Why is chivalry so important? Chivalry is not an archaic, medieval concept. It’s something that should be alive and well in our culture today. Our world needs more civility, common sense, kindness, and chivalry. Chivalry is displayed when a man honors a woman…is courteous and polite to her.
Now my wife, Susan would tell you I don’t always have good table manners, but she would also tell you that when it comes to showing chivalry to her, our daughters, and other ladies, I get a passing grade. I try to be consistent in opening doors for her and others, I stand when she or other ladies come to the table, and I pull out her chair. When a lady has a carry-on bag on a plane, I lift it for her and put it in the overhead compartment. These things I do because I want to really honor them.
On All Pro Dad, we posted 10 Acts a Chivalrous Husband Does for His Wife. The comments were plentiful and vigorous. But that post didn’t really answer why chivalry is still important today and the benefits of showing it to your spouse and kids.
So men, here are 4 ways your kids benefit from the deeds of you being a chivalrous man:
1. You’re showing your spouse and children that seeing the needs of others and serving them is important.
Your kids and your spouse need to see, and will be inspired by, your willingness to put your wife, your child’s, or any other human being’s needs above your own. They are watching our actions, and our actions are teaching them far more than our words.
2. You’re setting your daughter’s expectations.
You’re modeling for her the kind of things she should look for in a future husband. What your daughter sees you do will impact what she looks for in a spouse. And when she sees you acting selflessly, your daughters will come to expect that in the young men they date.
3. You’re setting your son’s expectations.
You’re setting the table for him by demonstrating what a man should do for a woman. Our sons are constantly asking the question “what does it look like to be a man?” And our culture offers fewer and fewer clear clues for them. Enter dad who by his actions and words is constantly teaching, without knowing it, what it looks like to be a man in his world. Your example sets your son’s expectations for how to treat ladies and everyone else you encounter.
4. You’re acknowledging for all to see that the world doesn’t revolve around you.
We roll our eyes when some public figures, like athletes and politicians and entertainers, live as if life is all about them. But we can be guilty of that as well when we forget common courtesies. By showing some chivalry, we remind ourselves and our family that life is rich and meaningful when we recognize that life does not revolve around us.
Do you struggle with the notion of chivalry? How do you react when someone doesn’t appreciate it? How do you teach your kids about it? Share your comments with us!