Rights and Responsibilities within Marriage

The goal is to please God, not to avoid suffering.

Readership: Those who are married or hope to be married.
Theme: The Integrity and Fidelity of Marriage
Author’s Note: This post is based on previous comments from deti and Jack.
Length: 950 words
Reading Time: 4 minutes + 30 minutes (recommended) of your own introspective contemplations.


Mogadishu Matt asked a somewhat serious question:

“How does someone measure quality control in one’s sexual marriage?”

To do that, we need to first introduce a standard by which to measure. So in this post, I’ll review the purposes, conditions, rights, and responsibilities in marriage, according to Christianity.

These purposes and conditions for marriage were outlined in an earlier post.

The Purpose of Marriage

Marriage is supposed to serve a small number of very important purposes.

  1. To glorify God. (Headship is necessary to do this, among other things.)
  2. To serve as a vehicle of sanctification for the man and wife. (Headship and regular sex plays a central part of this, among other things.)
  3. To hedge against sexual immorality.
  4. To create the dominion of a family. (Again, Headship.)
  5. To produce Godly offspring. (Not possible if all of the above are not in place, including Headship.)
  6. To provide a safe harbor from the world.

The Conditions for Marriage

Ontologically, marriage requires four distinct elements:

  1. There has to be a mental assent and agreement between man and woman, a “meeting of the minds” concerning their mutual intentions to be joined together inseparably.
  2. There has to be a heart assent and agreement to engage in everything that marriage entails, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. In other words, they are both agreeing to the inclusion into the union of God, Who then completes the work and mystery of knitting them together.
  3. There must be a public acknowledgment to the world of their mental and heart assent. This usually takes the form of some kind of public declaration each makes (e.g. in a wedding ceremony): “This is my husband.” “This is my wife.”
  4. There must be a physical (and better if emotional) consummation in the form of sexual congress.

The purpose of reiterating this is that an ideal marriage should fulfill all of these purposes and conditions. All of these elements have to be present together for marriage to exist, and the removal of one of the elements changes the relationship into something that is not a covenant marriage.

Rights and Responsibilities within Marriage

We have the common idea that a right is a privilege guaranteed by law. But from a Biblical standpoint of God’s covenantal law, a right is that which is right to do or have, with the recognition that our obedience carries God’s blessings and favor under the New Covenant. Therefore, our responsibility is to uphold such rights (i.e. to do what is right) to the best of our knowledge, power, and ability.

Upon reviewing the above purposes and conditions for marriage it can be seen that there are a few absolute necessities.

  1. A certain level of unity or “oneness” characterized by trust, pair bonding, compatible personalities, and an intersection of shared visions, values, and life goals.
  2. A hierarchy of authority (i.e. Headship), including the recognition of God as the author and sustainer of marriage, and a mutual acknowledgment about how the marriage is to be conducted. The generalities about the structure should conform to God’s covenant of marriage, while the particulars should be put forth and enforced by the man, according to Headship. The woman’s submission indicates her agreement.
  3. Faithfulness, including commitment, dedication, discipline, loyalty, maintaining sexual authority and the unique ownership of the spouse’s body, and being continually available and steadfast.
  4. Sexual congress, which involves physical affection and emotional bonding.
  5. Having children and raising them to know God.
  6. Glorifying God in various ways.

Taken together, these endeavors represent a fidelity to God’s archetype of covenant marriage. If any of these elements are absent in a marriage, then the marriage falls short of God’s robust design for marriage. If more than one element is weak or missing, then the marriage fails to conform to God’s archetype for marriage.

Quality Control

Of course, all of us need to employ some more “quality control” in our marriages.

To answer Matt’s question, we can begin by considering the lists given above as a set of standards to aim for. Then we can examine the relationship we are in, compare it to these standards, and ask ourselves a few questions.

  1. How does your marriage measure up?
  2. What is lacking?
  3. What needs to be done to fill up that which is lacking?
  4. Are you able to do it? (If not, then continual prayer is in order.)

For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, 10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?

1 Thessalonians 3:9-10 (NKJV)

Based on my experience as a Christian, I would surmise that either your own desire is hungering after those things which are lacking (e.g. more trust, more pair bonding, more sex, more emotional intimacy, more peace and order in the home, being respected by your wife, etc.), or else, the Lord has pressed these missing things upon your conscience as being a part of your inheritance that you need to be pursuing and working on.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

James 1:2-4 (NKJV)

All the best~!

About Jack

Jack is a world traveling artist, skilled in trading ideas and information, none of which are considered too holy, too nerdy, nor too profane to hijack and twist into useful fashion. Sigma Frame Mindsets and methods for building and maintaining a masculine Frame
This entry was posted in Adultery and Fornication, Agency, Collective Strength, Conserving Power, Courtship and Marriage, Decision Making, Discerning Lies and Deception, Discernment, Wisdom, Discipline, Fundamental Frame, Glory, God's Concept of Justice, Headship and Patriarchy, Holding Frame, Inner Game, Introspection, Leadership, Maturity, Personal Growth and Development, Moral Agency, Perseverance, Personal Presentation, Purpose, Relationships, Self-Concept, Self-Control, Sexual Authority, Sphere of Influence, Stewardship, Strategy, The Power of God, Trust. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Rights and Responsibilities within Marriage

  1. Red Pill Apostle says:

    Jack – Rights are actually not privileges, but entitlements that are not to be infringed upon. There is a parallel with marriage and how our governance here in the States was established with the constitution.

    The founding fathers recognized that it is God, who as the authority over creation, that established rights and then did their best to create a system of governance that upheld the rights God gives to people. What they recognized is that human nature will always want to take or limit the rights God gives people and so the system they created looks to limit the power and authority of government to infringe on citizens due to the failings of humans when they have power over others. The closer we have been to this model the more prosperous we tend to be with the opposite also being true. It’s not perfect in a fallen world but the trends are there.

    The marriage covenant gives a similar structure of agreeing to not impose on the God given marital entitlements of our spouse. Within God’s rules for marriage, we see both actions we are to do for our spouse and those we are to abstain from, all with the objective of upholding the entitlements covenantal marriage vows grant to husbands and wives. The better each person is at reigning in the desire to violate the entitlements of their spouse, the more prosperous the union tends to be. While in a fallen world we are not going to have perfect marriages, we can easily see the trend that the closer husband’s and wives get to upholding God’s blueprint for marriage the stronger the marriage tends to be in terms of oneness, bonding, love and ability to resist temptation.


  2. Sir; this is how someone can answer a question.
    It went beyond “getting triggered” and other strange responses.
    Information, quotations, and positions.
    If I had a brimmed hat on, I would tip it.
    My respects.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Infidelity is anything short of fidelity. | Σ Frame

  4. Pingback: Denying sex to one’s spouse is porneia. | Σ Frame

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