Proper Roles and Behavior for Catholic Men
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Modesty and Proper Clothing for Catholic Men

Sacred Scripture

"A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God." (Deut 22:5).

"Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Mt 5:17-19).

Clothing and Roles

Clothing is an expression of one's behavior, attitude, and role. Men and women should dress and groom themselves differently, as an expression of the different roles given to them by God. Men should not dress or act like women, for this is an abomination in God's eyes. God created the human race with two genders, intending each to have his and her proper place in Creation. Men and women are not meant to behave or dress the same manner. Part of the beauty of the human race is found in the differences between men and women.

God's plan is for men to be moral, competent, and to take roles of firm and fair leadership over men, women and children. God intends men to have roles of teaching, leadership, and authority over other men, women, and children. Women are not intended by God to have roles of teaching, leadership, or authority over men. Women may have, to some extent, roles of teaching, leadership, and authority over other women and over children. However, there must always be a man or some men who have roles of teaching, leadership, and authority over those women who exercise authority over other women and over children. Within the family, the wife has authority over her children, but her husband has authority over her and over their children.

God wants men and women to act and dress according to their gender and according to the place that God has given each one in Creation. Clothing and hairstyles are expressions of one's thoughts, behavior, and attitude. Women are not mean to behave like men, nor to have the same roles as men, therefore they should not dress or groom themselves like men. And vise versa.

Physical Appearance

Men should groom their hair relatively short. And although hair styles may reasonably vary from one culture to another, men should not have long hair like women. Also, the trend in modern culture, whereby a man removes most of his body hair (such as on the arms, chest, legs), is offensive to God, since it grooms a man to more resemble a woman. Men naturally have more body hair than women. Men should not remove this hair to conform to culture, nor to show off their muscles. A man may maintain a beard or moustache or other facial hair; a man may also shave his facial hair.

Men, women, and children certainly may maintain their physical health and fitness, may participate in sports, and may lift weight or perform other exercises aimed at physical fitness. However, men should not seek excessive muscular size, nor an excessively muscular appearance. Fitness is one thing, and vanity is another. Men should not have excessive body fat, for the body is a gift from God. Excessive body fat is a sign of poor health and may sometimes be a sign of self-indulgence and laziness. But neither should men seek a physical appearance with very little body fat, in order to show off their muscles, as this is vanity (and not particularly healthy).

Men should not overly adore themselves with gold or jewelry. Men should not wear any earrings; only women should wear earrings. Men should not wear excessive jewelry, such as gold chains or other jewelry. A man should wear a wedding ring, if he is married. A man may wear a watch or other functional jewelry. His watch should not be overly expensive, nor overly adorned. A man may wear a religious symbol around his neck, such as a cross, or a scapular, or other. Such religious symbols should not be expensive, nor showy.

Modest Clothing and Behavior

Women should not wear pants, nor should they dress or act like men, nor should they take roles intended only for men. Men must teach, lead, and use proper authority, so as to encourage, and even require, women to adhere to this teaching. Men must be teachers and leaders in proper clothing and behavior.

Men should wear modest clothing. They should not wear clothing that is tight or revealing. All men, women, and children should dress modestly. Men are intended by God to have roles of leadership over other men and over women and children. Therefore, men should teach, encourage, and even require their wives and children, and the men, women, and children under their leadership or authority in the Church and in society, to dress modestly. Men must be modest in clothing and they must teach, lead, and exercise proper authority, so as to encourage modesty in others.

Men must be modest in behavior. Men should not tell sexual jokes, or make sexual comments, or engange in sexually-explicit conversations, or speak and act in a way that is contrary to modesty and righteousness. Modesty applies to behavior, even more than it applies to clothing. Men should not watch pornography or treat pornography as if it were anything other than immoral and offensive.

But most men do not accept this teaching. They accept the teachings of their culture and ignore the teachings of Sacred Scripture. When the Church teaches one thing and their culture teaches another, they follow their culture instead of Christ. On the contrary, men must be leaders in modesty and in all things taught by Christ and His Church.

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