This is the tenth post in the 1/2 Marathon being orchestrated by the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association. This time I’m switching it up a bit. An issue came up during the discussion on the post Why Do Married Men Masturbate? that I want to address today. Please note, this is my perspective. I cannot vouch for all males and when I’m giving my perspective on women, I certainly cannot vouch for all women. Also, all references to gender traits are based on the average population, there are exceptions of course. Please do not be offended by these if you are not “neurotypical” for your gender. So, on to the question:
What is your opinion of solo masturbation due to separation?
This question came from the comments section and I delayed responding because the initial answer I felt was a bit harsh. I thought I’d take the time to pray and think and read and see if my opinion mellowed. It didn’t. So, here it is, no holds barred.
My opinion of solo masturbation due to separation is no different than any other circumstance. It is wrong as it harms the marriage and yourself. For a larger discussion on this, see the initial post.
I tried to find something in the Bible that would shed some light on this and all I found was the following:
If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.Deuteronomy 24:5
God specifically forbade newly married couples to be separated during the first year of marriage. Why? We don’t really know why it doesn’t say. Possibly because they need a chance to be fruitful and multiply. But I think there is more to it than this. I think that a new couple needs that time to explore their new shared sexuality, to be comfortable, to release all the pent-up energy of a life of being unable to express that part of themselves. So, no newly married man would be allowed to go to war or take an overnight business trip for an entire year.
So, what about after the year, are they free to abandon their wives? By Jewish rabbinic law, a husband was required to keep his wife sexually satisfied. If he didn’t, she was legally entitled to divorce him and he would be required to pay her a substantial sum of money for breaking their marriage contract. So a husband wouldn’t leave without both spouses agreeing and knowing that this separation meant a fast in their sexual life.
So, based on this, I’d argue that solo masturbation due to separation is no different than any other case.
Now, I know some people aren’t going to like this. They’re going to ask, but what about those of us who have to work away from home for long periods of time. Here’s where I get harsh.
The only time I have ever seen a case where a spouse needed to be separated for extended periods of time is when one spouse goes to jail. The couple I know are both still loving towards each other, the husband made some mistakes in life before coming to Christ and before he starts dating and married his wife. He gave his life to God before he was sentenced, but the penalty still needed to be paid. It is a bad situation, but frankly, he made his own bed, and he knows it and accepts it. I’m not condoning solo masturbation in this case either, just saying it’s the only time I’ve seen an actual need to be separated in a healthy relationship. Plus, they get conjugal overnight visits, so it’s not like they are completely celibate for the years they are separated.
So, for those of you still free in the general public and not in confinement: You do not need the job you have long hauling or in the military or crab fishing, or doing missions in third world countries full time. You chose that job. And you and/or your spouse decided that you could weather the separation. If there is an exception I’m not thinking about, let me know. Now, in today’s world, there are many opportunities to still be sexual with your spouse. We have Skype and cell phones, instant communication around the world. I’m not sure what the military is like, but frankly, you must have known that separation was a possibility if not an inevitability.
Personally, I have no idea how you do it. I’m going on a mission trip at the end of this month and I will be separated from my wife for 11 days. I’ve done this once before, 3 years ago, I’m not sure I would want to more often, it’s pretty hard to be away that long.
Oh, and if there are kids in the mix, personally, I think you are giving up too much separating yourself from your family for extended periods of time frequently. This includes pastors who spend every waking moment ministering to people. Yes, it’s a call, but if you have a wife and kids, I’m sorry, you have priorities, and the Bible is clear on them. You must provide for your family, and that doesn’t just mean financially. There are way too many pastors kids who grow up not knowing their father because he was always helping someone else and pastors wives who don’t know their husband because he’s constantly counselling other marriages.
So, that’s my take on the question.
Feedback? Questions? Comments? Rant In Disagreement? Bring it on, it’s an open forum. I don’t get offended by differing opinions.