To answer this question, we have to see porn for what it really is: fake intimacy. Porn is this disillusioned experience of sexual connection with another person. Some justify pornography in a marriage because it "gets the juices flowing." While that may be true, it is a violation of God's design for marriage, which is meant to be a secure relationship between one man and one woman. The minute you introduce third parties – whether physical or virtual – you are violating the sanctity of your marriage convenant because you are experiencing intimacy with someone else outside of your spouse.
There are plenty of healthier, godlier ways to spice up the intimacy in your marriage. Using porn to do so is like drinking Coke every day because it "helps you feel energized" and then wondering why you've gained weight a few months later. Just because it helps you achieve a momentary desired outcome does not mean it will serve you the best in your long-term goals.
This is a common pattern observed in addictions. The binge-purge cycle is binging on the substance or behavior (in this case viewing pornography) and purging after. In a faith-context, this might look like asking for forgiveness, repenting, spending time with God, etc. The purging part is where you remove yourself of anything that had to do with the binge.
This is useful to know because sometimes we observe our "purge" responses as signs that we are progressing and making changes, when in reality it could be that it is actually part of the cycle. If you really want to recover from a slip, ask yourself two questions:
1) What need did it meet?
2) What would I do differently next time?
This is a much better way to combat the 'purge' component. If you want to eliminate the cycle altogether, you'll have to resolve the underlying roots that are causing you to binge in the first place. This is where your answer to question 1 can become super helpful. In our group coaching calls, if someone...
YES! It really does. Traditionally, you'll hear that sex before marriage matters because it's God's design and if you wait, your wedding night will be ultra special and significant. That is rarely the case. The first time you are physically intimate with someone, there is a learning curve. That's just fact. So why does sex before marriage matter then? Shouldn't you be able to test drive the car before you take it off the lot?
Romantic relationship stands on two legs: Intimacy & Commitment. The level of intimacy you experience in a relationship should be determined by the level of commitment you have to that person. Sex is an extremely layered and deep experience of intimacy. The kind of experience that should be reserved for deeply committed relationships. The greatest form of commitment you can make to another person is a covenant (marriage), therefore it demands the greatest form of intimacy (sex). This is why the Bible is clear that sex should take place in the confines of...
The short answer is no. Masturbation in of itself is not sinful, as the Bible does not outright forbid it as far as I know. Does that make it ok? Definitely not. There are 3 main reasons that masturbation is considered sexually irresponsible behavior.
1) It is almost always associated with fantasy, which is sinful. I know few who can masturbate without fantasy. You may be able to do that once or twice, but not with any consistency. What if you're married and you only think about your wife? That takes us to...
2) Masturbation is solo intimacy. That is not ok. Sexual intimacy was meant to be experienced between a man and a wife in the context of marriage. Masturbation violates this God-given design for sexual relationship.
3) Biochemically, regular masturbation has negative effects on your brain chemistry. It can leave you lethargic, apathetic and hinder your ability to enjoy healthy sexual experiences. Not worth the cost if you ask me.
Masturbation may not be outrightly sinful, but...
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