Sep 102014 11 Responses

Four Rights of Marriage

With marriage comes obligations. We don’t like the word obligations. We want to do what we want; we do not like to be duty-bound to anything. Yet whenever we say “I do” we are obligating ourselves to some activities.

As a wife, my spouse has rights which I am generally bound to meet. Unless she has greatly violated our covenant through adultery, gross disrespect, or some other deep injury, then I am obligated to certain things. And so is she.  (See: Marry a Partner, Not a Child)

As her husband, I have a right to my wife’s:

Heart. I can fairly expect her to reveal her heart to me. It might take time, but as our marriage continues to grow, she should reveal more and more of her heart to me. This doesn’t mean she has to tell me everything. She needs friends and to share conversations with them, but it does mean that there are no major aspects of her life which are off limits to me. I see it all and I see it first. Others might get to see part of who she is, but I get to see the depth of her hopes, fears, dreams, and ambitions. (See: If I Could Tell Husbands One Thing)

Body. Sex is a marital obligation. Most of the time it should be a marital joy, but it’s also a duty. It should only be under very unusual circumstances that a marriage does not include frequent sex. The right to my wife’s body does not give me a license to do whatever I wish whenever I wish. It does, however, give me the right to expect regular access to both physical touch and sexual pleasure. Sex is not a privilege in marriage; it is a natural expectation of marriage. (See: 11 Posts About Married Sex)

Time. Relationship requires shared experience. Time spent together might vary though different seasons of life, but as her spouse, I can expect an ample amount of quality time with my wife. Choosing to marry someone is choosing to spend time with them. A wife or husband isn’t meant to be a spouse’s only friend, but it is expected that they are best friends. It’s important to spend time apart, but it is more important to spend time together. Time is not a luxury within a relationship; it is a pre-requisite for that relationship to flourish. (See: You Chose This–a Reflection on Time Management)

Fidelity. Loyalty is one of the great pledges of a marriage vow. Whenever a couple gets married, they are making unique promises to one another and fidelity is one of those promises. Not only sexually, but in every other aspect of life, I can expect my wife to be loyal to me. This doesn’t mean I can expect her to break laws and keep secrets which keep me out of trouble. It does mean she will look out for my best interests more than anyone else; that she will live out our marriage vows to the best of her ability; and she will always be on my side even as I’m on her side. (See: Three Myths About Adultery)

Marriage is full of responsibilities. Whenever we say “I do,” we are not just promising to do something in the moment, we are proclaiming that we will continue to do some things for as long as we both live. Most of the time it will be a privilege to live out our marriage vows; sometimes we will do so out of simple obligation. Yet both privilege and obligation are part of a true marriage.

As a husband, I have certain rights which I can expect my wife to meet. As my spouse, my wife has an equal number of rights she can expect from me. We said, “I do” to one another which means we will give access to our heart, body, time, and fidelity solely to one another.


11 Responses to Four Rights of Marriage
  1. […] I wrote Four Rights of Marriage, I did so from a male perspective. Each point applied to both husban...
  2. […] second is Four Rights of Marriage.  (Hint: The rights are heart, body, time, and […]...
  3. […] 5. “I deserve _____.” We do deserve some things in a relationship, however, when entitle...

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