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If you stopped by on Monday, you discovered that my fellow blogger friend, Mrs. Hot Holy Humorous, and I are trying to get our hands around this masturbation topic.
(You gotta cut me some slack with that last sentence. I'm a writer for goodness sakes. Clever word play is my own sad pathetic form of entertainment. I kid you not).
In all seriousness, Mrs. Hot Holy Humorous and I both believe masturbation is a valid topic to discuss with regard to how it impacts sexual intimacy in marriage.
It's worth talking about, and maybe the way we're shedding light will generate good dialogue with your spouse.
We tackled a few questions in part 1, and now we'll tackle a few more.
I recommend you read the first posts, because they kind of set the foundation for what we're doing here in part 2.
And if you want to bolt without reading any of it, I respect that. (One of my goals this year was to work on not being offended -- like when people don't like what I write. Or when they cut me off in traffic. Jury is still out on how well I'm doing.)
So tag along as we each provide our answers to the below questions:
What about the scripture that talks about Onan spilling his sperm? Does that verse reference masturbation?
Me: I don't think that verse has anything to do with masturbation.
Onan withdrew his penis and ejaculated on the ground. God's issue with this was that Onan failed to fulfill his duty to impregnate his sister-in-law.
What's fascinating to me about all the discussion on this scripture is that it is so often tied to the debate about masturbation.
Is it just me or could we spend a lot more energy peeling back the layers on the historical and biblical significance of a command that a man impregnate his sister-in-law – or God would kill him? Talk about some pressure to perform sexually.
I'm just saying.
Hot, Holy, Humorous: Catholics and Protestants have approached this scripture quite differently; in fact, it is my understanding that priests have interpreted this passage to mean that a man should only ejaculate into a woman's vagina – that no sperm should be wasted.
However, as a Protestant Christian, I agree with scholars who suggest that Onan's sin was not fulfilling his duty to father a child with his brother's wife and give that child a place and inheritance in the family.
Onan still made love to his former sister-in-law – getting all the goodies part of the deal – but refused to make good on his obligation and to treat her with respect. (It's fascinating how the free milk and cow story plays out over and over and how this mirrors today's problems with absent daddies and baby mamas. I digress.)
I don't think this scripture specifically references masturbation, but it does address the importance of respect and relationship in godly sexuality.
What about the scripture that refers to people becoming lovers of themselves? Does that verse reference masturbation?
Me: Some people interpret 2 Timothy 3:1-3 in such a way that they believe it can be applied to masturbation, no matter the circumstances.
When I read those verses, though, I don't think God is making a blanket statement about masturbation. I think God is referring to a selfishness and self-centeredness that results in devastation far beyond the selfish person.
As I've already said, when a couple incorporates masturbation into their sexual intimacy as an act of love and strengthened oneness, it hardly resonates with a motive of selfishness.
All that being said, if a married person is masturbating and it is destroying oneness with their spouse, well obviously this is being fueled by a selfishness that is indeed devastating.
Hot, Holy, Humorous: 2 Timothy 3 warns of perilous times in which people will become lovers of themselves.
I'm not a Greek scholar or pastor, but I know a little about the Greek word for love. Actually, there are four Greek words for love: philia, agape, eros, and storge. Of course, it's all Greek to me (thank Shakespeare for that phrase), but for our purposes, recognize that philia = friend love, while eros = sexual love. The word translated as "lover of self" is philautoi – a derivative of friendly not sexual love.
My conclusion? That scripture is not about loving oneself sexually, or masturbation; it's about a problem we all struggle with – thinking too much of ourselves period. Then again, if you think too much of yourself, you're more likely to selfishly pursue your own sexual pleasure regardless of any negative impact to your spouse.
Often the best verses about how we should behave sexually with our spouse are those that deal with how we should behave in any situation – considering others ahead of ourselves.
Want to see what other questions we answered? Head on over to Mrs. Hot Holy Humorous' blog, where we both answer:
Is there such a thing as "too much" masturbation?
What if my spouse wants to masturbate but I find this disturbing or wrong?
And by all means, don't stay quiet if you have a comment you're dying to post. She and I both moderate our comments, but we hit the publish button on nearly all of them.
Now does anyone want to give us a hand for being brave in talking so openly about masturbation?
(Yes. I know. More word play. All for my personal entertainment.)
Copyright 2011, Julie Sibert, Intimacy in Marriage Blog.