Several months ago I wrote an article “that I never thought in a million years I would write.” I entitled it “The Evening Behavior of Christians”, and addressed it equally to men and women. Some people interpreted it as a strong exhortation against the immodest dress of some women; it was, but it was also much more. It was about modesty for men and women.
Some women were upset that I did not sufficiently address certain behaviors of men. Although I did address the harm that both women and men do against purity, to even the score, I would like to share a few thoughts especially, but not exclusively, for men with regard to pornography.
What are we thinking when we say that this is a harmless or victimless sin? Do we know just how destructive this habit really is? On our televisions, over the Internet, downloaded on I-pods, in magazines, advertisements and everywhere we look – the more tantalizing the better, there it is, and unfortunately we are “getting used to it”!
But if the eye is the window to the soul, and our eyes are filled with all this, what will become of our souls? If people are just bodies to be used and discarded, what kind of people will we become? If we start, feed and rationalize habits that bring us less freedom and less peace of mind, what kind of compulsive people will we become?
Yes, in fact, some women dress immodestly, but the sad reality is that men also contribute more than their fair share to immodesty and to our hyper-sexualized environment. It may not be in the way they dress, but it is in their habits, especially what they look at and look for.
We should not be deceived by making light of this destructive trend. To be pure in thought, word and deed is to be a true person, a mature person. Everything else makes us less a man and less a woman.
The Gospel is clear:
“The lamp of the body is your eye. When your eye is sound, then your whole body is filled with light, but when it is bad, then your body is in darkness. Take care, then, that the light in you may not become darkness. If your whole body is full of light, and no part of it is in darkness, then it will be as full of light as a lamp illuminating you with its brightness” (Lk 11:34-36).
Men are just as responsible as are women in our Lord’s call to modesty. Men and women can do much more to make this world modest and pure, a place where adults and children can enjoy together. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5:3).
How can the same eyes that worship the Host at the Divine Liturgy or search in prayer for the face of God, also look at that which leads to sin? Chastity, modesty, and purity, “old fashioned” concepts? If so, men and women alike need to become more “old fashioned” so that our children can live better and happier lives.
+Gregory J. Mansour
(Reprinted with permission.)