Hey! Today I chat with Emily Sullivan about the marital debt! And no, we’re not talking about money.
… Do not listen if you have kids around.
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Here’s a little of what Aquinas had to say about the marital debt. Click the link below to get the full context:
On the contrary, As the slave is in the power of his master, so is one spouse in the power of the other (1 Corinthians 7:4). But a slave is bound by an obligation of precept to pay his master the debt of his service according to Romans 13:7, “Render . . . to all men their dues, tribute to whom tribute is due,” etc. Therefore husband and wife are mutually bound to the payment of the marriage debt.
Further, marriage is directed to the avoiding of fornication (1 Corinthians 7:2). But this could not be the effect of marriage, if the one were not bound to pay the debt to the other when the latter is troubled with concupiscence. Therefore the payment of the debt is an obligation of precept.
I answer that, Marriage was instituted especially as fulfilling an office of nature. Wherefore in its act the movement of nature must be observed according to which the nutritive power administers to the generative power that alone which is in excess of what is required for the preservation of the individual: for the natural order requires that a thing should be first perfected in itself, and that afterwards it should communicate of its perfection to others: and this is also the order of charity which perfects nature. And therefore, since the wife has power over her husband only in relation to the generative power and not in relation to things directed to the preservation of the individual, the husband is bound to pay the debt to his wife, in matters pertaining to the begetting of children, with due regard however to his own welfare.
Summa, Suppl. Q. 64, A. 1. (see full question here).