I feel like lately there’s been a lot of talk among twenty somethings about chivalry. Interestingly enough, the talk has been initiated from the men, not the women. Usually the talk is from well-meaning, caring men who are eager to attract the right one using chivalrous tactics.
It’s a good value to have
And you know, I get it. And I do think it’s cute, I think it’s better than the guys I hung around with in my 20’s who liked talking about farting and taco bell and women’s body parts. It’s definitely a step up the maturity scale, that’s for sure.
Chivalry is too easy
However, when I listen to these young men talk about chivalry, I still feel like something is not quite right. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that I don’t feel comfortable about it being the “standard” for treating a woman right. And quite frankly, I feel that taking chivalry so seriously lets a guy off the hook too easily.
It’s easy to pull out a chair. It’s hard to listen someone and genuinely care about them. It’s easy to give a girl your jacket. It’s hard to care about her purity over your own desires. It’s easy to open a car door. It’s hard to be committed to just her. If all it takes is a guy to open a car door, or go to Costco and buy a bouquet of flowers for $12.99 to be heralded as a “Prince Charming” we are not expecting enough from our men who are capable of much more.
Try doing what Jesus did
Jesus didn’t say that loving someone entailed paying the bill or putting your jacket on a puddle for a girl to walk on. Jesus said that loving someone meant putting their needs above your own (Philipians 2:1-8). That loving meant seeing a woman not as a sex object but as a precious sister in Christ (1 Timothy 5:1-2). That loving meant enjoying someone for who they were, not for what they could give you, whether or not they were interested in you or how cute they were. And ultimately, in marriage, to die for her (Ephesians 5:25).
Chivalry can be very valuable in the right context
Now before I start sounding like a man-hating bitter old woman who doesn’t have enough love in my life, I want to say that chivalrous acts are not bad in and of themselves. I think they are wonderful, and I personally love it when my husband acts chivalrous towards me. However, without the foundation of genuine love and sincere care for a woman, chivalry is frankly, meaningless. However, in the context of a godly Biblical relationship, chivalry is truly a beautiful and respectable thing.
So guys, chivalry is not dead and it is still very valuable! But don’t let it be your bread and butter. If you want to find a partner, spend time with a girl and get interested in her life . Learn to be a good listener. Serve others with no agenda. Be kind to others. Be courageous about following Him with obedience. Then go buy those roses and watch her swoon!