Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Encouraging Chivalry

Update 9/9/14: This post was linked up as part of the Not Alone Series topic, "Oh so chivalrous!"

Have you read this post by Matt Walsh? It's thought-provoking, FULL of solid Truth, and calls men to action.

I forget in the day-to-day that "chivalry is dead". And actually, I've heard that before and argued with whoever proclaimed it that chivalry IS NOT dead. Unfortunately, however, my perception on this is skewed.

I blame it on all of the awesome men in my life. Holy, God-fearing, women-loving men.
They hold doors, allow women to go before them for communion, help me with my coat, etc.

But what about all of the men who I don't know? Or even more so, what about the women who don't know the men I know?

I can imagine that it would be very discouraging to think that chivalry is dead. How sad.
And how incredibly sad for a woman who desires to have a man be chivalrous, to give up on that dream of a knight in shining armor!

I've read articles and posts where the author says that we need to focus on instilling an expectation of chivalry in our children. We need to raise our boys to be chivalrous and our girls to be accepting and grateful for chivalry.

I agree with this. We must raise our children in this manner.

But what about those of us who aren't raising children? What about the college students? What about the young professionals? Perhaps we must wait until we have children of our own in order to encourage chivalry?

Not at all.
There is so much that we can do to encourage chivalry at all ages and places in life!

For the Men

Chivalrous men! Please continue to be gentlemen. Do not allow the lazy men of today to influence how you act.

Rather, you must be an example to other men. Chivalry begets chivalry. Encourage your boorish friends to be more gallant! If you let a lady have your seat, nudge your buddy to do the same! Hold one another accountable.

Asking your friend to hold the second set of doors while you're holding the first isn't nagging, it's reminding him to be the gentleman he was made to be. Hopefully just seeing you open the first door will give him the push he needs to grab the second one, but better safe than sorry!

Overall, do not allow your less honorable friends to discourage you.
And if ever a lady yells that she doesn't need your help with the door/with her coat/etc. just respond with a smile and a courteous "I didn't do _______ because you're a woman/girl/lady, I did it because I'm a gentleman."
I guarantee she will not know what to say, especially if you remain polite.

Be like Matt and call others to action.

For the Ladies

Alright, ladies, I am certain that many of you appreciate and enjoy chivalry. However, how are you supposed to increase chivalry? I mean, we're mere women...we have no influence on whether or not a "guy" is gentlemanly....right?

The way in which we react to chivalry will influence its longevity.

I encourage you to stop being embarrassed when you encounter a gentleman.
There have been times when a man holds the door for me when I'm a good 20+ strides from the door. Gosh, I feel horrible! I'm ashamed to admit that more often than not, I barely meet his gaze and perhaps I'll give him a sorrowful "thanks!"...all because I feel bad.

Or how many times has a young man surprised you by helping you with your coat? I never expect it, and due to my surprise, I usually give a little laugh and what might be perceived as a sarcastic "thank you".
(when really, I just feel awkward and try to be goofy instead)

Or have you ever neglected to thank the man who is coming out of a building and holds the door as you're entering? It's possible he wouldn't hear me, you think, and besides, it's not like it's a big deal...

I want to encourage you to stop doing this.
Don't stop thanking, but change the way in which you thank.
Stop acting embarrassed when a man treats you like a lady, you ARE a lady! Don't make him feel embarrassed for treating you as such!
And never treat an act of chivalry as "nothing" or else you're feeding into the mindset that chivalry simply doesn't matter.

When a gentleman opens the door for you, pulls out your chair, etc., look him in the eye, give him a warm smile and a grateful "Thank You!"

This is called positive reinforcement. (I know because I have a Psychology degree. BAM.) If we want men to be more chivalrous, we must encourage them to continue their chivalry! Please push past whatever it is that hold you back from appreciating his chivalrous gesture. Like I said before, chivalry begets chivalry. And in this case, a man's encouraged chivalry will lead to his continued chivalry.

Chivalry can be encouraged at all ages.
Gentlemen shouldn't be afraid to behave like gentlemen and ladies shouldn't be ashamed to expect to be treated like ladies.

Strive to be the most authentic you you can be.


  1. PREACH. I read Matt's post last night, and my level of faith in humanity took a really great and comforting leap.

    ~ Country Girl's Daybook
    recently posted: Please, please, join me in prayer for a miracle. ->

  2. I just love this. LOVE THIS.

    Yes, I do.


  3. AMEN. Love this. My view is probably super skewed too, but I appreciate that!

  4. Morgan,

    Such a great post! I really liked the part where you said, "I didn't do _______ because you're a woman/girl/lady, I did it because I'm a gentleman." If I heard a guy say that, my heart would melt a little!


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