Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Whatever Happened to Chivalry?
I was saddened when I heard about the capsized cruise ship, the Costa Concordia; not so much by the ship going down, but by the actions of the crew when it went down. It seems that they and the captain abandoned ship, even pushing aside passengers to get into the lifeboats. Whatever happened to the old law of the sea, “Women and children first”?
I guess we can say that this is one unexpected legacy that the women’s liberation movement has given us. They’ve tried so hard to make men and women out as equals, that the idea of treating women as precious is no longer part of our society. Since they are no longer the “weaker vessel” that scripture talks about, there is no reason for men to go out of their way to protect them, value them and cherish them. After all, we’re all the same.
You know, I still believe that verse in the Bible where it tells us to treat our wives as the “weaker vessel.” Actually, I prefer that word “weaker” to be translated as “precious” because that’s really what the context is. My wife is precious to me, so I treat her as such. I don’t treat her as one of the guys, but as what she is, a precious gift from God to me.
Did you grow up as I did? Were you taught to open doors for women, seat them at the table and allow them to go first? I remember that clearly. I also remember sitting in a “sexual harassment awareness class” in the office, being told that I was no longer allowed to open doors for women, because that could be construed as sexual harassment. Where do these ridiculous ideas come from?
Well, I still open the door for my wife; I still carry in the groceries; I still allow her to go first and I even manage to seat her at the table from time to time. She’s never brought me under charges for sexual harassment, so I guess I’m safe.
When we do those things, we send a clear message to our wives that they are precious to us. When we treat them as someone special, as royalty, they feel valued. That’s funny, isn’t that what romance is all about? Making her feel as if she’s important to you? So, why don’t we do it?
Maybe it’s that we’ve become so accustomed to having our wives around, that we’ve forgotten how important they are to us. Maybe, just maybe, she isn’t as important as we tell ourselves she is. After all, if she was that important, we’d act like she was, right? We’d protect her and treat her as if she was precious, not treat her as if she was just the maid.
I challenge you to go back to those old habits. Open the door for her. Allow her to go first. Pull out her chair at the table. Show her that she’s precious to you, and you’ll end up feeling like she is.