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!
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,
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