A spiritually unhealthy habit, masturbation instills attitudes that foster self-centeredness and corrupt the mind.* A masturbator may also grow to view others as mere sex objects—tools for sexual satisfaction. Sex becomes separated from love and is relegated to a reflex that gives momentary pleasure and relieves sexual tension. But that relief is only temporary. In reality, instead of deadening the body’s members “as respects sexual immorality, uncleanness, [and] uncontrolled sexual passion,” masturbation arouses them.—Colossians 3:5.
The apostle Paul wrote: “Beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1) If you are struggling to heed these words, do not give in to despair. Jehovah is always “ready to forgive” and to help. (Psalm 86:5; Luke 11:9-13) Indeed, your self-condemning heart and your efforts to give up the habit—despite occasional relapses—indicate a good attitude. Keep in mind, too, that “God is greater than our hearts and knows all things.” (1 John 3:20) God sees more than our sins; he sees the whole person. This knowledge enables him to hear with sympathy our earnest pleas for mercy. So never weary of turning to God in humble and earnest prayer, like a child who goes to his father when in trouble. Jehovah will bless you with a cleansed conscience. (Psalm 51:1-12, 17; Isaiah 1:18) Of course, you need to take positive steps in harmony with your prayers. For example, you would strive to avoid all forms of pornography as well as bad associates.*
Masturbation is the stroking or rubbing of the genital organs, commonly resulting in orgasm.
As a practical step in controlling the use of a home computer, many families keep it in a public area. Additionally, some households purchase software that filters out undesirable material. No system, though, is completely reliable.
For practical suggestions on how to overcome masturbation, see the article “Young People Ask . . . How Can I Conquer This Habit?” in the November 2006 issue of Awake!, and pages 178-182 of the book Questions Young People Ask—Answers That Work, Volume 1.