IS MASSAGE SINFUL OR UNHEALTHY FOR A BELIEVER?

I once lodged in a hotel, I glanced over to the table and found menus that included not just foods but other services offered by the hotel. I noticed that I could just place a call and have a masseuse come over to the hotel room to give me a body massage. I always need massage and even as a child, I’ve always bribed my siblings to give me one form of massage or another particularly foot massage.

So, I went through the various kinds of massage offered by this hotel and I found many including “nuru massage”. I didn’t know what nuru massage was and had to google it. Nuru massage is an erotic massage where the masseuse uses his or her entire body to massage the client, providing more bodily contact than found in a traditional massage. The masseuse and the client will both be naked as their bodies are rubbed intimately against each other.

Now, this brings us to the discussion, should anyone who takes morals seriously patronize massage parlours?

First, why do you need a massage? Do you need a massage simply because you want a sexual affair or because you want to relax your muscles? Answering this alone is very important. So many people go for certain kinds of massage services not because they want to feel relaxed but because they want to have some kind of sexual experience; they want to explore their chances. That is a different ball game altogether. I doubt there is any need for a nuru massage when it isn’t just between you and your spouse.

Secondly, massage parlours are mostly just euphemistic terms used to refer to brothels. Patronizing these places means that you are not only patronizing prostitutes, you are also indirectly promoting human trafficking, sex slavery and other kinds of crimes that take place in these places. 

Historically, massage parlours were known for offering sexual activities including masturbation, fetish and sexual intercourse. In recent times, the term SPA is mostly used to define professional massage therapy centres that also offer several other health services like facial treatments and so on.

Should a believer get a massage?

Like I said earlier, I always need body massage because of certain circumstances my body found itself. Without massage, I do not feel very relaxed and my muscles do disturb me. However, massage has so much to do with physical and intimate touching and this is where many find issues with it. Such touches can become a trigger for sexual arousal.

Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 13:14 “…make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Whafulfilit mean to make provision for something? It means to give room for something to happen. When you put yourself in some compromising situations, you are making provision for the flesh. 

Does this outrightly rule out massaging for believers? This is like asking if a man shouldn’t have female friends simply because it could put him at risk of an affair.

The most important thing is knowing what your limits should be. For example, I needed a massage but I surely wouldn’t book for a Nuru massage pr ask that I am massaged in the hotel room with the doors locked. That would lead to something I may not be proud of because I know myself, I know the extent I can bear and I know my body better than anyone else.

My weakness may not be your weakness and your weakness may not be my weakness. So, while it may be okay for one person to go over to a bar for a drink without getting drunk and abusing alcohol, another person cannot go to a bar and not abuse alcohol. While it may be okay for a man to be in one room with another woman without having an erection, another may find himself lost in lust when he is in a room with a woman. 

I remember some years back, I lived with a young lady in the same apartment for a couple of weeks. It wasn’t intentional. Meanwhile, we were dating and nothing happened between us even though there were times the temptation was severe. For another person, it wouldn’t be possible that nothing would happen and it won’t make sense to put themselves in that situation. What we were able to endure in that room, another may never be able to endure it and what that person may not find tempting, I may find it hard to resist.

When Paul encouraged us not to make provision for the flesh, he simply meant that we should put our weaknesses into consideration and not put ourselves in positions that will become too hard for us to overcome. Several massage therapists offer very professional services and handle your body the right way but some offer extra services like “happy ending”. 

A happy ending is when you are offered sex acts after a full-body massage and these things do not align with our principles and tradition as believers. When you find yourself in that situation where you have been aroused and asked “would you like a happy ending?” what will you do? Are you likely to fall for it or will you pass?

This still doesn’t mean you should avoid massage altogether. Professional massage therapists have been trained to focus on your muscle systems and specific areas where your body needs a massage. A massage can be all you need to feel relaxed or be relieved of chronic conditions like arthritis. It is good to be clear about the kind of services you need when you visit a spa.

Should spouses have a say in this?

Many people do not like to be massaged by their gender. I wouldn’t like to be massaged by a fellow man. It could be because of the experiences I have had in the past but what happens when my wife insists that I do not get a massage because it would come from a woman?

The teachings of the Apostles and Jesus makes it clear that we no longer belong to ourselves but God and our spouse. This means that our spouse has a say on who handles our bodies. In this regard, we can always reach a compromise. You can have a conversation on this and be open-minded, you can ask your spouse to be present in the massage room, choose your gender or learn to massage yourselves in your home.

“The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” 1 Corinthians 7:4

In summary, God is not against you going for a body massage but you are instructed to do everything as God would have you do it. God wants you to do business but he doesn’t want you to hurt and cheat people along the line, God wants you to have fun but he doesn’t want you to have fun in a way that doesn’t glorify him. God also wants you to get a body massage when you should but he doesn’t want you to get yourself into trouble when having one.

“That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” Colossians 1:10

I call you blessed.

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