Written by Aimee, Indonesia, originally in Bahasa Indonesia
I am 20. I’m female and I used to struggle with masturbation.
It all started when I was in my sophomore year of junior high. I was dating a friend from church who served as a musician in the worship ministry. As he was serving in a high-profile position, I assumed that he was a decent boy who would appreciate me as a girl. However, his actions proved otherwise.
He came to my house one day while my parents were not at home. At first, we just talked normally. But then he started doing things that are inappropriate for dating couples.
Somehow, I didn’t have the courage or strength to stop him or fight back. After that day, I felt so disgusted with my own body. Not long after, I ended our relationship for fear that we would do worse things. We didn’t end up having sexual intercourse, but what he did to me that day led me to fall into committing other sexual sins.
Two weeks after I broke up with my boyfriend, I saw a pornographic video on my father’s phone. Internally, I felt conflicted. On one hand, I was disgusted with myself for watching pornographic videos. On the other hand, I grew more curious.
To satisfy my curiosity, I read erotic stories to find out more. It only made me fall deeper into sexual sin. I started to masturbate till my first year in high school.
When I first started, I would feel immense guilt each time, and I would tell myself that I would never do it again. Yet, as if I were in a trance, I was unable to resist sinful temptations and masturbated time and again.
When I was truly convicted of my faith in my freshman year of university, I decided that I wanted to help myself. I told myself I would stop allowing this sin to taint me. I started to do devotionals daily, but it didn’t help me to stop having sexual fantasies. I attended seminars on pornography and read articles about how to break free of sexual sin. And I prayed, asking for God’s help, and committed myself to spend time doing devotionals and praying every day.
But all these efforts proved unfruitful, and I was unable to resist the temptation to indulge in my sexual fantasies. I even felt that I lost my personal relationship with God. I felt like such a hypocrite—I attended church regularly on Sundays and served in my university’s Christian Fellowship, but I was still trapped in sexual sin.
It was frustrating. I had tried everything, so why hadn’t God delivered me from this sin? I was desperate for deliverance, but I had no idea what else I could do to free myself from the claws of sexual sin. My state drove me to my knees in fervent prayer to the Lord, which is something that I rarely did. While I was praying, I wept because I feel so weary fighting this sin alone.
It was at this point that I came to the realization that the more I relied on myself, the harder it got to clean up my mess. Finally, with God’s help, I mustered the courage to come clean about my struggles with my spiritual mentor. Deep down, I felt embarrassed and ashamed, but I knew I needed to get help.
When my mentor found out about my struggles, she didn’t judge me. Instead, she responded with love. She reminded me about God’s grace and forgiveness, demonstrated by Jesus Christ who died on the cross. God knew that man can never clean up their own sins and be perfect, and hence He bestowed Christ as an atonement for our sin. I was reminded that if I received Christ as my Savior, my sins would be forgiven (1 John 1:9). However, I still needed to strive not to sin.
After talking to my mentor, I recalled a Scripture verse that I once heard at a service. “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15).
When I reflected on Paul’s words in Romans 7:13-26, I realized that I was still living as someone who wasn’t freed yet. I was allowing sin to hold me hostage. No matter how hard I tried to fight it, I would always fail again because I was prone to sin. I had to fight these battles by relying on God’s grace and involving Him every step of the way instead of relying on my own resilience. I saw that the only One who could sanctify me and free me from sin was Christ.
Since that day, I have resolved never to rely on my own strength to break free from my sexual sins. It is not easy to resist temptations, but it is not impossible. With the Lord’s strength and with my mentor’s guidance, I have slowly risen up and out of my sins. Whenever I am tempted to masturbate, I remember His words.
Psalm 51 also reminds me that while David fell into sin, God still used him as His instrument for Israel. David genuinely regretted his sin, and cried out: “Wash away all my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:2).
I am thankful that God hears when we call. It is through Him—and only Him—that I can be freed from my sins. Even though I have fallen into the same dark pit many, many times, God always reminds me of how much He loves me and how He wants me to return to His side. He reminds me of the sacrifice that Jesus, His only Son, made on the cross for me through Romans 5:6.
Ever since then, I haven’t masturbated. However, whenever I grow weak, I still am tempted. In such circumstances, Psalm 51:2 is my prayer. I could never deliver myself; I can only stand in awe of God’s magnificent work in my life.
Praise the Lord for His love!