He Said-She Said: Is Chivalry Necessary?
- Thursday, October 01, 2009
I have since tried to become more comfortable and appreciative when somebody extends themselves to me, which has allowed me to be even more thankful and understanding for the gift of eternal life that Jesus has given us.
As believers, we don't spend a lot time talking about how to receive an action or a gift graciously—not in a greedy, taking, or expectant sort of way, just being able to accept a "gift" with pleasure and thanksgiving.
The Bible speaks throughout of receiving salvation, an inheritance, a share of the crops, His promise, eternal life, etc. How can we accept these gifts with open arms if we don't learn how to accept a simple thoughtful considerate act?
For whatever reason, your friend feels uncomfortable about your actions. Use this opportunity to communicate with her asking why she may feel this way, when these feelings may have started, how it makes you feel and how you can help. Continue to be yourself in a loving and thoughtful way, yet not always having to extend these gestures at every opportunity.
If she continues to refuse, it is her dilemma (and loss), not yours.
A person who gives with a heart filled with the Spirit is offering a gift from God.
You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give (Exodus 25:2).
Chivalry is not dead.
SHE SAID: No! Don't stop "doing these things." Chivalry is most certainly NOT dead and it IS necessary. In fact, here's what some of my randomly polled female friends had to say when I showed them your question:
- A man is supposed to cherish his woman, which includes treating her special and protecting her. Ephesians 5:25 and Ephesians 5:29 address this issue.
- Women today have no idea that they are being influenced by ridiculous feminist ideas. Or maybe they are fully aware. I think it's just common courtesy. They don't do it because we CAN'T do it. They do it because it is nice. I like nice.
- The opportunity to serve the other person (even if it's just opening the door for them) is an opportunity that the Lord has given us whether we are women or not. It brings a man pleasure to do such small things for the woman. On one hand, he is serving her … and on the other hand, he is learning to take care of her.
- The issue is not about whether she can do these things for herself, it's about respecting him for doing them. It says a great deal about his character that he treats women with such respect, and a great deal about hers that she would not want or (potentially) allow him to do so. Acts of chivalry esteem the recipient, not diminish her, just as etiquette exists to include, warm and welcome—not exclude and embarrass.
- As a single woman, I'm always pleasantly surprised when a man holds the door for me or opens my car door or walks me to my car. Yes, I am perfectly capable of looking out for myself (out of necessity if nothing else), but it is nice to have someone show concern or act moderately protective. It's romantic, even.
- Chivalry has taken a long winter's nap. I want a man to open the door for me, hold it open if he has gone through first, enter a revolving door first so he can get it going and set the speed, be first on the escalator going DOWN and be behind me on the escalator going UP in case I stumble, walk on the street side of the sidewalk, and I promise I will be thankful and tell him so!
- If the lady this man is seeing is unappreciative of his efforts to protect and cherish her, he should bid her farewell and find someone who will blossom under this attention. But he should not, under any circumstances, give up on being chivalrous. I believe there must be more women who would appreciate his actions than those who wouldn't.
- If you look at true chivalry, historically, it's about men embracing their roles to appropriately represent Christ to women (who represent the Church). While societal customs and norms may change, I don't think that goal should ever die! Also, if we look at the meaning of marriage (which is really the end goal of dating), we see that marriage is a life of mutual service. There's no better time than during your dating years to get used to serving one another and receiving the other's service with grace and gratitude, whatever form it takes.
Well, what can you say after reading through thoughtful and honest comments such as these? The (female) tribe has most definitely spoken. We like, we want, we need chivalry!
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