Chivalry is Not Dead–Yet!

Though many will say that chivalry is dead, let me assure you it’s not–yet. It’s alive and well in Manitoba Canada, evident in the life of one man devoted to God and his wife.

My brother-in-law Jerry has been married to my sister for 28 years, and his charm hasn’t waned even slightly over time. The same gentle and caring man that she met is the same man that she wakes to every morning. Let me show you:

His acts of chivalry:

  • He asked our father for her hand in marriage.
  • He opens Bonnie’s car door–every time she gets in. If it wasn’t for the fact that she is practical he would run around to her side when she gets out too.
  • He always helps her take off her coat, and put it back on.
  • In a restaurant, he waits until she is seated first before he sits down.
  • He opens all doors and lets her step through first.
  • He shields her from the wind and rain by walking a little behind her in stormy conditions.
  • He warms her car up every morning, and in the winter he cleans it off too.
  • He carries bags from the car to the house. And never lets her carry anything heavy.
  • When she is sick he doesn’t leave the house or tend to things in the basement for long. He stays by her side until she is well.
  • Many of the virtues listed above, Jerry does for all women, but moreso for his wife.

His acts of kindness:

  • He gets a warm cup of coffee ready for her in the morning while she showers.
  • He remembers their dating anniversary every month, and buys her a yearly gift in celebration–without fail.
  • He remembers her Christian birthday and buys her a card and a gift.
  • He puts chocolate away, in anticipation of “that time of month” so that he can fulfill her cravings when she needs it.
  • He purchases more than one birthday or Valentine’s card, because as he puts it, “One could never say enough.”
  • He buys her flowers, and when they wilt, he refills the vase.
  • He meets her for lunch daily as he is in early retirement.
  • Every morning as she drives off to work, he stands at the door watching her drive away while praying for her safety.
  • During times of prayer he always reaches for her hand.

Jerry grew up in the ’60s when being a gentleman was the style of the day. It wasn’t only common, chivalry was expected of men. Men opened doors for their dates, pulled chairs out for women, walked on the street side of a walkway, and waited until a lady was seated before they plunked down in a chair.

This behavior reflected that of valor and strength, but it also reflected the heart of a servant, which we see in the life of Jesus Christ:

Let this mind be in you, which was also in
Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took
upon him the form of a servant, and was
made in the likeness of men.
~ Philippians 2:5-7

So what does this have to do with me? With us? With moms who are reading this blog? Much.

We are raising the next generation of men and women. If we want our boys to be better than what we are seeing out there, then we need to teach them how to not only respect themselves but to respect women and children as God would have them to do.

God has instructed men to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. Let scripture be our guide in raising these men, and let’s not forget the important role of servant-hood when teaching them virtue.

Here is an interesting article that I pulled from Wikipedia when searching for the origin of chivalry. We see that it represented men of valor, virtue, and courage. All things I want my boys to grow up to be. These duties of knighthood double as a great guide for bringing up boys!

From Wikipedia:

Chivalry is a term related to the knighthood of the middle ages and is often associated with the virtues a man exhibits as an expression of his loving protection of women.

When examining medieval literature, chivalry can be classified into three basic but overlapping areas:

Duties to countrymen and fellow Christians: this contains virtues such as mercy, courage, valor, fairness, protection of the weak and the poor, and in the servant-hood of the knight to his lord. This also brings with it the idea of being willing to give one’s life for another’s; whether he would be giving his life for a poor man or his lord.

Duties to God: this would contain being faithful to God, protecting the innocent, being faithful to the church, being the champion of good against evil, being generous and obeying God above the feudal lord.

Duties to women: this is probably the most familiar aspect of chivalry. This would contain what is often called courtly love, the idea that the knight is to serve a lady, and after her all other ladies. Most especially in this category is a general gentleness and graciousness to all women.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Time-Warp Wife

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  1. gabe_S_FERRIS_2 says

    Amen! I love it! I am a mother to 3 daughters…and this is my prayer! I want my daughters to marry men who are godly and who will value them. I also try to always pray for the parents of these men that I will someday meet. What a task to raise up these little boys into mighty men of God!
    Let’s teach our daughters to seek out true knights of the King of Kings!
    Thank you Darlene!

  2. says

    I love this article! My husband does most of the things on your list as well and I love him very much for the love he daily shows me. I think it is very important to teach our sons these things so they will know how to truly love others and their bride. We however only have a daughter and one thing we want to do is make sure my husband displays this above and beyond while she is around. We want her to grow up looking for that kind of man. A man filled with the love of Christ. Love you posts!


  3. Blair Allen says

    Any advice for a mother trying to teach her boys these things when they are not modeled for them by their father?

      • says

        Jeni, that’s a tough one. I know of two girls who when they were sixteen, each one got taken out on a date by their father. It was a night to remember–a fancy restaurant, he pulled out their chairs, bought her flowers, opened doors, etc. Then at the end of the night he said, this is how a man should treat you. Don’t settle for anything less. I thought that was the sweetest thing ever when they told me about it! But if the husband isn’t involved that way, I imagine that the only way would be to discuss these issues with her. My daughter sees it in uncle Jerry more than she does in my husband. He’s not that chivalrous (don’t know if I spelled it right!) but we talk about the examples we see and what an awesome example uncle Jerry is. He even opens the car door for me if he drives me someplace. It’s so cute!

    • says

      Blair, I encourage my boys often to do things for me and tell them what gentlemen they are. Like when you approach a door, stop for a minute and if they open it, encourage them and say, thank you so much! You’re such a gentleman. Ask them to carry groceries for you etc. Bring up the conversation when the time is right, reminding them. Or if grandma is over for example, say “Can you get her coat for her?” I think there are so many opportunities for us to teach them, but we don’t always see them unless we’re looking.

  4. says

    Gee whiz! That Jerry is a sure gentleman! I love hearing such sweet stuff.
    I have a precious hubby & son who aren’t afraid to be just like that! God is so good.
    And yes…chivalry is still out there.

  5. says

    Oh my goodness, I just said this to my mother-in-law after hefting some groceries up the stairs this afternoon: “I wish chivalry was still a *thing*”. I’m 8 months pregnant and three men were standing out in front of our apartment building- not one offered to help (two of them are neighbors we are familiar with). I had my 4 year old son run down and carry what he could, but I would’ve loved to have a little more help. My MIL pointed out that my husband is chivalrous (and he is- most of the time! He happened to be at work when this took place, btw.) so I just pray that my son(s) will possess that virtue as well.

    • says

      Becky, that reminds me of a woman I met this winter. She’s in a wheelchair and quite disabled, but she has to shovel her wheelchair ramp herself. She said that a young man lives next door to her and he has said, “I admire that you can do that.”

      Um… hello?! Don’t admire her, shovel for her!

      I hope that my boys grow to be helpful young men. I am starting to see it already. :D

  6. Amber says

    This is so good and informative but it makes me so sad. My husband is a very chauvinistic man. He treats me with no respect and as a result my sons have very low opinions of women and my teenage daughter is drawn to jerks. I have been praying over this for years. I honor and respect him but it hasn’t produced any changes. I will continue to wait for God’s hand in this situation. Meanwhile, I have to watch my heart because I find myself getting jealous of the woman who have husbands that do these things.

    • says

      Amber, you are doing the right thing by leaving it in God’s hands. And while you do, remember that He is the glory and the lifter of your head. The bride of Christ is betrothed to one amazing warrior who is willing to fight and die for His bride. He is wooing us daily.

  7. says

    Sounds wonderful!

    A simple way to encourage caring manners- watch ‘old’ shows like Fathers Know Best and the Donna Reed Show

    My girls (older) love Larkrise to Candleford and the Road to Avonlea- it shows a slower, gentler time

    • says

      You’re so right Priest’s Wife. I grew up watching those shows and they do reflect great manners! My daughter used to always call me mama. It reminded me of Little House on the Prairie. Sometimes my boys would say, “Why do you say that, she’s mom!” But I thought it was so endearing. I loved it.

  8. Dottie McConnel says

    What a wonderful man! He sounds a bit like my husband, who still opens doors for me. Its a great lesson that we should treat others in such a manner. A lovely way to show the love of Christ, as well as love for his wife.

  9. says

    Great post. I concur with all the comments. I’m fortunate that my husband likes to open doors for me and gets upset if I open my own door, but he doesn’t do the majority of this list. I read this post to him and my son. They liked it very much and want me to email it to them. My son is 11 and is learning to be chivalrous and has done things like open doors for people without being asked. Hopefully, my husband will get a few more pointers from your examples. :)

    • says

      Actually, I reread the post and my DH does do most of these things. He’s a great example for our son and daughter. He shows me a lot of affection and takes great care of me. Our children will hopefully learn from our example of love and marriage.

  10. says

    If one of my sons were to treat his wife like that, I would consider my job well done. I have much to strive for. Thank you for sharing this!

  11. Michele Chambers says

    What a lovely story! Chivalrous acts are so unexpected these days! This week, at the office I work at, I went to get a box of paper for the printer, and I was carrying that heavy thing myself for a minute, and a young man rushed up and said “here, let me get that for you!” It was such a lovely gesture, given with no expectations. It really made my day.

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