Over the past hundred years or so, the expectation that a man should behave chivalrously, as a gentleman, has fallen to an all-time low. It has become so low that men in our culture have actually proposed marriage via text message.
What happened to the gallant man?
Has chivalry really lost its timelessness and allure?
From the beginning, a man was supposed to pursue his wife, not the other way around. One story in particular comes to mind when I think of a gallant man, and I would love to share it with you.
First, if you are ever craving an authentic romance story, the Bible is a great source. You most certainly will not find authentic love in Hollywood magazines or reality TV shows. The Bible tells a short, yet bold, love story in the book of Hosea.
Now, keep in mind, if God is the author of a love story, you know it’s going to be phenomenal! But also keep in mind that God often puts us to the test. And let me tell ya, Hosea surely was given a test that not many men would be able to — or want to — pass.
If I told you that God actually appointed Hosea to marry a woman labeled a harlot, would you believe me? God told Hosea to marry and buy his wife, a prostitute, Gomer.
Once God told Hosea that Gomer would be his wife, he actively pursued her. Hosea didn’t hesitate or worry about unfaithfulness from Gomer; he simply obeyed and trusted the Lord.
Now, marrying a harlot isn’t exactly what I would call solid relationship advice. But God had a deep purpose and special circumstances in mind for Hosea and Gomer to be wed.
Throughout the book of Hosea, Gomer (in all her unfaithful ways) leaves Hosea and returns to her lifestyle of promiscuity. Throughout Gomer’s many relationships, she finds herself with a man who can’t exactly provide her a comfortable life. Hosea finds out that she is lacking basic needs, and he secretly finds a way to support her without her knowing he is her provider.
But that wasn’t enough to fill the longing in Hosea’s heart for Gomer.
We read that Gomer’s lover sells her into slavery. God later reveals to Hosea the bondage that Gomer is in. Hosea, in all his love for Gomer, goes and buys her back. Hosea and Gomer endure many struggles, much brokenness, and obviously, the pain of unfaithfulness.
During all their many trials, Hosea stood strong in his love, faithfulness, courage, and obedience to God’s assignments for him. Again, God had a very special purpose for Hosea and Gomer’s marriage: it was a message to Israel, which is what makes their love story unique.
Hosea is the perfect example of how a chivalrous, courageous, and honorable man treats a woman and follows the will of God.
Ladies, please learn to not settle for passive, wishy-washy, half-hearted “boys.” Do not lower your standards just because a man won’t raise his.
Chivalry is more than a man posting a “woman-crush Wednesday” behind the screen of technology. You shouldn’t have to go “like” a number of pictures on a guy’s Instagram account to get him to notice you. Nor will the right man pursue you based off the shallow exterior of “selfies” on Instagram.
Affection and gallantry does not come through social media. A true man after God’s own heart will pursue you based off your heart and spirituality — that he’s observed face-to-face.
He shows the art of chivalry.
A true man not only talks about chivalry; he shows it: by actively pursuing a woman just as Hosea doggedly pursued Gomer.
A chivalrous man is assertive, patient, generous, honorable, kind, and respectful. When he takes a lady out to dinner, he puts his phone away and can hold a meaningful conversation.
For our generation, casual texting has replaced authentic relationship. In our society, everything has become very much “casual.” And guess what? Casual gets boring. Casual is not special. Casual gets old.
Instead of asking a lady, “Will you go on a date with me?” guys casually ask through text, “Hey, wanna hang out?”
Men don’t feel the need to impress or express, at least not where it matters, so they go the easy route — cool and casual.
But the man who practices the art of chivalry will go beyond mundane, ordinary expectations.
A man with chivalry won’t be haphazard in his pursuit of a lady. Instead, he will be keenly and boldly intentional to pursue in a respectful, meaningful way.
Instead of weekly text messages and snapchats, he will call or write a thoughtful letter. And what girl doesn’t like receiving sweet letters in the mail?
Above all, a true man of God will be extremely cautious in protecting your heart. He will perform timeless acts of kindness. He’ll surprise you with coffee at work, leave notes for you in random places, dress up for a date, pick you up at the door, and basically show that you matter enough for him to put true effort into the relationship. Most of all, he will act in a way that leaves your relationship with God wholly intact.
Images courtesy of Jane B. Photography