moral compass or your goals. This is the basis of cognitive behavioural therapy: make decisions outside of the context so that when you are in the context, you can act appropriately. And the Bible says similar things, that we should be masters of our emotions, that they should not guide us, but rather that The Word, The Holy Spirit and God-given logic should.
As for having no business giving advice on it, my advice was asked. I’m merely answering the question. You’re welcome to disagree. But it doesn’t mean I’m wrong to answer it.
Thank you, Jean, as I am in my early 60s and a widow for 1.5 years. I have struggled w/ this issue, keeping celibate for much longer than that due to my husband’s illness. It is a real life and devastatingly horrible problem to live through and as I was reading this guy’s original answer, was repulsed by his insensitivity and abject inhumanity. He obviously has no clue what he’s talking about, cares only to see his response on the web, and has no real compassion or empathy for anyone who has to live with this situation. I came to the internet to try to find some real answers and unfortunately, there are very few resources for widows, especiallly, on this topic and there is a general lack of information for widows in particular on how to grieve, how to keep living, how to cope with all of the difficulties of not having your spouse, to whom you were dedicated solely, to turn to each day, take walks with, reach for in the night, or count on to just ‘be’ there. Widows are left to literally fend for themselves to figure it all out. We lose the majority of our ‘coupled’ friends, we’re seen as potential rivals, often third wheels if we’re thought about to be included, and now this guy says we can’t even deal with the stress in a way that once a month might make us feel alittle more human. Thanks a lot for your column. I will never return to this ‘uncovering intimacy’ website….Oh, not to mention the blatant ‘sex toys for couples’ ad adjacent to his post. Hypocrite.
First, let me say that I am sorry for your loss and that you felt marginalized by the post. And as I’ve responded to other people, I don’t have any personal experience with this, but then that’s the point. Once we’re in the situation, we can no longer think in an unbiased manner about it. We get compromised by our feelings on the subject and tend to follow our desires rather than God’s will. I was asked my opinion and I gave it. I didn’t write it “see my response on the web” as you put it. I do understand wanting to rage against the author when it’s not the answer you want though. I can see how you might find it insensitive and want to demonize me. It makes it far easier to ignore the conviction if you can rationalize why you shouldn’t listen.
As well, it’s unfortunate that your friends have treated you in such a way and I hope there is some way to find a support system that can help to ease the loneliness.
As for the blatant sex toys for couples ad, I apologize for that. It’s part of the sidebar and shows on every page. However, I’ve found a way to exclude that section from showing on this page. Thanks for the feedback.
I view “M” as intimacy with Christ. I am a widow for many years and abstain from sexual relations outside of marriage. Jesus is my solace. He is all I consider. I love Him and He loves me. God created relief in the form of masturbation. It’s more needed in the absence of a human partner than in married life. Why else is it even a possibility?
Where do you get this view from? I can think of no verse or principle that points to this. As you said, we are to abstain from sexual relations outside of marriage. You, lamentably, are no longer married. Therefore, you should abstain.
Again, where do you get this from?
Pedophilia is a possibility, that doesn’t make it moral, nor does it mean God intended us to avail ourselves of it.
Unfortunately, fake Christians like J-Dee feel that they have the right, even tho they have never been widowed/ered or divorced seem to think they have the right to ram down our throats their opinions even tho doesn’t address in the Bible … They are wicked and evil … the Bible warns about ‘wolves’ in our midst … best to ignore him. I will be talking to my lawyer (would retain my daughter but I cannot afford her!) … we need to stop this out of control terrorist.
I’m the fake Christian, but you’re gleeful at the idea that I’m going to hell … what Bible are you reading again?
Anyways, the rest is called the “No true Scottsman fallacy”.
I’m not sure how your lawyer can help against a personally held belief…
Thank you for your Christlike compassion.
I agree with you, live a mile in another’s shoes first before commenting
Whose shoes? Everyone’s shoes? Do I need to experience everyone’s experiences before commenting? Or is there a specific set I should experience?
I believe the “don’t talk unless you’re in their situation” is a terrible approach, because often when we’re in a situation, we can’t think clearly. I believe it’s far better to think through it beforehand so that you have a plan when a crisis hits. Just going with how you feel in the moment is very dangerous, which is what it seems you’re espousing in this comment.
I agree with the previous writer that masturbation when used in moderation especially for widows is not so harmful at all. The Riginalistic binding rule keeping of the Pharisees is still alive and well within the Christian church as it relates to sexual self-expression.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not talking about license and morality running around having sex with other partners other than the spouse however for those of us who were widowed to sentencesus to a lifetime of abstinence when sexual expression in solitary reverence of God is nowhere for bidden in scripture and I think it’s a crying shame that pastors try to implicate that it’s written there. There is no reference to masturbation anywhere in the Bible and anyone who tries to put it there is a A speculative liar resuming on the will of God with their own rigid igalistic views not that much different than the Pharisees whom Jesus came to rebuke!
No one said it was in the Bible. Here’s my reasoning: https://www.uncoveringintimacy.com/masturbation-problem-whether-youre-married-single/
What I’m curious about is – what makes you think that sex is a basic human right?
Seriously? What does it matter if a widow or widower choses to or not to !!!
Wow! You’ve got some deep-seated fear of masturbation.
Fear of masturbation? No. I think there’s a healthy context for masturbation. I just don’t think sex with anyone but your spouse is that context, even if that’s yourself.
ya, he must be having a tough life … especially knowing he is going to hell
How is that a Christ-like response?
That is a tough question. But, I appreciate your ability to answer it. And I appreciate that you are able to be consistent in your answers and true to your theology. I agree with you that it sounds “harsh and glib”, but I don’t think you should change your position just because it sounds harsh. I am just glad that I haven’t had to answer questions like that. When your in the business you are in, I guess it is an occupational hazard.
I think it would be a path to depression for many. Longing for something that is out of reach like that. You can’t heal and move on in life if you keep wallowing in a painful past and reopening wounds so I don’t think it would be good for one’s mental health to do this.
Sorry Jay, masturbation is a topic where we’ll have to agree to disagree.
I see nothing in the bible that forbids masturbation as long as it’s focused on no-one other than your spouse (or in the case of single people, just on the sensation, not a person at all) and that it doesn’t take away from having sex with your spouse (current or future).
You talk about Paul pointing out widows can remarry…. ignoring the fact that women have a longer life expectancy than men, living a lot of women chasing a very small pool of men in older age… where does that leave a refused spouse? A refused spouse cannot just remarry.
I’m sorry but I really don’t see the application of the above verses as disallowing masturbation where sex in marriage is not an option.
I’m ignoring the life expectancy differences because it’s not relevant to the underlying principle. My theology isn’t dictated by measure of easiness.
See that J-Dee does want to address the life expectancy differences … he must be terrified of logic! ha ha
No, I don’t see how they’re relevant – logically, as I stated. If there were no life expectancy differences, there would be no widows, and the question would be nonsensical. Therefore, logically, it’s irrelevant to the discussion.
That’s how logic works.
I haven’t been on this site every day since discovering it, but already this has had the most volatile response of all I’ve seen. For what it’s worth, the main problem I see with this is it analyzes a bit too much. I can relate, being a “deep thinker” myself, and the son of two academicians, and we don’t want to go off the other deep end of ethereal, spiritualizing the lurid, highly erotic Song of Solomon as a church allegory either – that kind of thing.
As to whether I agree or not, I’d agree with others, it’s pushing the edge of harshness, especially when it comes to widows. It’s different for a woman – every man should respect that, and not saying you don’t. Women (in general) tend to take longer to warm up to sex, and so if she needs an outlet that badly, once in a while, so be it. It’s also different for the widowed – everyone should respect that. Again, I believe you do. Just reminding all of us, myself included.
As to your stance on masturbation itself…I don’t know. For me, I almost want to say it was a path to eventual sexual purity, growing up in the liberal college town environment that I did in the ’70s and ’80s. It was a step down from the girlfriends and sleeping around that I did, not ‘excessively’, but I did do it. (I could teach an entire army of religious conservatives about the REAL pitfalls of liberalism, as opposed to the alleged ones, but I’ll leave that alone!)
If this level of absolute purity is what is demanded of me, it is a demand I cannot fulfill. Only Christ can – and has – done that for me. Otherwise, I’m sunk.
I’ll say I disagree – but respectfully. I’m listening to the pitfalls you bring up, the potential for selfishness – especially, I must say, in a man, being a man myself. I guess I’m just kind of old fashioned in believing it’s still possible to hear out opposing arguments, and present them with the hope of at least partially persuading the “other side”. How else to reach the unsaved otherwise?
Anyway, I do applaud you for keeping this site going, and bringing up this most emotional of all subjects, and opening it up for cross talk. For the most part it is a pleasant surprise how much we, including other visitors, do agree on. May it continue to help us all.
Amen, brother! You really see the selfishness of people when a sensitive subject comes to light. I commend you for standing your ground in what the Bible teaches. I’m so tired of people using the excuse that “God wants them to be happy.” No, first and foremost, God wants you to OBEY.
No, I think God wants us to be happy, but a deep, abiding happiness and joy. Not a temporary happiness. The only way we can get that abiding joy though is to obey. Not because obeying is what will make us happy, but because He tells us things that will make us happy in the long run.
I meant that people use that as an excuse to fulfill their fleshly desires, not what God wants us to do. I agree with you about obedience, no doubt about it. I have two people in my family who are living in adulterous relationships and they use that excuse a lot, that why would God want them to be lonely and miserable? (They both left their husbands on their own terms.) Well, if they would read the Bible, and in one case more carefully, they would know that if you divorce your spouse, you have no right to be with another person. But it’s like people nowadays think they know better than the Almighty God.
Not just nowadays. I think that has ever been the only real sin. Thinking we know better than God. All the rest stem from it.
I dont agree on Masturbation, I think masturbation should be encouraged if you are single. I would introduce my kids to masturbate when they reach their puberty and wait for sex when they are married. Even in marriage masturbation should be an option for release. Masturbation shouldnt reduce sexual intercourse. Just like when a woman produces milk, she needs to express it else it hurts and doctors dont recommend it, man needs release once he starts producing semen.
I have another post on that: Why masturbation is aproblem whether you’re married or single
As for the woman producing milk, that’s a catch 22. If she expresses the milk, then the body will make more, and she’ll need to express it more again. But, while it may cause discomfort, if she doesn’t, the body will adjust and express less in the future.
Masturbation works in a similar fashion. If you masturbate, your body gets used to the dopamine and oxytocin that gets produced and wants more. But, if you can exercise self-control, your addiction will subside and you’ll find it’s not as pressing a need.
And I don’t buy the doctor’s recommendations for expelling semen. They flip flop on those recommendations too often to have any value.
If I may add one addition to “the man needs release once he starts producing semen.”
Many men get vasectomies which surgically leaves them unable to release sperm. It is reabsorbed by the body.
Men who have had prostate surgery no longer expel semen.
These men still feel the need for release, even though they have nothing to release. They still feel relief after orgasm even though no sperm and/or semen have been expelled. The pressure they are feeling is that of vascular engorgement in the genitals. The relief is due to a relaxation of the engorgement and a shift in hormones and neurotransmitters.
Your explanation of how milk production and masturbation work is spot on.
It’s amazing how the body can readjust and find a new equilibrium.
Oh, nice points, thanks!
JayDee, I completely agree with you 100% and I really didn’t think the post was harsh or glib ( insincere or shallow). Why does some think this? How else would or could you have said it?! If those few that did comment on it in this way are referring maybe to the widow and her pain of her loss then I can see where maybe it came from. But this post wasn’t about feelings and she did not ask you the question to expect any sympathy or empathy from what I seen. She asked a very straight forward question in what I gathered. Maybe you have already emailed your condolences when you replied or asked to use the email??
I am a female and I am more sensitive in those areas and I really didn’t see any of those things mentioned.
I found this article posted today that is the first one below and it gives some great points on the topic. The other 2 below the first are a couple other good finds that I was just sharing because I felt them to be awesome posts that anyone would get a lot from reading them.
Why Do We Try to Complicate Everything?
First off, I trust this poor widow hasn’t been waiting for your reply since August. That is a long time to wait in limbo, but that is neither her nor there.
It has struck me lately that for every article we read, very shortly there appears a second article taking the exact opposite point of view. Even, and apparently, especially, among bloggers A short time ago (yes, time lines escape me), there was a book published called “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and more recently, there was a blog/article posted titled “I Kissed Dating Hello”; articles about peace and protection (read warfare), articles about singleness and being married, about patience and forthrightness, about companionship and solitude, and in marriage the articles do not become any simpler. Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs…do this…don’t do that…can’t you read the signs? Sorry, I digress and reveal my age in one fell swoop.
Now on the one hand this is to be expected. We all have different backgrounds, temperaments, personalities and influences, so it should only be expected that we are going to have differing points of view. However…
Witness the ongoing and seemingly never-ending discussion on masturbation, both within and without the marriage context, and most recently an article about the right or wrong of masturbation by a widow. A very well-known (and I hope friend) blogger who always creates very well reasoned and scripturally based arguements, built a very compelling case for a widow not masturbating based on Bible verses relating to age. At this stage, I am not going to say that I defacto disagree with his arguement (although, I think I do, and at some point, and I am going to have to sort out my thoughts and get them put into a complete and separate post), however, I do have some issues with the passage of scripture that the arguement is based on.
I have, over the last year, become enamoured with the details that we often miss when we are reading scripture…and it would appear that there are many of them. In this case, I believe what we overlook are the two little words “a” (or in some translations “some”) and “enrol”. In this passage, Paul is setting out the requirements and conditions for a class of female ministers (or as some commentators call them…presbyteresses). Paul is setting out the criteria for a group of women ministers in the church who would also be looked after and supported by the church. He is not establishing the rightness or wrongness of a particular activity. The “a” (or “some”) would indicate that not all post-60 widows would qualify to belong to this group of servants. It was designed to be a very select group of women…no other family to look after them, wife of one husband, having a history of care, compassion and ministry within the faith community before they were widowed, etc. Paul picked an arbitrary age as a bracket to use for entry into this class of ministers (because the other term is too hard to spell and/or pronounce). He is simply acknowledging the way we are created as human beings.
It is my feeling that using this passage of scripture to delineate sexual activity is, regardless of what that activity may be, is unfounded. It has been from a personal that I learned from one 20-something widow, whose young husband died within a couple years of their wedding day, that God simply took away her sexual desire. That has not been the case in the example that opened this discussion. In this widow’s own admission, she is not living in the past; rather, as I read her testimony, she is still in the grieving process, and still having longings for her husband. Maybe I am misreading the timeline, but that is my interpretation.
I am not saying at this point that I agree or disagree with JD’s evaluation, yet. I am just stating that I don’t believe that this passage of scripture can be used to support the arguement for abstention of masturbation as a widow. I look forward to continued discussion.
The following link (http://family.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/25817/~/masturbation-and-widowhood) will take you to a post copyrighted by Focus on the Family titled “Masturbation and Widowhood”, otherwise I would have pasted it here. I believe it provides a well balanced compassionate perspective without compromising clear biblical principles (though it does not make direct biblical reference). I find it refreshingly honest and non-judgmental as they accurately acknowledge that the Bible does not directly address masturbation, acknowledges the broad topical disagreements and difficulty in resolving the issue, and does not go through extreme theatrics toward defense of one position or the other. Grace and compassion is offered as caution is given about “laying done hard and fast rules or making definitive statements about the mind of God” where in my interpretation the bible does not adequately enlighten us unless we dangerously (and possibly wrongly) read into the scriptures what suits our view.
Thank you for that link. Now that’s what true compassion looks like without compromising Gods values. I sure hope the lady asking the original question will get to read that article.
Well these are most interesting opinions, experiences, observations, lifestyles, cultures, rules, no rules and beyond that I have ever read anywhere!
I have learned in my 74 years that unless the situation……..whatever that is……..becomes your own it is impossible to understand another’s .
With all due respect and with no malice intended, I would say to Jay Dee that I imagine you are happily married, have regular sex with your husband, may use lubricant for pleasure or for neccesity or not, avoid sex “toys”, never masturbate either alone or with your husband, avoid oral sex and live a pure life before God.
So, let me ask you what would you do if your husband could no longer ” perform” due to 27 year history of bladder cancer and other chronic illnesses and medication, could not bring you to orgasm manually, intercourse is painful for you even if your husband could get an erection because you had a total hysterectomy including your cervix removed due to cancer, but the sexual desire for both you and your husband is still there? Yes, what would you do then?
My husband and I are Christians. We pray, we tithe, we give , we participate in church when we are able , we love the Lord and He loves us. We do not commit adultery because of our situation. We do not fantasize about other men or women, we do not engage in pornography but we both long for that time in our life when we had what you most likely have which is ” normal sex”.
Which brings me back to my original question. What would you and your husband do if your situation was ours?
Exactly!! You don’t know what you would do is what I suspect you might be thinking.
So, keep giving your answers to everyone and anyone as if you understand. I’m sorry, but you do not………unless you are THERE with that person. That is why we have the Holy Spirit in us Christians to guide us, teach us and convict us of our sin. He may give a different answer than you might expect , but it will never go against His word.
So, to correct some of your assumptions:
1) I’m the husband, not the wife.
2) We are happily married, but weren’t for the first half of our marriage, so I know both dynamics there.
3) Yes, we have regular sex
4) Yes, we use lubricant
5) We certainly do not avoid sex toys (we have quite the collection)
6) We engage in mutual masturbation quite frequently.
7) Oral is a ton of fun! Why would we avoid it?
8) And we try to live a pure life before God. But I’m afraid we fail quite often.
So, what if we couldn’t perform? Well, we haven’t had cancer or a hysterectomy. But, we have been through 5 pregnancies, 4 births, one C-section and a vasectomy. So, we’ve had our share of sexual pains and hiatuses.
What would we do? Probably oral sex, mutual masturbation and sex toys. But, that’s because my spouse is still there and alive with me. If they were gone, I’d seek to abstain from those expressions. As I said, at least, that’s my view from this side.
many Christians feel very strongly that oral sex is wrong.
Then go with the other options. You’re just looking for a fight today, aren’t you?
Your answers don’t surprise me. So let me correct some of YOUR assumptions
1). I said nothing about happily or unhappily married. Your experience is not mine.
2) I don’t recall asking you if you would avoid or participate in oral sex. Good for you, but not for me.
3) I’m sorry, but pregnancies including C sections are ” normal” occurrences since one or the other is the only natural way a woman can have a child. That is a normal ” temporary” interruption. We have had a couple of those also. That in no way compares to chronic illness with lasting consequences of 27 years.
4) As to what you would do, you obviously did not read the entire content of what I wrote and neither will I repeat it.
5). Re being without a spouse, neither of us is
” there” ,but once again you made an assumption of what you MIGHT do .
6). And lastly,you didn’t explain what living a pure life before God entails.
7). No response is needed because you missed the main element of this entire discussion. You are NOT where I am and therefore cannot understand. You are only ASSUMING what you might do and sounds very similar to what you are already doing!!
Perhaps I misunderstood then. You said “I imagine you are…” and then listed a bunch of things you imagine me to be, it seemed you were making assumptions about my marriage.
Perhaps the “I” was unintentional, in which case, it changes the subject of the paragraph entirely! I didn’t make assumptions at all, I did read the entire content. But, based on your response, I’m guessing there might be a typo there that caused a lot of confusion. Would you mind letting me know if that’s the case?
Id like to share my story. As a child I masturbated often. No one knew but my conscience always bothered me afterwards.. I wasn’t told it was wrong or dirty and the first I ever heard of it being questionable was when I was in my teens. Because my conscience bothered me I just accepted that this was not something that was pleasing to God. I just inherently knew it. I had a very healthy view of sexually growing up and had a desire to please God. After I married, I would still occasionally self pleasure apart from my husband but continued to feel convicted about it. I would repent and carry on. Then everything changed for me. I had a profound spiritual experience. I received the infilling of the Holy Spirit and when I did the desire to masturbate left. After, I never masturbated again during my married life. Unfortunately, after 35 years of marriage my husband died and I was left a widow. For some time, I felt a lot of self pity and would often lay in bed at night missing the physical touch of my husband. I fell back into self pleasuring and found that the more I did it the more I wanted it. Soon, I found myself unable to stop. My conscience really bothered me and I found it was affecting my relationship with God. After a time of struggle I was able to stop it completely. I starved the desire simply by denying myself. There is also a verse that I quote out loud when that desire begins to rise again. It is found in Galations 2:20. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me, and the life that I live, I live by faith in the son of God, who loves me and died for me. I also have an active social life of serving others, having healthy relationships, keeping active and involved in helping others, using my gifts. This keeps my focus on others and away from self absorption. Personally, I found that the benefits of a vibrant, growing relationship with Christ and walking with a clear conscience far outweighs the momentary pleasure of an orgasm.
Thanks for sharing Heather.
You would not be someone that I would marry. My conscience always bothered me when I had sex with my wife unless it was for procreation. I was taught that in my church. Despite many Christians believing that … the Bible does NOT say that. The conscience is not always right. You are just frigid … thats all
She’s not frigid, she has self control. Something many Christians seem to have forgotten is a fruit of the spirit.
Why don’t you address widowers? Is it wrong for men to masturbate after the loss of their wife? or is it only sinful for a woman?
I don’t see any difference. I guess I just figured it didn’t need to be explicitly stated.
J-Dee firmly believes that if your spouse dies that you should be punished!
I don’t believe self control is a punishment, and I would say the Bible agrees with me on that.
It is difficult to believe that pontifications are given by folks who don’t have the problem. Kind of like a non-alcoholic going to Ten Steps with teetotalers. Analytical thinking doesn’t do one much good when you have a dead mate. Sure, adultery, porn adultery and continual desire is a problem. But wonderful memories need not be squelched. They need to be cherished.
I think Maimonides would have agreed with you. He was a Jewish theologian in the 12th century who believed that it is holier to have overcome sin than to never have experienced it. In short, that those who have been in the situation, fallen and risen out of it are better able to help those going through it. It was one of his principal arguments for why the Christian Christ couldn’t be the Messiah. Taken to it’s logical conclusion, it would also mean that God can’t give us laws, because God thus has rising up experience with which to judge or help us.
As C.S. Lewis said in one of his books, I think Mere Christianity, saying it’s unfair that someone who hasn’t been through the situation can help is a bit like a drowning man refusing help from someone on the shore, demanding they get in the water before throwing them a rope.
But, let’s take your advice to the logical conclusion. Let’s say they “cherish” the memories of sex, which, from your comparisons to porn, I’m guessing you mean use it as masturbatory fuel. What happens if they meet someone else? When do they have to stop? Do they not have to? Is it okay for them to continue masturbating to their ex-spouse (even if by death) while married to another? When engaged? When dating? When “on the market”? Are the rules different if you get divorced? Is it okay to continue to masturbate to the thoughts of an ex? What about old lovers outside of marriage?
You get into circumstances where for many there’s no clear rule of what’s right and wrong, and no rhyme or reason to why one is okay and not the other. To me, they’re all equal, and all equally wrong.
Now, you of course have to make up your in mind about what you believe is right and wrong. I can’t speak for God. I can only share my own thoughts and reasoning. Now, you might consider that pompous and dogmatic, but I don’t see how. They asked my opinion, and I gave it.
Seriously. So if a widow or widower does not intend to remarry then you are suggesting they go the rest of their life (10-20-30 years) without any sexual release, i. e. maturbation.. as a female I have to laugh, especially at Jay Dee, I cannot imagine any male achieving that. Are you suggesting we become akin to Catholic priests and nuns, lol. You see where that has gotten them. Not all widowed folks have the opportunity to remarry dear. You remind me of the pharisees who burdened people down with burdens of legalism…
I know, it’s not a popular opinion, but it’s how I see scripture laying it out. If you have verses that she another interpretation, I’d be curious to see them. And yeah, I think the same would go for men. Men can restrain themselves, but they don’t think they have to, so they’ve never learned self control.
Please share the scriptures that states i can not as a 47 yr old highly sexually driven widow not masturbate. The verse you quoted infers that I should remarry to avoid sexual sin. What I want to know is a verse that tells me masturbating is a sexual sin.
There isn’t one. There also isn’t one telling you not to have cyber-sex, phone sex or sext with people, whether you’re married or not. At least, not explicitly. But, I think implicitly there’s a strong case for it.
I’d suggest reading this post to help you understand my position better: Why masturbation is a problem, whether you’d single or married
Now it all makes sense … you are a Catholic … & not saved. Got it
Not even close. I believe I am saved, and I’m not, nor have ever been Catholic. I disagree with nearly all of their doctrine.
So, what causes you to simply go with accusations and insults rather than an actual discussion? Because if this is how it’s going to continue, I’ll go find something better to do with my time.
Jay Dee, you are spot on!
When I was younger (14-19 years old), I masturbated for various reasons. When you are a young boy/man, you would wake up erect creating more desire to satisfy this burning desire and masturbation would temporally help; however, this self-gratification is addictive. When I did marry, it did affect my sexual life at first. However, though time and discipline my sexual gratification was satisfied with my wife.
I am not saying that a wife is a sex object.
There will be days when she is not in the mood and you must show discipline and respect. Even when your married, it requires discipline and self-control. Respect them and care for them for they are a blessing from God.
My wife passed away on April 1, 2019 with a terrible battle with ALS. She had Bulbar ALS affecting her respiratory, swallowing and speech and succumb to respiratory failure. I know it has been a short time since her passing and some time since we were able to make love but knowing what I had and what I had before (as a young boy/man). I will wait for sexual intimacy! I am 56 years old and I hope someday it will happen but to take one day at a time. Before I find a wife, I must find a friend first.
I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine. Thank you for sharing.
Let me guess, the writer here is not a widow or widower.
You’d be absolutely correct. I’m guessing by saying this, you’re saying I have no right to give an opinion when asked by a widower what my opinion on the topic is? In which case, why is it that I don’t have the right to have an opinion, but you have the right to say she can’t ask my opinion. So, because you don’t like my opinion, she shouldn’t have the right to ask it. Do I have that right?
Wait Until Jay Dee Himself Is A Widower for a length of time.. Then… Ask what his OPINION IS
This is a specialized case of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy whereby you’re trying to shut down any discussion about a situation by severely limiting who can have the discussion. This is the same argument feminists use when they say men don’t get a voice in abortion debates because they don’t have a uterus. Using these rules for discourse, only criminals could be police, only mentally ill individuals could be therapists, only atheists could evangelize, and Jesus would have had absolutely nothing to say about sin.
By contrast, I believe it’s better to make your decisions before you’re in the situation, particularly where there are strong emotions or desires that might cause you to act against your beliefs once you are in that situation. If you’re waiting to talk to your kids about sex until they’re adults – you’re too late.
or a divorced person! Kinda easy to have a wacko, harsh ruling when you are married and get sex on a reg basis. Lots of fake Christians like him … the Bible is not enough … they have to add to it
Jay Dee, you’re smarter than that, dude… I’m surprised you are lumping cyber-sex, phone sex, and sexting with masturbation when talking about the “sinful” things things that are absent from the scriptures. Masturbation has been around since at least the Fall, right? But cyber-sex and sexting etc. has been around for only the past couple of decades, and phones only the past 150 years. Is there nothing else you can use to draw a scriptural comparison using apples to apples? As is, your illustration falls flat with me, but maybe I’m missing something.
By the way, the Bible is silent on anal sex (like it is masturbation), yet you’re okay with the former but not the latter. I don’t get it. Is it okay merely because you like it, and it’s not harming anyone if both spouses agree to it? What if both spouses agree that their spouse masturbating is okay — does that stop it from being sin in your opinion? Also, I believe you said that masturbation is sin because of its potential to deprive your spouse of your sexual energy and attention, and because of its potential to cause you to lust after someone other than your spouse. Both of these things would make masturbation a very selfish act, is what I think I heard you say. But then how is talking your spouse into having anal sex not sinful, if the reason your spouse allows it is to please you, not because it’s okay in your spouse’s head? That’s very selfish of the one asking because it’s all about him/her, just like masturbation, right?
Well, thank you for the compliment, though it felt a bit backhanded.
Alright, so an example that would have existed in their time. Yeah, we have a few. The most obvious one would be sex prior to marriage. The Bible never explicitly states that it is sinful. It says sexual immorality is and based on the principles of marriage that we see in the Bible, we make the assumption that fornication falls under the blanket of sexual immorality, but it doesn’t actually say it anywhere. Now, I think you can make a strong argument that sex prior to marriage is wrong, which is why I hold that stance. So, if we accept that one premise – is it wrong to engage in mutual masturbation with someone before you marry them? Technically, it’s not “sex” as is classically defined, but I would argue it still is outside of what God intended and thus isn’t permitted. But, if you were taking a legalistic approach, as you seem to want to, then I’m not sure what leg you have to stand on against it. Maybe lust, but people for masturbation often like to argue that they can masturbate without lust, so I would assume they could say the same thing in that situation. They’re not lusting, just enjoying the experience. Let’s push it further and say you’re mutually masturbating with someone else’s spouse. Again, it’s not “sex” as per the classical definition, thus it’s not adultery, and if it doesn’t include lust, it’s okay, right? I mean, if you’re being legalistic.
Now, of course, I don’t think any of these are permissible for the same reasons I think solo masturbation isn’t – because it violates the premise that sex is designed to be experienced between two spouses, and no one else. I also define sex more broadly than sexual penetration. This is also why I don’t see an issue with anal sex because it’s sex shared between two people married to each other – same as oral sex.
But, I have no idea why you think I support coercing your spouse into anal sex against their will or if they don’t enjoy it. That’s a gross mischaracterization of my beliefs. If there’s anything on my site that can be misconstrued to lead to that belief, let me know and I will rewrite it to be clearer.
OK, you feel that masturbation is wrong and I think that anal is wrong.
As I’ve always said – live according to your own convictions. You’ll not be judged by my standard.
Okay, here’s more… Since there is no specific biblical instruction on masturbation, we are left with the task of creating a sexual ethic as followers of Christ. But that can and does vary from person to person, right? Sinning against one’s conscience — and not everyone’s conscience is the same. So maybe masturbation is sin for some and not others. Holding hands with my girlfriend gives me erections, and causes me to lust after her and desire having sex with her, even though we are both virgins. Since she is not my wife, and may end up becoming another man’s wife, I don’t want to do something that causes me to lust after her, or tempt me to reach under her shirt or down her pants. So maybe holding hands is a sin, right? But is that a sin only for me (and not others) because I can’t control the erections and lust when I touch her? Maybe it’s not a problem for some guys so it wouldn’t be sin for them. And maybe I get to the point where holding her hand never caused that response because I’m getting used to it — but now kissing has replaced the cause for those responses. Do I stop kissing her now because it’s causing me to sin? Perhaps. So do the same activities cease to be sin based on how my body and brain react? And if sin can change to “not sin” depending on the context, then I think masturbation is in the same category. It may be sin for some and not others. If I wake up with an erection and it feels good to rub it, that doesn’t mean I’m lusting after anyone. It just means it feels good, like scratching an itch, or stretching my back. And if I rub that same erection long enough to cause ejaculation — an erection that was not caused by any conscious decision on my part — also doesn’t mean I’m lusting after anyone. It’s an automatic response. Just like the chemicals in my brain that get released when I scratch an itch, and causes me to feel good, or relieved, or relaxed, or whatever. A buddy of mine has super itchy skin, and he said when he scratches it long enough that it’s almost orgasmic. So what if he did have an orgasm from scratching? Did he just sin? I just don’t see your point.
Alright, let’s say touching your penis is like scratching an itch. Would you let another women scratch that itch? I mean, if it’s just like scratching your back, what’s the problem? I mean, if it just feels good. Or let’s say you pay someone else to do it. Someone you aren’t interested in sexually at all, it just feels good, so you aren’t lusting. Is that okay? Why not?
As for your friend, I think there’s a big difference between intentionally doing something sexual and inadvertently having an orgasm. Some women have “core-gasms” while working out in gyms, against their will. That’s not the same thing at all as sitting down in the middle of a gym and masturbating with people around you.
Yes, this widow is in her early 60’s as no partner thru no fault of her own and the chances of a 60 something woman getting married again is slim to none and discouraged in the Bible if greater than 60 … so she should be punished and made to suffer for the rest of her life. Some Christians believe that God gave us sexual desire but obviously not this writer. It is non-practical articles like these that turn unbelievers’ not to seriously consider being saved. Writers like this are truly evil, not Christ like & very discouraging .
So, you agree that the Bible and my post are aligned. Am I correct there? If so, then your issue is with God, not me.
But, I also think you have mistaken some things. Firstly, of course I believe sexual desire is God-given, but I think it’s God-given for a purpose. The purpose is to drive us to find a spouse. Without the desire for a spouse, that desire has no good purpose. It would be like if you had a desire to worship, but rejected the idea of God, so you just created an idol so you could worship it instead. Worship itself is not good, it’s worshipping God that is. The fulfillment of sexual desire is not good, it’s the fulfillment of marriage that is.
Secondly, what good can come from a widow masturbating? What she really desires is a connection – masturbating won’t give her that. In fact, it will do the opposite – it will teach her to pleasure herself instead of seeking connection. But, what if she abstained? What if she leaned on God to help her through the difficult times? Well, then she would get a connection – maybe not the one she’s looking for, but one that’s good and holy. She’d learn to rely on God, to trust in Him for all things.
In short, there’s nothing to be gained by masturbating except some momentary self-gratification, but everything to be gained by following God’s intent for sex.
Now, if you feel that following God’s intent for His creation is “not Christ-like and very discouraging”, then, yeah, I think we’re going to be at odds. I intend to follow God though, and when people ask me, I’m going to recommend the same. Because even when it’s hard, it’s good.
Holey crap!!!!! So anal sex is OK but masturbation is not. Talk about being messed up!!!
I’m willing to hear you out. What’s your reasoning for saying my position should be reversed?
No the Bible and your post are definitely not aligned. You are a nasty ruthless man … the Lord is not … he is compassionate, caring and understanding. According to you she should suffer for the rest of her life. Sex drive is either given by the Lord or it is not … you seem to be having a struggle with this. Practically speaking the odds are very very small that at 60 she would ever get married again. Masturbating is like driving a Civic whereas driving a Porsche is like sex with a spouse but driving a Civic is not sin just not as good as. You need to be practical & understanding. I am 100% certain that should you find yourself alone whether thru death or divorce you would change your mind – I have seen many, many times! All who I have seen are anti-masturbation are married – mmmh (makes one wonder!). Anal sex which is truly disgusting is OK but masturbation is not – really!? That is like saying that murder is OK but being disrespectful is very very bad. Wake up and smell the coffee. You are so quick to threw this poor lady under the bus … maybe you should put yourself in her shoes. The Lord was very kind to the woman at the well … you have proven that you would not have been. I grew up in a church that was like you … twisting scripture, taking out of context and applying their own self serving interpretation, then making it ‘law’ and if don’t see my way then you will spend eternity in hell … they since have recanted of their evil ways. It is folks like you who discourage people from being saved. Let’s hope that the Lord shows you more grace than you have shown. I often tell unbelievers that people like you are not loving & kind like Christians should be & does not reflect real Christianity. Get closer to the Lord and work on getting your nasty, holier-than-tho attitude corrected.
Setting aside the ad-hominem attacks, your primary argument is that I would change my mind when faced with the temptation, but being clear and sober-minded, I would make the wrong choice. That does not seem to fit the narrative of the Bible. And the second one is based on personal preference of which activity you prefer. I mean, that’s certainly the secular method of determining right from wrong, but it doesn’t work if you’re looking for a biblical answer.
“What she really desires is a connection – masturbating won’t give her that. In fact, it will do the opposite – it will teach her to pleasure herself instead of seeking connection. But, what if she abstained? What if she leaned on God to help her through the difficult times? Well, then she would get a connection – maybe not the one she’s looking for, but one that’s good and holy”.
You seem to misunderstand the whole point of sexual connection which is that it’s an EMBODIED connection. You’re suggesting to replace it with some disembodied “Jesus Is My Boyfriend” theology. Sorry, but you can’t touch Jesus. I could express that more crudely but I think you get the picture.
Gnostic denial of life and the body will help nobody. Disembodied prayer and pretending that Jesus Is My Boyfriend will not satisfy embodied desire.
So what do you do with desire? You don’t have an embodied solution for this and neither does the Church at large.
Neither of us has a solution to “embodied desire” that incorporates “embodied connection” as you confusingly put it. That was my point. But he doesn’t have a solution and ignores the fact that there isn’t one whereas mine offers a practical answer to meet the underlying need.
And that is the answer that Christianity has – you may not like it, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have an answer. But, that’s a common problem with Christians these days – they don’t like the answer God, through the Bible, provides – they’d much rather do what feels good. We don’t reject life and the body – we just put it in its proper place – as part of God’s creation and subject to His will because ultimately, that leads to content rather than instant gratification which leads to long-term suffering.
No, the view of Christianity that you have (regardless of which denomination or church you belong to; I’ve seen it from members of manu different denominations) is fundamentally anti-vitalist. They called this attitude encratism in the days of the early church.
You think that you can pray away desire. That disembodied prayer can somehow satisfy a fundamentally embodied desire. It may sound like I’m just repeating myself but you don’t understand what I mean by embodied.
The first Jewish revolt started in AD66 when the Jews rioted because the blood of birds had been spilled at the entrance of a synagogue in Caesarea. In the course of the revolt they spilled human blood on the grounds of the temple in Jerusalem. By AD70, as you probably know, the temple was destroyed and the Jews expelled from Jerusalem. This is an object lesson of the dangers of myopic obsessions with purity. In the end your attempts to uphold the letter of the law violates the greater principle behind them and you come to ruin.
No, I don’t. I believe God can help you with temptation. If you disagree with that, then I refer you to Paul:
“But, what if she abstained? What if she leaned on God to help her through the difficult times? Well, then she would get a connection – maybe not the one she’s looking for, but one that’s good and holy”.
Sure sounds like you’re saying that if you “lean on God” hard enough and “connect” with God then that will somehow satisfy sexual desire.
God will not take away hunger or thirst no matter how hard you pray. You’re barking up the wrong tree. Neither is normal sexual desire as a sexual being a temptation.
“If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it-James 2:16“
That’s what you’re doing with that harmful advice.
I think it’s more nuanced than that. A hunger for food is God-given. A hunger for candy is not. A desire for connection with a spouse is God-given, a desire for self-gratification is not. Satan will always seek to twist what God has created into temptation by redirecting your God-given desires towards something that will leave you empty.
As for James 2:16 – it’s very specific. It says needs, not wants. Don’t conflate the two. In the prior verse, it even tells you what types of needs: food and shelter. These are things that you will die if you don’t get. Noone is going to die without sex. The only time sex is a need is in the context of marriage and then the only thing that will die is the relationship. – https://www.uncoveringintimacy.com/is-sex-a-need-or-a-want/
In this case, there is no relationship, and thus no need, only a want.
It’s ok to eat candy once in awhile. Masturbation is like eating crackers. It won’t really satisfy the hunger but it’s better than starving.
Of course nobody will die if they don’t engage in sexual activity. How are we defining needs? You won’t die if you don’t have a house. Just go to the inner city and observe people who sleep on the streets for evidence of that. You also won’t die if you have no social contact with other people. But that’s no healthy way to live. Sure, a small number of people can handle being a total hermit and may even prefer it that way. But that is definitely not something that is good for the vast majority of people.
You seem to be defining needs in the narrowest possible sense of immediate survival instead of recognizing that there are many different levels of needs.
Interestingly enough, the human brain regulates sexuality in the same area that regulates immediate survival needs like eating or breathing. Reproduction (or at least the kind of activity that tends to lead to reproduction if there is no contraception involved) is a survival need for the human species as a whole. As a result there’s a pretty strong drive toward engaging in those activities.
If sexuality is meant only for marriage then why are humans sexual beings independant of marriage? Why does sexual maturity happen and why does the sexual drive manifest itself years or decades before marriage ever happens. Why don’t humans just imprint on their spouses like ducklings on their wedding day? If sexuality exists independent of marriage then it is clearly not meant only for marriage.
No, masturbation is like drinking sea water when you’re dying of thirst. You think it’s going to fill a need, but all it’s going to do is exasperate it.
How are we defining needs? As per the dictionary, something that is necessary or essential. Sex is neither of those things. For the continuance of the human race – sure, but that’s not at risk here, and even if it was, masturbation would not solve that need either. You’re grasping at very thin staws here.
As for your “sexuality outside of marriage” – that’s doesn’t make any rational sense. That would be like stating food doesn’t exist unless it’s on a plate about to be eaten.
Like I said, sexuality is a need in the same way that social contact is. Being a total recluse isn’t very healthy for most people, even if you won’t directly die from it. There are many different levels of needs.
People are sexual beings. They are sexual beings whether they are married or not. Sexual maturity usually happens in the early to mid teens and the sex drive manifests itself. Sexuality in its totality exists totally independent of marriage. I don’t think you understand. “That would be like stating food doesn’t exist unless it’s on a plate about to be eaten”. That doesn’t make sense at all and I fail to see how you could even think that what I’m saying is in any way comparable to that idea. Sexuality does not come into existence when marriage happens. It comes into existence long before that and it continues to exist even in people who never marry. Sexuality does not get activated during the wedding ceremony. There is no cosmic switch that is flopped. Sexuality exists independant of marriage. Therefore it is not intended only for marriage. If it was then the unmarried would have no sexual nature.
Masturbation isn’t seawater. It’s crackers. Nobody ever died from masturbating, to turn your own point against you. The salt in seawater will cause a person to lose more water than they take in. Of course if a lot of people find themselves that thirsty then you might need to ask why they have no water and begin to think about how that problem can be solved. Masturbating will quell the stomach grumblings for a day or two. It’s better than nothing but not the ultimate solution. It’s like eating a handful of potato chips. No substitute for a meal but better than nothing.
What does healthy sexuality look like for single people? What are they allowed to do? Are they supposed to starve forever?
Because the Extension Of The Domain Of The Struggle (do you understand what that means?) has created a Legal Crisis (do you understand what that means?)), the church body must declare a State Of Exception (do you understand what that means?) and temporarily suspend (do you understand what that means?) it’s usual rules by allowing single people some form of sexual activity.
Social contact does not equate to sex. That’s a false equivalency. At no point did I disagree that people are sexual beings. Adults, teenagers, toddlers and infants are all sexual beings. That doesn’t mean we should be encouraging them all to go have sex.
I disagree that masturbation is better than nothing. I think it’s worse – thus the seawater analogy. Take any analogy too far and it falls apart. You’ve pushed beyond its intent to illustrate a singular point. I could similarly say you can’t survive on crackers indefinitely, and thus your point is invalid – but that’s would be taking your analogy to as ludicrous an extension as you’ve taken mine.
You’re continuously conflating sexual desire with social connection. They are not synonymous. You are also mistakenly asserting that a desire to have sex must be met, which it doesn’t. You are not owed sex – it is not a right.
And you errantly believe that the church is the arbiter of what is right and wrong. It is not. God is. The church has no power or authority to create exceptions to God’s laws. As stated before, even God couldn’t manage that one, because it would violate His prime characteristic of love. You cannot ask God to hate, nor the church to create an exception to God’s rule of love and create a method to hate in the name of God.
Socil contact and sexual activity are not exactly equivalent. But they both are examples of needs which a person won’t directly die from not meeting. Nobody is entitled to social contact either but people do have a right to pursue it and there shouldn’t be any unnecessary obstacles in the way of pursuing it. Same with sexual activity. It’s hard enough nowadays just to find a girlfriend/boyfriend, and you want people to wait until they’re married?
If following the “rules” only results in people ending up alone and childless at 35-40, then what good are the rules? If, in your zeal to keep the synagogue pure of animal blood, you only end up spilling human blood in the temple then what good is purity?
All laws are subject to the State Of Exception. This is axiomatically true, or at least I accept this premise as axiomatically true. You clearly don’t and we’re clearly not going to get anywhere if we don’t both share that core assumption.
Somebody always decides on the exception. A finite body of law like the Bible cannot on its own decide on the exception. Books can’t make decisions. You’ll respond that God decides on the exception, but God doesn’t make Himself available to clarify His rulings or make judgement on emergent circumstances that the Bible doesn’t cover. Somebody has to make a decision when the Bible doesn’t address something or when the existing rulings are not adequate to deal with the crisis at hand. The Church’s authority includes the authority to decide. You claim it doesn’t. But who does then? Somebody always decides.
The Bible does not address the Extension Of The Domain Of The Struggle. Existing biblical advice is inadequate to deal with it. God did not intend people to wait until they are 35-40+ years old.
“As stated before, even God couldn’t manage that one, because it would violate His prime characteristic of love”.
Moral law doesn’t have anything to do with God’s characteristics except on a very vague sense. Moral law only relates to “love” inasmuch as its meant for the wellbeing of the humans that moral law was given unto. But what happens when a point of moral law does not serve our wellbeing under current conditions? If you don’t think that God can suspend the moral law that he gave to humans then you deny God’s Sovereignty.
“You cannot ask God to hate, nor the church to create an exception to God’s rule of love and create a method to hate in the name of God”
What does loosening some of the restrictions around sex have to do with this? Who said anything about hate?
Who decides on the exception? If the Bible does not adress the Extension Of The Domain Of The Struggle then who decides what is to be done?
Again, your argument is with God and natural consequences, not me. I can’t overrule God, God can’t overrule how love works. What you’re looking for doesn’t exist because you’re looking for God to tell you it’s okay to destroy yourself.
I think all man-made laws are, but God’s – nope.
That’s because it’s a made-up theory that’s base premise is that we have a completely liberal sexual society with no rules or guidelines whatsoever. This is not even true in most of secular society and certainly not in the church. It’s a false premise and thus the Bible doesn’t speak on it.
And it further illustrates the point that you feel that sex is owed to you.
I don’t think we’re even talking about the same God at this point if you believe that. God is love – 1 John 4:8. It’s not a vague sense, it’s a very real and universally applied sense. Everything God has done has been out of love – including His laws. Sometimes we don’t quite understand it, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re there out of love for you. Therefore the moral law cannot fail to serve our wellbeing, though God is more concerned with our character than our physical wellbeing, but not exclusively so.
I don’t deny God’s sovereignty at all, but neither do I think God makes mistakes, and I believe God co-exists in all places and all times. You seem to believe God did not foresee this happening. To me, that would be a denial of God’s existence outside of space-time reducing Him from Creator to creation.
I believe God knew exactly what He was doing, and that’s why He cannot rescind His law, because He did it intentionally, with full foreknowledge out of love. Therefore changing it would be an act of hate.
In short – there are no exceptions, which is what I’ve been trying to explain to you for months now and you keep asking for them. You’re asking for seawater when you’re dying of thirst and are angry no one will give it to you, but you refuse the living water that’s being offered.
If you don’t even recognize that the Extension Of The Domain Of The Struggle has happened then I don’t know what to say to you. Look at the stats which show that nearly 25 percent of people surveyed said that they had not had sex even once in the past year, despite what the Sexual Revolution promised. That 25 percent of people was before the COVID pandemic; I can’t imagine what it is at now. And that was the highest percentage ever recorded.
I find the analogy of sexual activity and social contact to be useful here again. No individual is obligated to spend time with anybody else or be their friend. In that sense it is true that nobody is owed friendship or social contact. But people have the right to seek out social contact if they desire it. And if a large number of people remain atomized and friendless despite a desire for social contact then clearly something is wrong and something needs to be done about it. In regards to sexual activity why artificially restrict it to marriage when the Extension means that it’s hard enough to find a girlfriend/boyfriend, never mind a spouse?
God did not intend people to remain sexless well into their 30’s. I have stated that over and over and it is telling that you haven’t disputed that, because you can’t dispute it.
You riot over the blood of birds in the synagogue yet you spill human blood in the temple. Your myopic belief that that Bible is a suicide pact. The Bible is a finite book. By nature, a book cannot possibly address every moral question or situation that can come up. The Bible does not address the unique set of conditions that exist in our culture. The Bible is a book, not a piece of software which can be regularly updated. Neither can we ask God directly to make a judgement on new cases. Books can’t make decisions. In the absence of any biblical advice on a particular matter then who decides what is to be done?
I don’t see the 25% as an issue at all. It’s a number without context. If 25% of married people weren’t having sex, I’d say that’s 25% too many. If 25% of unmarried people aren’t having sex, I’d say that’s 75% too many.
I think most likely the cause is that people had their sexual revolution and realized it left them empty – because sex outside of marriage is not what they’re looking for, even if it’s what they think they want.
And I’m not artificially restricting sex to marriage. You are artificially removing marriage from sex. The Creator of humans said what its intended context was, but you seem to believe that you’re smarter than God in this, and I’ll not capitulate to your pride.
As for God’s intent with people – I think the Bible is clear – He intended people to make their own choice, and then to reap the consequences, good or bad. We are living out those consequences. The point of this entire experiment is to prove that God’s way are just and man’s pride leads to destruction and your solution is to double down and say God didn’t plan for this and man has to come up with a better plan. That’s like being in a ship that’s sinking because the passengers keep drilling holes in the hull, but instead of getting in the offered lifeboat – you ask for a larger drill bit.
The Bible is not just a book, it is the living Word of God, twice inspired. I believe it has all the answers to life – you just don’t like them, but as per the Bible, that’s your choice to make.
I can’t force you to choose God over self. God said many wouldn’t, even those claiming to be Christian. But I do believe that the Bible has the answers to your questions, you just don’t like them because they require self-control rather than self-gratification.
“Its not by shunning darkness that you’ll know light”
Out of that 25%, the largest share are people over 65, but the second largest is people 18-34. And that share is growing. Something is seriously wrong.
Like I said, books can’t make decisions. No finite book can possibly adress every situation. And it is incontrovertible fact that the Bible does not adress the Extension or give any advice on how people should navigate the post-Extension world.
The old script was you’d meet someone in church or at high school, get married at 20, move into a house with a white picket fence, live off of only one income, and have a lot of kids. That world is dead. We are not going back to that in our lifetimes. That is no longer the reality for most people. So, instead we have to forge a new path. If following the rule leaves you childless, sexless, and alone then what good was that rule?
“Yesterday in crannies or in nooks you will not find
Yesterday in chronicles or books you will not find
All you see of yesterday is shadows in your mind
Shadows on the pavement but no bodies do you find”.
“We cannot revive old factions
We cannot restore old policies
Or follow an antique drum”
I disagree. I think it’s still there, but the world is choosing to leave it behind. That quote above is exactly what my wife and I did, minus the fence. My brother as well. The young adults in my church are doing the same (just swap out university instead, but they’re still early-20s). It’s the ones that left that are struggling to find meaningful relationships.
No, I think God has it right – just people would rather find their own way, which sadly often leaves them lost.
I also know couples that didn’t grow up with that paradigm, but later joined the church and found a spouse, so even those who are lost have hope. But the answer lies within Biblical principles – not by circumventing them.
If it worked for you then consider yourself fortunate. I see you’re basing your views on your own personal experience. You are of course older than I am (at least I assume you are; I’m in my early 30’s) so you haven’t experienced the realities of the current dating market. My personal experience tells me that the Extension is real and I know I’m not alone.
“O my Conservative friends, who still specially name and struggle to approve yourselves ‘Conservative,’ would to Heaven I could
persuade you of this world-old fact, than which Fate is not surer, That Truth and justice alone are capable of being ‘conserved’ and preserved! The thing which is unjust, which is not according to God’s Law, will you, in a God’s Universe, try to conserve that? It is so old, say you? Yes, and the hotter haste ought you, of all others, to be in to let it grow no older! If but the faintest whisper in your hearts intimate to you that it is not fair,–hasten, for the sake of Conservatism itself, to probe it rigorously, to cast it forth at once and forever if guilty. How will or can you preserve it, the thing that is not fair? ‘Impossibility’ a thousandfold is marked on that. And ye call yourselves Conservatives, Aristocracies:–ought not honour and nobleness of mind, if they had departed from all the Earth elsewhere, to find their last refuge with you? Ye unfortunate!
The bough that is dead shall be cut away, for the sake of the tree itself. Old? Yes, it is too old. Many a weary winter has it swung and creaked there, and gnawed and fretted, with its dead
wood, the organic substance and still living fibre of this good tree; many a long summer has its ugly naked brown defaced the fair green umbrage; every day it has done mischief, and that only: off with it, for the tree’s sake, if for nothing more; let the Conservatism that would preserve cut it away. Did no wood-forester apprise you that a dead bough with its dead root left sticking there is extraneous, poisonous; is as a dead iron spike, some horrid rusty ploughshare driven into the living substance;–nay is far worse; for in every windstorm
(‘commercial crisis’ or the like), it frets and creaks, jolts itself to and fro, and cannot lie quiet as your dead iron spike would!”
The old script and the restriction of all sexual activity to marriage are dead boughs. Forcing a healthy, sexually mature adult to live sexless until they are 35-40 years old is unjust and an evil denial of the body, of life, and of nature. Gnosticism, encratism, and life-denial follows. In that sense it is indeed against the law of God.
Here we are. We can’t go back. Not in our lifetimes. What use is staying “pure” if you only end up alone and sexless?
Matthew 5:30 means the opposite that most people think it means.
If [it were true that] your right hand causes to sin then cut it off. Grammatically it’s a contingent clause. But it isn’t your right hand or your eye that causes you to sin, its what we figuratively refer to as the heart. It is not what goes into a man that defiles him but what comes out.
Besides, an adult human having a normal sexual appetite is not a sin.
What use is revolting over the blood of birds in the synanogue when it causes you to spill the blood of humans in the temple?
I feel you missed the point. You asked “what use is staying pure if you only end up alone and sexless” which sounded like “what’s the point of following God if you don’t get everything you want?” My answer was to focus on holiness, not earthly gain. Perhaps I should have referenced Matthew 6:19-20 instead.
And I agree, being an adult human having a normal sexual appetite is not a sin, just as being a human with a hand is not a sin. It’s what you do with it that becomes sinful or not. You are suggesting something sinful, and I am suggesting using it for its intended purpose (which may or may not present itself in an individual’s lifetime). A screwdriver doesn’t become a screwdriver when it’s presented with a screw. It’s always a screwdriver, even if it never gets used. The utility of the thing does not define it, but rather’s its potential utility.
Like many fake, Bible hating Christians believe like J-Dee that that sexual desire is NOT from God and that it is evil. I do not believe the Bible says this.
Try again. I believe God created sex prior to the fall and that sex and desire for sex is good when exercised within the bounds of marriage with your spouse. You’re making false accusations here.
Every moral principle has exceptions. Any reasonable person would agree that there are exceptional circumstances where, say, lying or stealing are justifiable. Likewise, almost everyone would agree that killing is justifiable under exceptional circumstances. The argument is usually over what those exact circumstances. Maybe you don’t think those things are justified under any circumstances. If that’s true then, well, that’s an interesting position…
Under what circumstances is simple fornication justified? Is the Extension Of The Domain Of The Struggle not an exceptional enough circumstance. (You don’t accept the Extension as real whereas I do; you’ll have to accept it for the sake of argument).
Almost all of the early Christian writers don’t bother giving a real reason why simple fornication is a sin other than “God said so”. One of the first to make an actual defense of why fornication is wrong was Aquinas. His argument assumes that a child will result and that the resulting child has a right to have parents who are married. Aquinas recognizes that infertile people exist and that intercourse doesnt always result in conception. For him, the sinfulness of fornication is based on the fact that intercouse is per se oriented toward procreation. Of course, we now have very reliable methods to ensure that procreation doesnt happen. Neither of us here are Catholics, so I don’t think either of us is going to argue that the connection between intercourse and procreation is currently as strong as Aquinas thought it was
Almost none of the common arguments against fornication that we see today, ie fictional “Soul ties” or the idea that you’ll compare your eventual spouse to the other people you’ve slept with, ever appear in Christian writings before the advent of dating culture. Those kind of arguments were constructed post hoc because the Church by and large accepted dating culture but needed a justification to hang on to its prohibition on fornication.
The idea that fornication is bad because you’ll compare your spouse to your past partners is even more absurd in the context of ancient Israel, where polygamy, divorce, and widowhood were all quite common. You can say what you will about polygamy and divorce not being ideal, but the fact is that they were common in that time. There would have been many people who had never committed fornication yet had slept with more than one person in their lives because of polygamy, divorce, or being widowed. So that clearly wasn’t the reason why fornication wasn’t allowed in that culture. So what was the real reason? Even in our culture widowhood and divorce still happen (divorce more often, widowhood less often), although we no longer practice polygamy. So, indeed there are Christians who have never fornicated but have been with more than one person for whatever reason.
There aren’t any.
As for your last paragraph, you’re trying to justify sin by saying that others are put in similar outcomes unintentionally. That’s like saying it’s okay to commit suicide because other people have died through natural causes.
Also humans aren’t screwdrivers. Screwdrivers don’t get agitated when their is nothing for them to screw (pun intended).
Sure, there are a few people who are basically asexual but that is not true of the vast majority of people. Making those people suppress their sexuality is a Gnostic denial of the body. It is anti-life. It is evil.
Again, missed the point and took the analogy too far.
I’m not denying nor telling to you suppress your sexuality. I’m telling you God’s clear message about how to engage in a powerful act.
anal sex & toys are OK but simple widow relieving sexual tension is bad. Inconsistent.
How do you feel it is inconsistent exactly? You’re not giving us much to go on here. I’ll show you what I mean.
I feel it’s consistent because my stance is that sex within marriage is what God intended, but sex outside of marriage is not, and I believe solo sex is still sex. So, within the framework I am working in, it’s consistent. You may disagree with my framework, but I don’t see how you feel it’s inconsistent.
Raphael Tisserand … I’m at the other extreme for my wife left us when I was 52 and now even at 60 I have a very strong sex drive and no wife but God gave us a way of escape the temp of having sex outside of marriage and many Christian’s believe it is masturbation. I have had both Hondas & 3 Porsches … both get from Point A to B but masturbation is like driving a Honda and sex with a spouse is like driving a Porsche … but driving a Honda is not a sin … despite what Jay Dee says. Also most Christians feel that doing the anal thing is against God’s law but Jay Dee is OK with that and he feels that sex toys are OK but using God’s way of escape is bad. I noticed he didn’t address many of yours or my points! A little suspect. I don’t believe that Jay Dee is a real Christian for he is more than a little inconsistent … reason to ignore.
I think everyone should follow their own convictions – however, if your intent is to come here and change mine, well, then you had better have some solid reason in order to convince me to abandon my beliefs. Nothing I have seen has come close to doing so. I believe I’ve answered every point given, if I haven’t, please detail specifically which one so that I can. I think Raphael (and it seems you as well) doesn’t like my answers, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t address them. If my children ask me for a cookie before dinner and I say no, they’ll also complain that I didn’t answer them – because they didn’t get the answer they wanted.
And of course, you’re welcome to ignore me. Please, if my blog is of no help to you, then do so. I’m not here to help people who aren’t interested in being helped by me. In fact, I’ve probably mismanaged my time in giving you two so much attention that clearly isn’t really wanted. So, I think it’s best we leave it where it is so I can go on to help others.
“I think everyone should follow their own convictions” …obviously you don’t … unless they beleive that the ungodly, wicked practice of anal sex is OK but masturbation is wrong!!
That’s my view, because people asked what my belief was. You’re free to have your own. I just think you’re wrong. That’s what having a thought means. But, if I haven’t convinced you, but I believe people should always follow their own convictions. Because I’m not going to get everything right. I’m just doing the best I can.
because I miss took you for a compassionate Christian … obviously your neither. Done.
Right, so, feelings and attacks, but no actual reason behind it. Thanks for clarifying.
The argument against masturbation seems weak. You cite no specific mention and then settle on a hard answer “no”. I think you already believe masturbation is sin and this belief causes you to interpret ambiguity in the text to suit your preferred conclusion. As for the younger widows burning with passions, the trouble Paul sites then is getting caught up in gossip, not masturbation. I think a woman desiring masturbation would be a signal to consider marrying again, not a sin in itself. Focus on spouse or focus on God; I agree – but, if you have not established successfully that masturbation leads you away from God, then this part of the argument is simply irrelevant. Masturbation or no masturbation, the focus has not been specified. As for masturbation being inherently self-focused – what is your argument for this? Is every act of personal pleasure sinful? Perhaps cake is sinful too. Now, I would say eating cake to the point of obesity or eating cake when feeling hurt to avoid facing harder truths is sin, but this is really about gluttony and not about cake. Likewise, the sin you speak of is selfishness, not masturbation per se. Seems to me, without specific mention in the Bible – and, I’m SURE people masturbated back then too – you seem to read your already formed conclusion into the text.
I think when there isn’t a clear answer in the text the answer should be to lean on foundations. For the widower: Focus on your relationship with God and be present to the signals God gives you. Ask for his light on the situation. Maybe in the end it’s sin. Maybe not. We are allowed to be human. If God had a strong opinion on this topic he would have put it in his book more clearly, like he does with other things he cares about.
This post does a better job of explaining my reasoning behind masturbation in general:
Why masturbation is a problem, whether you’re married or single