How Does Watching Porn and Masturbating Bring Glory to God?

Even if after debunking all the common Christian arguments against porn, one final question remains.  How does watching porn and masturbating glorify God?

When I was growing up in strict fundamental Baptist churches (and I still attend conservative Baptist church to this day) they would apply this question to things like playing cards, drinking alcohol, going to movie theaters and watching TV.

And this is a great question and one the Bible commands us to ask ourselves about every action we take:

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

I Corinthians 10:31 (KJV)

So, the question is, how do we know if an activity we are involved in brings glory to God?

Doing What God Designed Us to Do Brings Glory to God

If you asked the average Christian what activities in their life bring glory to God, they might say things like “praying, reading my Bible, giving offering, singing in church and telling people the Gospel”. And those activities certainly bring glory to God.

But the passage above shows us that we can bring glory to God simply by eating and drinking.

Think about the process of eating and drinking.  We thirst for drink and then we drink.  We can become thirsty in many ways.  Sometimes we can be aroused to thirst just by seeing a commercial for our favorite cold beverage.  We can see the beads of water flowing down the bottle on the TV screen and then we have to run to the fridge and get that refreshing drink for ourselves.  At other times we have seen no ads or any one drinking in front us, we just got thirsty because our bodies need water. So again, we go get a refreshing drink.

It is the same thing with food.  We may be aroused to hunger by seeing a TV ad for food or by watching someone else eat or just by picking up the scent of our neighbor’s BBQ across the street.   But we could also become hungry without any external stimuli because our bodies need food.

The process of us becoming thirsty or hungry and then us drinking or eating is by the design of God.  So, what 1 Corinthians 10:31 is saying is that when we do what God designed us to do, in the way he designed us to do it, then we bring glory to God.

But we can also bring shame to God by overeating and overdrinking as the Scriptures state in Proverbs 23:20 “Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh”.  And we can bring shame to God in eating and drinking if we have violated the 8th commandment and stole food or drink to consume it.

In other words, when we experience thirst or hunger and then quench that thirst or hunger this entire process brings glory to God because we are doing what he designed us to do.  It is only when we exercise our desire for food and drink outside the boundaries of God’s law either by engaging in gluttony or by stealing that we then bring shame to God.

Sex is a Need Just Like Food and Water

Some would argue that sex is not a need like food or drink, but rather it is simply a want.  But such an assertion is built on the false premise that if we do not die from lack of something, that it is not a true human need.

The Bible compares sex for a woman to the need for food and clothing when it states the following:

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.  And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.”

Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

And in the next Scripture passage the Bible compares a man’s desire for sex to the human need water:

“Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well”.

Proverbs 5:15 (KJV)

The point is that God says that sex is a need, not a want.  Women need sex like humans need food.  We as human beings can go some time without food before we will perish and so too women can often go longer than men without sex.  But for men sex is like water is to a human being.  It makes up a huge part of who they are and they need it far more often than women typically do. 

Sexual Relations Are Limited to Marriage, But Not Our Sexuality

Some might agree that sex is a need for both men and women and even a much stronger need in men than in women.  But they would contend that these passages I have cited from Exodus 21 and Proverbs 5 show that God only meant for us to quench our sexual thirst within marriage.  They would also point to 1 Corinthians 7:3 which states “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband”.

These Christians believe that both sexual relations and our human sexuality itself are reserved marriage.  In other words, they teach that our sexual desires must be suppressed before marriage.  It is a sin in their view to dwell on sexual thoughts and especially to masturbate to such thoughts.  And porn is even worse as it stokes as adds to such sexual thoughts, rather than helping to suppress such thoughts.  These are the people that tell young single men, “if you think about sex, turn on a baseball game or listen to sermon”.  As if the desires will magically go away.  They may seem to go away for a time, but they soon will re-emerge.

The problem with the positions above is that they fail to make any distinction between our human sexuality and sexual relations themselves.

One of the concepts I try to drive home with Christian men is that there is a distinct difference between sexual relations and our sexuality.  Our sexuality is our desire for sex and the pleasure we receive from thinking about sex, from seeing women’s bodies in real life or just images of them.  Our sexuality is what drives us to sexual relations, but our sexuality is not the same as sexual relations.

Sexual relations require two or more living beings interacting with one another in a sexual manner.  And yes, there are virtual forms of sexual relations via the use of sexting, live web cams or phone sex.  But simply having a sexual fantasy about a woman is not you having sexual relations with that woman.  There is no interaction between you two, therefore there is no relations.  You cannot have sexual relations with a thought or an image, you can only have sexual relations with another living being.

I realize that many of you might be screaming “What about Matthew 5:28? Doesn’t that say sexual thoughts are the same as having sexual relations?”.  The short answer to that question is no. That is not what Matthew 5:28 is talking about at all.  When Christ condemns a man for looking at a woman “to lust after her” calling it “adultery in the heart” he not condemning men for entertaining any sexual thoughts about women they are not married to.   But rather, he condemning men for entertaining thoughts of sexual enticement.  Thoughts of enticing women into having sex outside of marriage.  And this is an important distinction that is lost on the vast majority of Christian teachers.

For more on the subject of what sexual lust actually is in the Bible see my argument on lust in my article “Debunking 10 Common Christian Arguments Against Porn”.

None of the passages I have previously mentioned, not Exodus 21:10-11, not Proverbs 5:15-19, nor does 1 Corinthians 7:2 forbid sexually fantasizing, watching porn or masturbation, but rather they restrict sexual relations between a man and woman to be within the covenant of marriage.  There is nothing in these passages about restricting any sexual thoughts or “not dwelling on sexual thoughts” as we are so often told. 

If you look at Proverbs chapter 5 the context is of a man desiring sex outside of marriage with whorish women.  He is not to give his seed to any woman, but his wife.  He is not to have sexual relations with any woman, but his wife.  God designed sexual relations for marriage – that is what Proverbs 5 is teaching us.

And 1 Corinthians 7:2 teaches that the best way to avoid fornication is by marriage.  And that is absolutely true.  Fantasizing, watching porn and masturbation can never fulfill us the way that loving sexual relations within the covenant of marriage can.  In fact, studies have shown that penile-vaginal intercourse releases 400 times more prolactin in the human body than masturbation or even oral sex.  In other words, it is scientifically proven that penile-vaginal intercourse between a man and woman is the most satisfying kind of sex human beings can have.  

So, it is absolutely true that for us as men that we should never get to the point where we would have watch porn and masturbate than have sex with our wife.  And if we are single men, watching porn and masturbation should never diminish our drive to seek out a wife as our strong physical sexual desire is designed by God to be a force which drives us to marriage.

The Male Sexual Nature Is Designed by God to be Exercised Before and During Marriage

Contrary to myriads of Christian books on the subject, the male sexual thirst which is primarily physical in nature, cannot be suppressed until marriage.  Instead, it must be exercised within the bounds of God’s law until marriage. 

And there are many Christian books that agree that a man need sexual releases before marriage.  But the problem is they believe this is limited to nocturnal emissions.    

But the whole “men can just have nocturnal emissions to have sexual release” is a flawed moral position.   

There is a reason that nocturnal emissions are referred to as “wet dreams”.  It is not just a man having a physical release of semen in his sleep.   Just like in real sex, while he was having sex with a woman in his dream, the man has an orgasm and ejaculates.  The way he orgasms and ejaculates is typically by unconsciously rubbing himself on his bed or blanket while he is dreaming. He then wakes up in the morning noticing his soiled underwear.

So here is the flawed logic of “nocturnal emission only” Christians.  It is ok for a man to have a dream of having sex with a woman and then unconsciously rub himself and have an orgasm and ejaculate as a result of his dream.  This is because the whole process is on an unconscious level.  But if while he is awake, he was to think of the same woman he was dreaming about when he had the nocturnal emission and rub his penis with his hand and ejaculate now, he has now committed the sins of lust and masturbation.  Do you see the absurdity of the “nocturnal emissions only” argument?

The biological fact of men having nocturnal emissions does NOT restrict men from sexually fantasizing in their head or watching porn and then masturbating.  In fact, it does the very opposite.  The biological reality of nocturnal emissions proves that God wants men exercise their sexual natures BEFORE marriage within the bounds of his law. 

So, we can rightly say that both unconscious sexual fantasy and masturbation as well as conscious sexual fantasy and masturbation, including porn use, brings glory to God.  Why? Because in these activities’ men are doing what they were designed to do.  God designed men to dream and consciously think on the bodies of women and receive pleasure from such thoughts and he designed men to be able to fully exercise these thoughts through masturbation.  There is no shame in this.  But rather there is glory in it.

Why Did God Design Men to Take Pleasure from Sexual Thoughts?

It is a scientific fact that men receive more physical pleasure from both sexual thoughts and sexual relations than women do. This is due to the fact that men have 10 times more testosterone flowing through their bodies than women do.  And testosterone supercharges the hormone dopamine which makes a man’s physical reactions to sexual stimuli and pleasure far more potent than it does for women.

And the question is why? Why did God make men such physically pleasure oriented beings? The answer is found the following passage:

“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.”

1 Corinthians 11:7 (KJV)

God created man to image him and thereby bring him glory.  That means God created man to literally live out or display his attributes with his life.  Men do this is many ways.  Men image God as husbands and fathers.  Men image God as workers in their careers. And in the context of this discussion, men image God in their sexual desire toward and sexual enjoyment of women.

Man, in his desire for the beauty of woman images God’s desire for the beauty of his people:

“So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.”

Psalm 45:11 (KJV)

Man, in his desire to take pleasure in woman images God’s desire to take pleasure in his people:

“For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.”

Psalm 149:4 (KJV)

So how does a man watching porn and masturbating bring glory to God?  It brings glory to God in two ways. 

First it brings glory to God because whenever we do anything God designed us to do within the bounds of his law such actions bring glory to God.  Second, man’s sexual nature brings glory to God because it specifically images his desire for the beauty of his people and his desire to take pleasure in his people.

So we can rightly say that anytime a man exercises his masculine sexuality within the bounds of God’s law, whether it be through watching porn, receiving pleasure from the beauty of women and then masturbating or a man having sexual relations with his wife in marriage that such a man brings glory God through these actions.

For further reading on the subject of Christians seeking out and enjoying pleasurable things, see my article on Biblicalgenderroles.com entitled “Is God against us enjoying physical pleasure”.

Does All Porn Watching Bring Glory to God?

I have shown in my article “Debunking 10 Common Christian Arguments Against Porn”, that the popular condemnation of any type of porn use at all by Christians is not supported by the Scriptures.

And in this article I have shown that when we do what we were design by God to do, whether it is enjoying the sight of food, thoughts of eating, the sight of the opposite sex or thoughts of heterosexual sex we bring glory to God because he designed our brains to enjoy these activities.

But sometimes it is wrong to dwell on certain sexual thoughts or to enjoy certain sexual images. So the question the is how can we know that our enjoyment of a sexual thought or image is bringing glory to God?

The way we answer that question is by answering the question below:

“Does this sexual thought or image we are enjoying fit with God’s design of sex?”

I will now illustrate this concept with some examples and scenarios.

If you are a man, and you are enjoying a thought or an image of a naked woman does that fit God’s design of sex? The answer is Yes. God designed you as a man to receive sexual pleasure from thoughts and images of women.

However, if you are a man enjoying a thought or an image of a naked man does that fit God’s design of sex? The answer is No. Man on man sexual relations are clearly condemned as a perversion of God’s design of sex (Romans 1:27).

Does that mean it is wrong for a man to enjoy an image of a man and woman engaging in sex, because after all a naked man is present in the image? The answer is as long as a man’s thoughts are oriented toward the heterosexual aspect of the imagery, then no it is not wrong.

Let me explain this another way. Why do many men enjoy watching sports, war movies and other action movies? Because most men have an ability to imagine themselves as the characters they are watching. So when a man watches a World War II movie he imagines himself as one of those soldiers fighting the Nazis. When a man watches the Marvel movie Iron man, he imagines himself flying in the sky in that Iron man suit.

And this same concept applies to men when they watch a man and woman having sex in a porn movie. The man is not turned on by the man’s body in the film, but rather he imagines himself as that man having sex with that woman in the same way when he watched Iron man he imagined himself fighting the villains Iron man was fighting.

We just referenced Roman 1:27’s condemnation of man on man sexual relations. But this passage does more than just condemn man on man sex. It also talks about “the natural use of the woman”. Let’s add Romans 1:26 in for more context:

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

Romans 1:26-27 (KJV)

Romans 1:27 affirms two truths about sex at the same time. When it states that it is a sin for when men “burned in their lust one toward another” it tells us that men having sexual relations with other men is a violation of God’s design of sex.

But is also uses the phrase “the natural use” in both verses 26 and 27 of Romans chapter 1. It never says “the natural use of the man”, but rather it talks about “the natural use” in verse 26 and then expands it to “the natural use of the woman” in verse 27.

So what is the natural use of the woman’s body that women are not to change and men are not to leave? The answer is that a woman’s body was designed to bring sexual pleasure to man, both visually and physically.

So gents listen up. If you are enjoying a sexual thought or image of a woman sexually pleasing a man, whether it is her dancing for him, stripping for him, masturbating for him or engaging in oral or vaginal sex with him all these thoughts bring glory to God. They bring glory to God because the woman’s body is being used for the purpose it was intended, which is to bring sexual pleasure to man.

This brings up another very important question.

What About Thoughts and Images of a Man Having Sex with Two Women At the Same Time?

The Scriptures clearly show that God blessed a woman for giving her husband another wife (Genesis 30:18), that he allowed and regulated polygamy (Exodus 21:10-11, Deuteronomy 21:15-17,Deuteronomy 25:5-7) and that he would have given a man more wives if he asked him for them (II Samuel 12:8).

God does not bless, allow or offer to give more of something that is sinful in his eyes. Therefore we know that man’s polygynous sexual nature is not a corruption of sin, but rather it is by God’s design. For more a more detailed discussion on the topic of polygamy see my series on polygamy on BiblicalSexology.com.

So how does all this relate to porn? The Bible never condemns polygamy and it never condemns a polygamist husband having sex with more than one of his wives at a time. In fact, I know of many polygamist husbands today who do have sex with multiple wives at the same time.

So this really boils down to this. Is it wrong for two women to use their bodies together with a man for that man’s sexual pleasure? The answer Biblically speaking is no, it is not wrong. This is not Lesbianism. Lesbianism is when women use their bodies for the sexual pleasure of other women, and not the sexual pleasure of man.

So could a man imagine himself being a polygamist husband and taking a couple of his wives and using them for his sexual pleasure in whatever way he saw fit? Absolutely. It is the natural use of the woman to bring sexual pleasure to man.

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