They harp on and fixate on a single phrase like “marital debt” and conveniently ‘forget’ all other Scripture like temperance (which is regulation of desires and appetites) and chastity, as well as Catechism like CCC 2368!
a) you are focusing more on your own gratification than the wellbeing of your wife or future kids, and
b) it is a gross display of lack of chastity and lack of temperance
It is not to satisfy your immoderate desires. And even God who spent time creating all of creation still rested!
Shame on you!!!
The marital debt is expected from both spouses, the husband and the wife.
The marital debt does not mean a man is selfishly entitled to sex from his wife, regardless of her health, constitution, tiredness etc. She is NOT your sex toy to fulfill your sexual desires!
If a woman is unwilling to engage AND this continues for extended periods of time ie months, the man still has no right to force it or demand it.
When the above is the case and there are no health issues, then the other spouse needs to assess their own behaviour towards their spouse – are you being loving, kind, sacrificial, caring etc? Nobody will want to fulfill a ‘marital debt’ to a selfish, cruel, demanding person who simply uses their spouse for sex.
The MARITAL DEBT entails husband and wife both fulfilling their obligation to their spouse, but it is ALWAYS a choice and FREE WILL is always in place. ALWAYS.
Additionally, the marital debt means just as the spouse is to give themselves physically to their spouse, the other spouse is OBLIGED to treat them with decency, respect, care and love…..if they want that debt fulfilled.
If the husband has done everything to provide, protect and keep his wife happy, safe and secure, and yet the marital debt is not being fulfilled, then the couple should go into counselling.
The MARITAL DEBT is NOT an excuse for rape and it IS rape when a woman is forced or coerced into sex by her husband, against her wishes.
THE CHURCH DOES NOT ADVOCATE FOR MARITAL RAPE!
When we look at Jewish marriages, these tend to have large families….much larger than Catholic families overall. Like Catholics, they too are not advocates for abortion or contraception and sex is to be expressed within the confines of marriage only. And yet – they do not expect their wives to be sex toys, fulfilling their every sexual gratification 24/7. In fact, in Judaism, the marital couple are only expected to come together for sex and procreation 2 weeks in a month! The other 2 weeks, sex is not permitted due to the woman being on her menstrual cycle and to ensure she is fully clean for 7 days. The same rules apply after a woman has given birth – no sex allowed for a minimum of 3 months and until she is fully clean – no bleeding etc. This practice also allows the woman to regain her strength lost following a period or childbirth. Losing blood monthly or in childbirth is very tasking on the woman’s body, and it is the sin of injustice to not allow her to regain her energy and strength properly before pouncing on her for sex Another benefit of this abstinence is that it teaches the couple to have self-restraint, temperance and chastity and as a result, there is less likelihood of cheating or porn use because they are already used to moderating their desires. Also, by abstaining from each other periodically, the love, passion, desire and intense longing for each other is deepened because they start to value each other’s bodies much more. When they do come together again, everything feels like new, like the first time. And this is probably why Jewish families not only tend to have more children, but also have fewer divorces in comparison to Catholic marriages.
Christianity is born from Judaism and while we do not need to adopt the Jewish mindset of women being “unclean”, we can and should adopt the practice of allowing space and time between the couple, to not just let the woman fully recover each month – our energy levels wax and wane through the month, they are not consistent like a man’s – but also to practice chastity and abstinence in order further deepen and strengthen the passion, love and desire between the couple. But too many thoroughly abusive and utterly selfish men see their wives as simply tools for their sexual gratification and they see marriage as license to use that property any way they like, without consideration or thought for her wellbeing, health or energy levels. It is disgusting and it is NOT Biblical.
For men who want the marital debt fulfilled, they need to ask themselves: are they loving their wives in an Ephesians 5 way?
Ephesians 5 tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church, offering and sacrificing himself for the church.
If he insists on or demands sex when the woman is not in the mood, does that reflect as him temporarily sacrificing his lust and desires for her wellbeing??
If he cannot even sacrifice his urges, how can he sacrifice his life for her?
And being unable to make sacrifices for the wife shows he is definitely not Christian and thus not entitled to fulfillment of a marital debt.
There is no love if there is no respect.
2 thoughts on “The So-Called Marital Debt”
Part of the reason I have had problems with Catholicism are issues like people using the religion to make others do things they don’t want to, especially with the male/female dynamic. It’s meant for personal virtue, not to control other people or to create a heirarchy of power justification. Christian authority means to provide, protect, serve and cooperate towards a shared goal with free will. Thank you for speaking up as a traditional Catholic to say the former is not what the Church is teaching.
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*slow clap* YESS! To all of this.