When thinking about chivalrous acts, medieval moral codes and norms may come to mind. Some might think it is an archaic notion that has long since faded away. It actually makes me think of the Marines. If you have ever observed a Marine flag-folding ceremony, you will notice a few things. The general attitude towards the flag is one of reverence, tenderness, and respect. There is a clear desire to defend it from harm. You can tell it is more than fabric to them. It represents something of significant value.
Significantly more than a flag, the women in our lives are human beings and should be treated with honor, dignity, and a level of protection. This attitude is at the core of chivalry and should be displayed particularly towards our wives. Here are 10 acts a chivalrous husband does for his wife.
1. He always thinks of her first.
It’s human nature to think of ourselves first. Putting someone else first is a choice. It takes strong and consistent decision making to be selfless. Make that decision every morning as you start the day.
2. He opens all doors.
Yes, the car door thing is cliché. But it – and every door – is such a good opportunity to let both our wife and the entire world know how you honor her.
3. He holds her hand.
Just holding your wife’s hand with no ulterior motive lets her know she’s deeply connected to you and that you prize her affection. It signals warmth and protection. And that she’s the only one for you.
4. He walks on the street side of the sidewalk.
This action has its roots in shielding women from the mud and the splash. However, splash or no splash, it’s a posture that says, “I will protect you. I place myself between you and danger.” Simply moving around to that side is a huge statement of respect.
5. He gets soaked fetching an umbrella.
Again, it’s the principle of the action. You get the car, you run around in the rain and open the door, and you shield her with the umbrella. This kind of initiative is a way of life, not a novelty act.
6. He coaches his children in self-giving love.
Don’t let it stop with you. Teach your children, especially your sons, to look out for their mother and to put her first. When they see it in you and practice it in their own lives, kindness will heal your family.
7. He serves her morning coffee or tea in bed.
Don’t ride in on the horse, but do serve her in this way as much as possible. And when the whole family eats together, everyone waits to take a bite of food until mom lifts her spoon. It’s a way to honor her sacrifice of preparing the meal.
8. He is always courteous.
Many men are unchivalrous in the way they put themselves first and fail to think of the needs of their wives. Say please and thank you. Do not raise your voice. Turn off the distractions when you eat together. She’s more important than answering the phone. Make it obvious that the relationship is primary. Believe us, courtesy sets the tone and it is always reciprocated.
9. He washes her car first.
It’s the little things. Did you offer her the last cookie? When you poured yourself a glass of water, did you offer her one too? Did it occur to you to wash her car when you spent all afternoon spiffing up yours?
10. He stands up and takes the heat.
Does she know you have her back? Was the repair guy surly when she talked to him on the phone? Is she getting the runaround trying to sort out the insurance claim? Was the waiter at the restaurant or the store clerk out of line? We’re not suggesting you go Rambo on these people, but consider stepping up and saying, “Excuse me, but it’s unacceptable for you to talk to my wife that way.” But leave the shield, the lance, and the sword in the car.