Oh masturbation, will you ever leave me alone?
Probably not. Because I am a sexual person made for sexual interaction and relations (of course I'm not, nor are you, exclusively this). Since I am thus, I will probably always be tempted by masturbation, at least a little bit.
There's a notion that marriage cures masturbation. This is true only to a small extent. It is true in that marriage satisfies what masturbation itself cannot, making it irrelevant. But marriage is not salvation, marriage is not a fix-all cure. It is the answer. But what about the times when he's too tired or you've had an extremely stressful day, or you've had a fight, or he's away? Lots of things come up in marriage and it's not always a smooth, I-can-always-see-the-rainbow-and-want-to-eat-chocolates-and-cuddle-with-my-love-all-day-long ride. It's bumpy. Those moments are when the temptation sneak in. When I'm lonely, when I'm sad, when I'm frustrated, when I'm overly excited (not that way, just the normal way) are when I am tempted.
I understand what St. Paul meant now by begging the Lord to remove the thorn from his side. The thorn isn't masturbation, it was the temptation. The Lord doesn't remove our temptations, He helps us deal with and overcome them but He doesn't just take them away. It's not that He wants us to sin, it's that we need Him to not. St. Paul was begging for the temptation to be taken away because it is the temptations that can often weigh us down and drag us into depression. Sinning on top of that just feels like an anchor tied to the chains. But God gave the answer to letting temptation weigh us down: "My power is made perfect in weakness". Being tempted means we are weak, means I need a savior. That means that God desires to be my Savior and pull me out of the temptations when I find myself surrounded. Once again, He pulls me out of the lion's den.
I used to get very discouraged when I'd be tempted to masturbation or even masturbate after I became engaged and especially after I was married. People had always said, "Love is the answer! Marriage is the cure!" They are the answer to masturbation, not to temptation, and the only cure for temptation is a God willing to face the lion and drag me out of its den.
A great thanks to Distracted Catholic for reminding me that I am doing a worthwhile thing by engaging in this conversation!
A little note: starting next week I will begin involvement in some blog link-ups. Very exciting. I think it's a good way to help me make sure to blog more often. The link-ups will occur on Fridays and Sundays. Why am I not starting this week? Because this week is the end of me "getting my shit together" and next week begins me "putting my shit to work". Can't wait!