Bible Question:

My question is mainly biblical, but there is also a personal situation behind my asking it. My question is: “If a man lusts after a woman but never actually has sex with her, has he still formed a one-flesh relationship with her in his mind? ” Here's the situation behind my question. When I was a teenager, I used to look at pornography and I would also often masturbate to the images I saw. Now, I don't believe that masturbation is the same as sex because it is a solo act, but I am worried that the lust I felt for those women may have formed the kind of “oneness” the Bible talks about. Here's the verse that has me worried: 1 Corinthians 6:16, “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh. ” A pornstar is very similar to a prostitute -- the main difference is that the pornstar entices you to lust while the prostitute entices you to have sex. Does this difference matter according to how the Bible describes the “one-flesh” relationship?

Bible Answer:

The passage that you refer to is as follows:

Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.” (NASB) 1 Cor. 6:16

The passage is referring to physical sexual activity between a man and a prostitute. When a man and woman have sexual intercourse they are momentarily “one flesh” and may produce a child that comes from both of them. But the key word in this verse is “prostitute.” A “prostitute” is one who gives oneself to another for sexual intercourse but is not married to the individual involved in the intercourse.

Therefore, it is not possible for someone to become ‘”one flesh” with women seen in the magazines. But you have sinned by committing adultery in your heart. Jesus tells us that if one lusts after a person of the opposite sex, then he or she has committed adultery in his or her heart (but not physically).

. . . but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (NASB) Matthew 5:28


If you have never confessed your sin of sexual lust to God, then I would encourage you to confess to God. God has promised to forgive you and to remove your sins as far as the east is from the west.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NASB) 1 John 1:9

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. (NASB) Psalm 103:12

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.” (NASB) Isa. 1:18

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