The ‘M’ Words, Masturbation and Ministry

Todays post is by Joan Huang.  I first met Joan when she attended the 5th/6th grade Sunday School I taught. Our paths crossed again as my husband and I were mentor parents in the youth group she attended. It was during this time that she became like a daughter to me and is a BFF with my daughters 🙂 This past December my husband and I were privileged to do part of her premarital counseling.  I have had the opportunity to see her grow in so many ways.  She is fondly known to us as “Joyful Joan.”

She has a powerful message I’d like to share with you so here we go…

dirty little secrets

so, what are the “m” words you doth mention, dearest joan?

masturbation and ministry.

yup, i said it.

[jaw drops]

emphasis on the word masturbation.

the two words never coincide in the same sentence, let alone are seldom discussed among the Body of Believers, especially with females. the guys generally get center stage on this one: always being reminded of their trashy web browsing habits, rebuked for such behavior, and in turn form accountability between others with like-struggles. the girls stand back in disgust, praying that their future husband won’t be one of “them”. me, be that kind of girl? guilty as charged. the church has recognized the destructive nature of sexual sins surrounding pornography and lust in its influence on the next generation of Jesus-loving men, but it is only beginning to unmask the deceptive reality of women’s struggle with masturbation.

i’d like to call it “pseudo sex”, where it only takes one to get the job done, and i’ve heard it go in a few directions:

1.) the chick doesn’t see a problem with it and has been doing it since she was a child
2.) homegirl has always felt guilty and doesn’t know how to stop
3.) she used to have sex with the ex and now she’s having withdrawals
4.) she’s waiting until marriage but is trying to cope with raging hormones in the mean time
5.) it supposedly helps with cramps and stress
6.) she wants to regain control over her own life when she feels as if the world around her is uncontrollable
7.)                                                                                                                              

no matter the purpose or fulfillment involved, masturbation has become a secret reality in the lives of so many women. most assume they’re the only ones doing it, thus leading to a hidden and independent battle against the flesh. but you’re not alone, honey.

from the time i was ten years old i had struggled with masturbation {good luck trying to look me in the eyes next time and not judge. haha, it’s okay. i totally understand}. for the next seven years i didn’t know it was wrong until i fell in love with Jesus. the more i came to understand my identity in Him and His calling on my life, the more i realized that what i was doing in private was clashing with God’s pure heart for me and my future husband. while i wasn’t directly hurting anybody or myself, something was just not right about this one aspect of my life. despite feeling conviction from the Holy Spirit, i continued to struggle in my own strength, too ashamed to talk to anyone about it.

this perpetual habit came to a halt one day in college when a group of girls prayed over me. i didn’t tell them to pray for anything specific, and i most certainly didn’t share with them about my secret struggle, but that didn’t stop the Holy Spirit from moving powerfully through their intercession. in the supernatural realm there was a shift where any spirit of lust, addiction, or control had been broken off of me. i didn’t recognize this new freedom until a month after that prayer gathering when i came to an overwhelming and triumphant realization that i hadn’t struggled or even thought about masturbating. for ten years this had been such a normal thing, and then after one night of prayer, my foe met its match and the holy territory of my body was reclaimed. it has been years since then, and now i can look at that lengthy season in my life and say that i have had enough with the lies of the enemy. deception and shame have run deep in the hearts of young women, and i’m fed up with the silence.

i remember overhearing a “big adult” conversation at a church summer camp once. some mothers were sitting around, sipping tea, and chatting about why they’ve decided that masturbation is okay for their sons. they said they couldn’t find anything against it in the Bible and had in turn chosen to apathetically look the other way. every time i am reminded of that conversation, something in me churns with unrest. there was something so distorted and legalistic in what was said and i knew that there was more to God’s heart in the matter than what these church leaders had subjected themselves to.

God’s heart is overwhelmed with purity. He radiates purity through His Bride, us, and desires that she be awoken, freely flaunting her white wedding gown. we are carriers of that identity and what a greater honor than to be given that freedom and authority to walk into it. because the Bride is made to reign with Her Groom, there is a holy engagement currently taking place. she is getting ready for Her wedding day, undistracted, impassioned, and in love. this Biblical picture is to manifest within our lives as a prophetic proclamation of what is to come.

in the mean time, the enemy has been masking a perverted sense of pleasure in order to rape the Bride . this injustice will not take place due to the victory in which Christ sealed through His triumph over death. this Bride is technically untouchable. but are we letting the enemy claim territory in which we were already given authority to reclaim? if this Bride is to be embraced by Her Groom, then there should be nothing that comes between that holy and pure covenant. even ourselves. the Bride in her waiting musn’t turn to herself and gratify these God-given pleasures when she knows that the wedding bed is soon to come.

whew. now on a lighter note.

don’t think about skunks… don’t think about skunks… stop it! i said, don’t think about skunks!

what are you thinking about? well, skunks, of course.

now, think about chocolate: white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, caramel covered in chocolate. now what are you thinking about? mhm, chocolate.

when it comes to sin and temptation, the more we focus on it, the more we allow it have bondage over our minds, even if we don’t carry out the temptation leading to sin. when we recognize that we’re free from sin and thrive as new creations, then it’s the presence of God that drives out darkness for us.

“let no sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. for sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:12-14)

sin has nothing on you. if you begin to truly walk into the fullness of your identity in Christ, you will see that you’ve been raised in victory over sin and death. as long as you believe that sin has a role in your life, it will. but once you truly tap into the presence, power, and purity of God, you can’t help but be a conqueror. it’s in your genetic code as a new creation.

you’ve always heard that quote about your body being a temple of the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:19), but did you ever see that it was in context to sexual purity? my youth group leaders back in the day always linked it to being about food consumption… what? sure, okay, fine. and yet another example of how this topic of sexual self-gratification is quickly swept under the rug, especially during the pubescent years of development when it matters the most.

now that i pointed out the elephant in the room, what do you do about it? bring it from darkness to light. if you’re ashamed, that’s even a greater hint that you need to expose that sucker. but here’s the thing as well, don’t beat yourself up about it. seriously, don’t. the Father doesn’t condemn you, so don’t condemn yourself. He just wants you to walk in the most freedom and fullness possible.  you can talk about it with trustworthy friends, accountability, a mentor, or whomever you discern to be an individual who would speak life and freedom over you. pray and receive intercession over it. break off any spiritual attachments. seek healing if you’ve been sexually abused. talk to Daddy about it; let His Spirit reveal parts of your heart that are held in bondage, release them, and choose to walk into freedom. getting deeper into the Father’s heart and a new found intimacy with God through His Holy Spirit will only drive out impurities on your behalf. He already fought for you, and now it’s your turn to receive that freedom.

woman of God, i give you permission to start thinking about chocolate.

 

OTHER VERSES THAT COMPLIMENT THIS TOPIC:

for God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. {1 Thessalonians 4:7}

flee from sexual immorality. every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. {1 Corinthians 6:18}

therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. as a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. {Peter 4:1-2}

joan36

Joan Huang is a native Texan with a fiery heart for East Asia.  She has lived in Thailand for two years as a teacher and grad student, and is called to a cross-cultural life overseas alongside her husband. She dreams of someday owning a coffee shop and has a love for languages, art, and ice cream.

Raising Generations Today to Be Pure in An Impure World

couple walking through avenue of trees

Exactly what influence does today’s culture have on our children in regards to virtue? Can we hope to raise sexually pure sons and daughters in an impure world?

In a culture where “sex sells”, we have become the target audience for messages of impure love. Sexually explicit advertisements in the media bombard us daily making it impossible to shield our children from their onslaught. Is it any wonder children today are more curious at younger ages?  What’s a parent to do?

Continue reading over at Raising Generations Today.

prayerpurity

Does Virginity Signify Purity?

Today’s post is by my daughter Courtney. She has such a unique and personal perspective which I feel certain will encourage you.

Courtney

 

At a young age I found myself in love with an incredible man. I had a singular focus and couldn’t be bothered by the other boys I found myself surrounded by. The only problem was, my sister and I were in love with the same man. Shocking, I know. My poor mother! Before jumping to conclusions, let me explain my unusual behavior.

I grew up in an environment that encouraged open communication, purity, and, the notion that true love waits. From an early age, I decided that all I wanted to do in life was get married and have the cutest of all babies. Then, the man I mentioned came along and my perspective changed. I realized that love really did exist and I didn’t want to give my heart away to any young chap. This man, however, was certainly not a young chap. My sister had the same sentiments.

How did this all happen? Well, my sister and I both attended a conference that talked about how dating young was pointless. Nevertheless, we left the conference infatuated with this dreamboat of a man. To be honest, it all feels a bit foggy now. In any case, we left totally, completely, and utterly in love with…Jesus. From that point on we both made a commitment to wait to date until we were at least able to consider marriage.

From the sweet age of 12 I made a commitment to not date until I was 16. When I was 16, I extended it until I was 18. By the time I turned 18, however, I was smitten with Jesus. He was the perfect gentleman, protector of my heart, friend, lover, and pursuer. He loved me well and his grace was astounding. From that point on I stopped looking for prince charming and embraced Jesus. I even went as far as to rip up one of my old journals written to my future husband. Yes, this was probably a bit dramatic, but if you knew me you would know that I tend to be a passionate person. *chuckle*  I sort of wish I still had the journal, because it was really sappy and I’m sure extremely embarrassing but the remains are now strewn about in some random landfill.  Oh well.

With a brief glimpse into my story, I wanted to share some of my thoughts regarding dating and purity. When I was younger I believed that purity was simply abstaining from sex. As the years have gone on, however, I have come to discover that purity is more of an attitude of the heart. While I used to wear my purity ring with pride and flaunted my virgin lips with superiority, I have come to understand that purity of heart can still be tainted with my v-card intact. This revelation all started with a friend of mine. This friend got married to an incredible man, but he had a past. I had considered that this might happen to me, but only briefly. Nevertheless, the whole situation, along with a few other circumstances, caused me to wake up a bit and realize that my thinking, regarding purity, had a serious flaw. You see, I waited, but it was stemmed in religion and it was attached to the lie that if I waited then there would be some magical prize at the end of the tunnel and if I didn’t then I would be in big trouble. Never a big fan of getting in trouble, I lived in fear and it ruled my decisions.

So, I waited.

I waited because I was told to.
I waited to please my husband.
I waited because I didn’t want God to be mad at me.
I waited because I wanted to avoid sin.
I waited to avoid pregnancy.
I waited because I believed the alternative would have caused my parents to have a heart attack.
I waited because it seemed like the logical thing to do.
I waited because I lived in fear and, to be honest, did not get out much.
I waited to have sex, because it was biblical.
I waited because my close friends waited.
I waited because I wanted a good story.
I waited because I thought that if I waited then my future spouse would wait too.

I might have waited, but I waited for the wrong reasons.

Most of my life I waited upon many things and inadvertently lived deeply within religion. Religion was my god.  Doing “the right thing” was my life.  Pointless. Religion without relationship is dead. 

I have been serving religion and have missed living within relationship. Sure, I have had glimpses of what this relationship might be like, I mean, come on, I practically dated Jesus, but I want more. I mostly want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this relationship, with Jesus, is not because of my own doing.

Grace.

I want to know that I am so fully embraced by the Father that I can make any choice that comes my way, but I will choose not to simply because I am embraced by Love.

I want to make choices from a place of love versus fear.

Would I have waited if I knew all along that I was fully embraced by the Father? Absolutely. But I would have waited because I wanted to and not because I felt like I had to. I would have viewed my purity as a gift instead of a “right.” I would have thanked the Father for holding me and keeping within His grasp. I would have responded differently to the pain and suffering of others, because I would have known that He had them too. I would have run towards the pain instead of cowering away in judgment and reaping the fruit of my thoughts. I would have forgiven easily, because like my purity, grace is a gift. It is a free gift. There is nothing expected by the recipient.

Even a gift, such as virginity, can be restored. Purity can be redeemed. If purity is what matters, I would rather be pure in heart and mind versus just pure in body. Virginity does not signify purity. You can still be pure even though you may have made different choices with your nether regions. I hope you can see what I am getting at. I am simply trying to convey that virginity is not the goal, but it is a beautiful gift to give at the proper time. When virginity becomes the goal, chances are there is a bit of religion and fear interlaced. The fruit of this mindset is judgment and fear versus love and freedom.

I feel like this is important for parents to hear. Instead of harping on virginity, speak identity to your children and encourage them to get lost in God’s love. If you are unsure of what this is yourself, take some time to encounter God’s magnificent and breathtaking love. In return, this love will naturally spill over into every area of your life.

Quite possibly you have been reading this series on how to share with your children about sex, but your children, or even you, have already made different choices with your sexuality than you would have wanted. There is so much grace. If your kids are still young, I encourage you to implement the things in this series but do so in a way that focuses on captivating their hearts. Empower your children to make powerful choices and let them know that you trust them and believe in them. You can give them a purity ring, but without captivating their hearts first, this will merely be a relic. I am so thankful that my parents were open with me about sexuality. If I could add one thing, however, it would simply be to share more about God’s grace. I am still making wise choices, but I am now doing it from a place of love versus servitude.

Personally, I am realizing more and more about how purity is a gift. Perhaps this gift will one day bring freedom to another and demonstrate grace in a tangible way. While I may not know who I will end up with and what their story is like, I know the Author of every story and am beginning to understand, for the first time, what everyone’s story is truly about…

The discovery of GRACE that leads us directly into the Fathers embrace through the Sons sacrifice.

Perhaps, instead of viewing purity as “saving myself”, I can now begin to let thankfulness rise up in my heart for the One that has truly saved me.

 

Courtney Werner graduated with a degree in Psychology. She is a self-taught artist from San Diego and is constantly looking for new creative outlets. Courtney has always enjoyed art but recently decided to pursue it with a bit more vigor. In addition to painting, she also dabbles with writing, interior design, DIY projects, and composing music.