Monday, July 23, 2012

Chivalry is Not Dead!

The recent tragedy in Aurora, Colorado once more brought home the thought of how dangerous life is and how fleeting it is as well. I doubt that any of those people who went to see the Batman movie had any idea that they were living the last day of their lives, or even that they wouldn’t get to see the end of the movie. Yet, in a moment, everything went from good to bad, from enjoying the movie to running in horror and for some, from life to death.

Even though it was a tragedy, several wonderful stories have come out of that event. There was a Christian woman who used her on-camera interview to share her faith. There were others who were astounded that they survived, while others were gunned down. But the one I like the best is about the three men who gave their lives to save their girlfriends.

Yes, three of the victims that died in that theatre gave up their lives to save that of someone dear to them. They used their bodies as human shields, covering up their girlfriends, and by doing so, paid the ultimate price to show their love. While it is sad that they died for their efforts, it gives me great joy to know that there are still men in the world who understand what it means to be a man, in the sense of protecting those who they love.

None of us knows what we’ll do in a situation like that. Oh, we can think about it and tell ourselves that we’d be heroes, but we really don’t know. Until the bullets start flying, we have no idea how we would act, all we have is hope that we’ll comport ourselves well.

Those three men fulfilled what Jesus said, when He said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13). They freely took that risk, knowing the potential cost, but willingly paying it, if it meant that their love would be able to live.

As men, we think we’d act the same. We’ve been raised on stories of protecting the lives of our loved ones. Yet, there’s another aspect of laying down our lives that gives us great trouble. That’s the aspect of laying down our lives on a daily basis, in order to do the things we need to do to bring happiness to the lives of our wives.

There’s more to laying down one’s life than being willing to die. The harder part is being willing to die to self; being willing to give up our likes and desires, in order to serve our wives in love. As we say that we’re willing to die for them, we demonstrate that we’re not, by not leaving behind things that we want, in order to be with them.

Before I married my wife, I used to go hunting and fishing. I loved the great outdoors; and I lived in Colorado, so there was plenty of opportunity to enjoy it. I had a Honda Gold Wing motorcycle, which I loved; using it for going to work and especially for drives in the mountains. There’s nothing like a drive in the mountains on a motorcycle, with no car body impeding your view of nature.

Even so, my wife is a city girl. She was afraid of my motorcycle, didn’t like hunting or fishing, or even camping. She basically couldn’t stand anything that might get her dirty. Her idea of camping was a hotel room with a swimming pool.

So, I stopped hunting and fishing and even sold my motorcycle. Yes, I did. Now, before you start thinking that I made such a big sacrifice, let me stop you right there. I willingly gave those things up. You see, she was more important to me than any of them. So, it was easy to give them up. If my wife wasn’t going to hunt and fish with me, why would I want to go? If she was afraid to ride the Gold Wing with me, why would I want to ride her? Being with her was more important than those things.

Okay, let’s get a bit more basic. What about when I’m sitting comfortably on the sofa, watching a movie and she wants me to do something? How do I react to that? If my reaction is grumbling and complaining, I’m sending her the message that the movie is more important than she is. Ouch!

You see, it’s great to lay down your life in protecting your wife. I think that there are times that chivalry demands it of us as men, as it did with those three men in Aurora. However, it’s also great to lay down your life on a daily basis, setting aside what you want, in order to do what she wants. 

C’mon now; don’t you want her to do that for you at time? Well then, show her the example. You can’t expect her to do things for you, which you aren’t willing to do for her. Do more than boast that you’d lay down your life for her; live it. Let her see through your actions that she is more important than anything else in your life, except your relationship with God. That will do more to prove that you’re romantic than anything else you can do.

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