For the first message— I think you might be a bit confused as to what sin is, friend. Sin isn’t an everyday life, secular world concept…it’s a biblical one. Sin is something that sets us apart from God. So, to ask us how to explain masturbation is a sin in unbiblical, “every day” terms doesn’t allow me to explain it at all! As it’s said in 1 Corinthians 10:23, just because something is lawful and permissible doesn’t mean it’s edifying. Even from a secular, every day standpoint….masturbation is hardly edifying. Just because something doesn’t harm anyone else in your every day life doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful to your relationship with God. In fact, Paul even tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:18 that “Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”
(If you’re interested in learning more about why masturbation is sin from a religious standpoint, please read on!
For the second message— as I said above, sin is a grievous thing because it separates us from God, who can’t be in the presence of anything that isn’t just as totally, completely, powerfully pure & holy as He is. Now, God created sex for marriage, to create a one flesh union (Genesis 2:24) that would truly bond a couple together in a picture perfectly representative of Christ and the Church, and allow them to glorify Him to the best of their ability as a sacred, holy, united front.
NOW…any sexual activity outside of marriage is a sin because it perversely twists something God created to be selfless and holy, and uses it to glorify the human, fallen, sinful self. Without skirting around the question, masturbation is wrong because it does just that- it takes sexuality/sexual actions, which are supposed to be shared with your spouse and only your spouse, and turns it into something that only gratifies yourself. It’s important to learn self-control and honour your body as a temple bought by the blood of Christ!
If you want a practical reason to avoid masturbation, consider this: I can’t even tell you how many threads I’ve seen on sites like Reddit, with partners complaining about either their or their partner’s inability to have sex with them because of their masturbatory habits. When you become so accustomed to pleasing yourself, it poisons your relationship with your partner because they will never be able to do it just as you do. Is that really a burden and guilt you want to place on your future spouse? That they’ll never be able to satisfy you as well as you can by yourself (with or without porn?) I highly doubt it.
Here’s a Playboy interview with John Mayer that, unfortunately, perfectly emphasizes what I’m talking about (through a combination of masturbation and porn.)
PLAYBOY: You seem very fond of pornography.
MAYER: When I watch porn, if it’s not hot enough, I’ll make up backstories in my mind. My biggest dream is to write pornography.
PLAYBOY: Masturbation for you is as good as sex?
MAYER: Absolutely, because during sex, I’m just going to run a filmstrip. I’m still masturbating. That’s what you do when you’re 30, 31, 32. This is my problem now: Rather than meet somebody new, I would rather go home and replay the amazing experiences I’ve already had.
PLAYBOY: You’d rather jerk off to an ex-girlfriend than meet someone new?
MAYER: Yeah. What that explains is that I’m more comfortable in my imagination than I am in actual human discovery.
I’m not even going to go into detail about how much this interview breaks my heart. What a sad, sad thing to bring into a relationship.
I won’t go too much further into detail because I don’t know how well this has or has not answered your questions. If you want to keep discussing this, please let us know!