Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Top 10 Reasons Men Should Practice Custody of the Eyes

As a follow-up to Top 10 Reasons Women Should Dress Modestly, I give you the following:
Thanks to The Ironic Catholic for the suggestion.

Top 10 Reasons Men Should Practice Custody of the Eyes

10 - It helps teach discipline. 
Men should discipline themselves to be in control of their passions and not allow passions to control them.

9 - It avoids the near occasion of sin.
To avert your eyes when you feel tempted to use a woman lustfully is a good thing.
“But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” -Matt 5:19.

8 - Custody of the eyes builds up chastity.
Chastity helps us to properly order our sexuality. If we do not have custody of the eyes, it means our sexuality is dis-ordered toward objectification - not love - and needs to be healed.

7 - It is what every gentleman should do.
No woman who respects herself wants to be lusted after or looked up and down. No real gentleman would dishonor a woman by doing so.

6 - It helps a man to see the whole woman, not just parts of her body.
When most men see an immodestly-dressed woman, their brains automatically start to objectify her. Thus, men need to be able to see the truth about who a woman is - not just to break her down into objects he can use for his selfish pleasure.

5 - It avoids scandal.
Think of King David. If he would have practiced custody of the eyes he might have been able to avoid much worse sins - adultery and murder. Now think of what happens when a man is caught in a lustful look toward a woman.

4 - It helps fight off temptation.
Men suffer from sexual temptation frequently. To have custody of the eyes helps a man to fight off an even stronger temptation of lusting after a woman after he ogles her.

3 - It helps our sisters not feel objectified.
If for no other reason, we should witness to the dignity of a woman by controlling our passions.

2 - It is a virtue we should chase after.
It is related to chastity, modesty, and temperance.

1 - It focuses us back on more important things.
"Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides." - Matt 6:33
Christ should be our first priority. Honoring the height of his creation (our sisters) should be the second. We should be third.


GraceWatcher said...

it might help if women did not wear closes that look provocative too

Marcel said...

See the post linked at the top of the page.

newguy40 said...

I turn 51 on Sunday and married once to the same woman for 20 years, too.

And, now more than ever, I have to practice custody of the eyes. From the unsolicited catalogues that come in the mail to TV/Internet/Movies the overwhelming sexual images are pervasive. I often feel I cannot go out of my house safely. And, the fact that many young women wear short skirts and blouses that they practically fall out off during Sunday Mass makes is very challenging.

The efforts to maintain a modestand chaste environment for my two teen sons is impossible despite best efforts.

Not too sure what can be done either. But, I do appreciate your efforts with these two articles. I will make good use of the information

Subvet said...

Excellent. As with newguy40 I've found my senses assailed by women more immodestly dressed than hookers. But just because they're advertising doesn't mean I have to be window shopping.

MGL said...

Women must do their part as well. Too many of them seem to dress to tempt men into lust.

Margaret Mary Myers said...

Thank you for encouraging the men, too, and not just the women. It is refreshing!

I see that a lot of the comments focus on women's role in dressing modestly, even though you had a post on that, too. It is to these commenters, particularly, that I would like to respond.

As a woman with 58 years of observing the world, I would like to say that not all of it is about women dressing immodestly. I know from experience even as a child, and from some women I've known, that a modestly dressed woman or girl can be attractive to a man or boy in the wrong way, through no fault of her own.

Even when women dress immodestly (and I'm sorry it is so widespread today), some of them are ignorant of its effects on men. Even if you tell them, they don't always understand it in their hearts. That may be hard for men to imagine, but it is often true.

I love that Marcel speaks of custody of the eyes. I always told my boys if a woman is dressed in a way that tempts you, either look away if appropriate (and if you're not conversing with her) or else focus on her face. That is where we usually have conversations, anyway, looking at one another's faces.

None of it is easy, I'm sure. I don't blame men who are striving to be chaste for being upset with women's immodest dress. But remember this. A brief temptation, if you weren't looking for it and if you quickly turn away from it and turn to God, is not a sin.

Perhaps Christian men, when faced with the temptations so prevalent today, could say to themselves, "Whoever this woman may be in the way she dresses, she is a soul, created and loved by God". And then they can strive to respect her as a whole person, to try to "be able to see the truth about who a woman is", as Marcel said.

Thank you again for this post!

The Ironic Catholic said...

Thanks! This is awesome! We're all in this together....

bullschuck said...

Thanks for the post Marcel. I have to say that I don't appreciate sometimes what some women wear, but these are my eyes and I am the only one responsible for what I choose to have my eyes look at. I am the only one. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa points to personal responsibility.
I've taken to telling myself to look at others as God sees them. It carries away a great deal of judgement-by-appearance, both positive and negative.

The Ironic Catholic said...

"Even when women dress immodestly (and I'm sorry it is so widespread today), some of them are ignorant of its effects on men. Even if you tell them, they don't always understand it in their hearts. That may be hard for men to imagine, but it is often true. "

Completely agreeing here. Most women, esp. young women, are truly clueless in this regard.

dolorosa said...

When I became a traditional catholic I decided I would no longer wear pants and I dressed more modestly as well in skirts and dresses. I like having men opening doors for me and treating me like a lady. I don't have cable and try to stay far away from watching the TV. Even young girls and women need to be careful what they watch and read. Both the men and women's magazines are full of harmful suggestions that lead to sin.

De Liliis said...

'The eyes must be carefully guarded by all who expect not to be obliged to join in the lamentation of Jeremiah: "My eye hath wasted my soul." By the introduction of sinful affections my eyes have destroyed my soul. Hence St. Gregory says, that "the eyes, because they draw us to sin, must be depressed."

If not restrained, they will become instruments of hell, to force the soul to sin almost against its will.'

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

Canadian Catholic said...

There is no question about it, we are being hyper-sexualized. The consequence or effect is disastrous, as it distracts and disrupts the mind, weakens focus and disorders priority. An image - once firmly captured in the memory - can "haunt" for a good while, sometimes -and seemingly randomly- resurfacing. The challenge today is increasingly shifting to custody of the mind, which is threatened by film, television and general, unsolicited advertisements.

It's going to be a tough battle, but if we can overcome it (and with God's help, we can) then it will produce even better or stronger men and women, in terms of their virtue and character.

Faith said...

I have to agree. To Canadian Catholic: I notice the unsolicited intrusions as well. The St. Michael's prayer for protection is also a good thing.