This is an embarrassing question but here goes.......
I am a soldier in the US Army and a born again Christian. Many times the army sends us away from home for long periods and we are separated from our families. I have read your responses to others concerning masturbation but my dilemma is this. I have done this but I do not use porn and I am thinking of my wife when I do it. My wife and I have a very healthy sexual relationship and when together we enjoy each other just as the Bible allows!!! Do you stand firm on your direction for those of us who are married and do this?? I have prayed and have not felt the same conviction as I have on other issues I have taken to the Lord. I know this doesn't mean that okays it but that is usually the way he answers my issues.
Thanks for writing and your encouragement. You bring up a very important issue, masturbation within marriage.
Since you have read my other responses let me remind you of something I said within one of those responses.
"Masturbation is essentially self-centered, seeking to fulfill one's own needs by oneself. "
I'm afraid this still holds in your case. I fully recognize that the long separations are difficult. But by relieving your sexual tension on your own (even though you use your wife in your mental image) you are robbing your wife of her proper role and responsibility in your sexual relationship. For example, it is well recognized that the longer the time interval between sexual experiences, the greater the enjoyment and the more powerful the experience when finally consummated. By masturbating during separation you ultimately dampen the reunion for both you and your wife. Ask yourself, biblically, who should be the sole recipient of your sexual energies? I think you would answer that it should be your wife alone.
Masturbation also creates conflicting signals for your mind and body. A high frequency of masturbation creates a pattern in your mind and body on how it is best satisfied. And this will be apart from your wife. You may also fantasize situations with your wife that she may be unable to fulfill in person. This can also create a situation where your actual experiences together may not be able to measure up to what you have created in your mind. This can easily erect a barrier in your mind for when you are together.
Also this is still a sexual experience outside of marriage as God intended, which is fornication.
I challenge you to refrain from masturbation during your next separation with a willing attitude of submission and purity and see if it doesn't make a significant and "very positive" difference in the intensity of your reunion.
Thank you for your response and I accept the rebuke and challenge. I was not following Christ during my last separation so I am sure when my next tour is upon me I'll do fine!!! Pray for my wife's salvation as she is not saved.
Thanks for the quick and kind response. I will certainly pray for your wife's salvation and your walk with Christ. I have already done so.