- Introduction: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
- Gender and Beauty – Goodness in the Appealing Nature of a Woman’s Body, the Pinnacle of God’s Creative Beauty
- Gender and Beauty – Clothing, Relationships, and Dating
- Body vs. Soul
- Mass Intimacy
- Prayer Tips for Spiritual Eros
- Conclusion: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
In the first part of my discussion on gender and beauty, I spoke about the goodness in finding the body of a woman beautiful and sexually appealing, and that a woman’s body is the pinnacle of God’s creative beauty. The beauty of sex is Godly and important, but it must be in the proper context. Sex and nudity belong only in marriage, and if they are separated from marriage, the dignity of the human person is degraded. Pornography and fornication are two great evils that attack the dignity of masculinity and femininity. Chastity is a virtue which every ManHusbandDad must daily live outside and within marriage. Chastity is a virtue which elevates the human dignity of men and women.
Let’s talk about clothing choices, relationships, and dating:
It is good for a man to want to see a woman dressed in a beautiful outfit, but women need to remember that men are ‘programmed’ for physical arousal, and women need to remember to dress appropriately. I am in no way saying that a woman should be completely cloaking her feminine beauty, but at the same time she should not be dressing in clothing that barely covers her genitals. Feminine beauty needs to remain chaste, but also show a bit of a mystery. Couples should have an open dialogue about boundaries so they can remain chaste in the area of fashion. While women should understand that men are sexually stimulated by visual imagery, it is vitally important for men and women to engage in dialogue with their partners on how they can dress in a way that still showcases her feminine beauty and his masculinity that will help them each curb their lustful desires.
I really enjoy the fashion choices of the women in the romantic stories in the movies of the 1940s. The sex appeal was done in a chaste manner, where a woman’s beauty was showcased, but not in a lustful way. In these stories, the dating relationships between men and women always upheld the Twelve Righteous Virtues, especially the virtue of chastity. In these old movies, the climax of the story was the man kisses the woman and they get married; while sadly, in modern stories, everybody hooks up for sex, and the climax of the story is that they move in together. The Hallmark Channel has thankfully copied the concept of chastity in its stories today and gives refreshing modern stories which uphold the idea of virtue. We have lost the practice f virtue in the world today and we need to reclaim it. We must also learn how to build our romantic relationships on a firm foundation. The following points listed should be followed in order to build a firm foundation and to help nurture romantic relationships:
- A relationship should never be based on lust. Of course, sexual desire is necessary for any ManHusbandDad to be drawn to a romantic relationship with a woman. God made sex, and sex is good, but must be within a proper balance and context. Though sex is good as part of Marriage it can never be the sole foundation. Whenever a relationship is built upon sex, it will collapse because sex is such a small part of what it means to embrace romantic love. Sexual passion can vary from moment to moment, and without a more firm foundation that is built on Faith and Moral Clarity, that relationship will collapse.
- A strong foundation for a Marriage is built upon mutual core beliefs. These beliefs must be of like-mindedness in areas of family size, morality, religion, politics, etc. While it is possible for a Catholic to marry a Protestant, or a conservative marry a liberal, and still have a successful Marriage, this adds extra challenges to an already challenging covenant relationship. Such relationships should always be entrusted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for His guidance. I do know of people who have been able to make these differences work, but finding someone who shares the same like-mindedness on as many issues as possible is the better part of valor.
- It is always good to begin with a friendship before engaging at a romantic level. Many times, a Man can become so elated at the idea of engaging in a relationship that he forgets to take it slow. The best approach to engaging in a relationship is to get to know the woman first to see if there is compatibility. Simply put: friendship first.
- Be romantic. Sadly, and perhaps stereotypically, men are not known for being romantic. There are many jokes in movies and TV shows where a man will forget his beloved’s birthday, or their anniversary. To build a healthy, strong romantic relationship, a ManHusbandDad must make his beloved feel loved, respected, and appreciated. Because a woman in her nature is the pinnacle of God’s creative beauty, she is worthy of being spoiled, per se. A man doesn’t need to shower his beloved in expensive gifts all the time, but rather find small ways he can express his love through acts of affection. Certain gifts are more appropriate than others at certain states in the relationship; a diamond ring wouldn’t be appropriate at the first month anniversary of dating and a gift card to the ice cream shop would be a bit gauche when requesting her hand in marriage later down the road.
- Avoiding situations that may compromise your chastity is another point that is fruitful to building a strong romantic relationship before Marriage. Since we live in a culture that embraces hookups and moving in together, and chastity is pushed to the side, many couples who are dating like to go on romantic getaways. It is important to stress that these types of getaways are full of risk and the temptation of committing mortal sin is too high. If a chaste ManHusbandDad in a dating relationship wants to go on a getaway with his beloved, he needs to find an activity that can be done in a day without the use of a hotel. Only in Marriage is it permissible for a ManHusbandDad to stay with his Wife overnight.
Finally, for us Men, to fully order our sexual desires and to see women in their beauty through chaste eyes, we need to look to the Blessed Mother (see “Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God” by Dr. Scott Hahn) as our antidote. As we entrust our hearts to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, she will lead us to her Son, and make sure that our hearts are more intimately united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Another antidote to resist lust is to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and to ask for the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel to help us push back against the temptations of lust. The closer we come to Jesus, the more our human dignity will be elevated, and we will treat women with respect and dignity, and get the great gift of seeing the eternal Beatific Vision if we continue a life of holiness. In the next article, I will expand even further on the topic of gender and beauty in the area of the body vs the soul.
May every ManHusbandDad receive the great reward of the Beatific Vision.