Are wet dreams / nocturnal emissions sinful?

A nocturnal emission (also called a wet dream) is noted by medical experts as a fairly common occurrence among men. In the Bible, this concept is mentioned on some occasions as "emissions" in most translations (Leviticus 15:16-18, 32; 22:4; Deuteronomy 23:10). In the contexts where it is specifically mentioned, the only details are regarding cleanliness under the Mosaic Law.

However, the important question is whether nocturnal emissions / wet dreams are sinful according to the Bible. It appears that the actual physical act of a nocturnal emission is normal and not sinful. However, there may be times in which a man's sinful thoughts or activities are causing the nocturnal emission / wet dream.

In other words, an actual nocturnal emission may be a natural part of a man's physical activities, yet there may be an unhealthy focus on people, thoughts, or media content that is contributing to this activity. The emission itself is not sinful in this case, but there may be related factors that are.

If you are a man who finds yourself dealing with wet dreams / nocturnal emissions, know that this is not abnormal or wrong. However, if you find yourself thinking upon wrong activities before sleeping, then there may be other areas of life to address. In particular, the types of content you watch online or on television may need to be changed. In addition, there may be a particular person you need to stop thinking about and/or spending time with that is becoming a sinful focus in your life.

While we cannot directly control dreams, the activities of our day do influence our thoughts at night. Jesus taught, "The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45; see also Matthew 12:34-35).

Instead, Scripture calls us to a pure focus: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Philippians 4:8). As followers of Christ, we are called to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16).

Those who have a nocturnal emission or wet dream have no need to repent, as this is a normal bodily process. However, it is important to continually evaluate one's heart and thoughts to make certain our thoughts are focused on the Lord and His desires for our lives.


Related Truth:

Is masturbation a sin according to the Bible?

What does the Bible say about lust? What is lust?

Is pornography a sin?

What practical steps can I take to overcome an addiction to internet porn?

Is it a sin to have intrusive thoughts?


Return to:
Truth about Sin






Compelling Truth HOME