I’ll be honest…I wasn’t always the biggest promoter of chivalry. I tended to think of it as old-fashioned and demeaning towards women. Yes.. I certainly had a feminist’s mind set.
However, I have come to have a better understanding on the role of chivalry in a relationship and in society. So here are a few things that all women should keep in mind the next time a kind young gentleman opens your door or says “Ladies First.”
As human beings, we are made in the image and likeness of God. This alone deserves that we respect each other. Chivalry is one way that this is accomplished. But why is it that guys are called to be chivalrous? As women we are the bearers of life! We have the gift of being able to hold the image and likeness of God within us! This is a beautiful thing and when a guy is being chivalrous he is saying that he recognizes your dignity as a woman.
Though you may not realize this, it is sometimes quite difficult for a man to be chivalrous. He may fear being labeled as a misogynist or being rejected by you. So what does that mean if he is able to overcome this fear and go against societal norms? He is really making an effort, he has an intention to honor your dignity.
3. Your Comfort
Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her.” Though this man is probably not your husband, it is important to look at this verse to understand that chivalry is a way of imitating Christ’s love for the Church. A man opens your door to keep you from having to do it yourself. He is not doing so because you can’t, but simply so you don’t have to. A man offers his seat to you not because you cannot stand, but so that he must stand whilst you are more comfortable. It is in these simple acts (which sometimes require some guts on their part) that they imitate the love Christ had for the Church.
Do’s and Don’t’s
Do Show Gratitude
Smile and say “Thank You.” In essence, be ladylike. This will go a long way in encouraging him to continue to show chivalry towards you and other women too.
Don’t Reject It
If he has made the point to offer you a seat, then he has already done the hard part in working up the courage to do the right thing. Don’t give a reason to fear being chivalrous by rejecting him.
I hope this helps in your understanding of the role of chivalry in a relationship.
Feel free to comment or contact me if you have any questions!
Lucia J. Francisco