As a child I was exposed to Disney princess movies, toys and coloring books. My friends and I learned to expect boys to leap off their white horses, draw their swords and prepare to defend our honors at a moment’s notice. However, as we grew up, it became clear we had been disillusioned. With age, the image of the valiant knight gave way to the sex-crazed savage portrayed in today’s modern commercials, TV shows and movies, and just like that – we all gave up on our hopes of finding a real-life Prince Charming. There were no longer dreams of modern-day knights opening doors for ladies, holding our books in the hallways or mustering up the courage to pick us up and shake our fathers’ hands on the first date. No, to us – there was no such thing as present day chivalry. Chivalry was dead, but now it is time for a revival.
In medieval times, chivalry called for specific, rigorous standards in order for one to become a knight and represent honor, valor, courage and duties to God and to women. In today’s times, a modern day “knight” no longer has to go through all the requirements to become a page and then squire in order to become a “knight.” The proposed Modern Knight’s Code of Chivalry is outlined below.
You do not have to be King David to be a man after God’s own heart. However, loving God means to not only love and worship him but to obey him by setting yourself apart from the rest of the world. Paul writes in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
One of the ways to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” is to “Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand… Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:13, 17). Only by actively reading and understand the Bible will you be ably-equipped to defend yourself from evil and be a leader for your community, church and family.
Realize your treasure
Proverbs 31:10-12 reads: “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” King Solomon, the wisest man of his time, wrote that a godly woman is worth more than rubies and writes in Proverbs 12:4 that “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown.” Thus, if you’ve married a God-fearing woman, realize how precious and special she is not only to you but also before God. She must be treated as such.
Now, what does this mean for you? It means: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Ephesians 5:26-28). This all equates to appreciating her for all the big and small things that she does for you and for your family. It means to not take her for granted – to say “thank you” every once in awhile, to offer words of encouragement, to provide affection, to spend time and truly listen to her and to do little chores for her around the house without needing to be asked or expecting praise – just because you love her.
Examples of chivalry for 2013
A lot of the time, it is about the little, everyday things: Take out the trash without being asked, remind her how beautiful she is, or ask her how her day was – and mean it.
Every so often, treat her. Maybe once a month take her out for dessert, wash the car, leave a thoughtful note before you leave for work or ask her to accompany you on a sunset walk by the beach.
Annually, do not forget about her birthday, mother’s day and especially your anniversary. Unless she specifically wants an item, try to make a homemade card and gift. With women, it is always the thought that counts. It could be a bouquet of flower you made from tissue paper and pipe cleaners instead of Publix roses, a coupon book for a free house cleaning, massage or homemade candlelit dinner, a love poem instead of a generic Hallmark card, performing a song for her, or creating a painting of a place you both know. Just get creative! Both your wife and your wallet will thank you.
Although there are hundreds of examples of modern day chivalry, in the end it will not matter so much what you buy or do for her – it will matter that you love her. Chivalry means to respect and honor her. It means to say you’re sorry when at fault and to talk through problems rather than dismissing them. It means to pursue a relationship that glorifies and makes God priority over all things. It means to love and remember that “ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7). In reality, all that chivalry is, is love.