Is Chivalry Dead?
When’s the last time you’ve experienced some great Southern Hospitality? Where does that idea come from anyway? Kara addresses this regarding within a biblical perspective. It’s good stuff…you’ll want to know it!
“Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.”1 Timothy 5:1&2
Call me old fashioned, but I am a sucker for good ‘ole Southern Hospitality. However, the idea that ‘chivalry is dead’ has me questioning this etiquette. Are these manners biblically founded or a matter of minding your p’s and q’s? What is the importance of showing specific honor towards our elders and women?
In this passage, Paul is encouraging Timothy in the specific ways to minister to certain relationships within the church. And though we aren’t all pastoring a church, I believe these exhortations can apply to our relationships within the body as well.
- Honor your elders. Many times throughout scripture we are commanded to show specific honor to those who are older than us (1 Tim. 5:2, Prov. 19:20, Lev. 19:32, 1 Peter 5:5), and also to those who have been placed in authority over us (Rom. 13:1-7, Heb. 13:17, Titus 3:1, 1 Peter 2:13, Eph. 5:21). Among a generation who is skeptical of authority, and arrogant towards our elders, how do we continue to emphasize this Truth as important? We submit ourselves to scripture, and hold our children to this same standard. When we obey truth, regardless of feelings, God is honored. Show respect to those who are older, not lashing out, but encouraging them in the best way.
- Respect women. If she is older, honor her like your mother, if she is younger; treat her like your sister. Why be chivalrous? Because, the Bible says so! Jesus treated women differently. In 1 Peter 3:7, husbands are commanded to honor their wives as the weaker vessel, literally suggesting that a women’s feminine nature and physical strength should prompt a man to honor her. How do we train our boys to be men who honor women? Paul suggests that it begins in the home. Dads, talk to your boys and show them the ways you honor their mother. Moms, expect your boys to care for you in a respectful way. Shepherd sibling relationships in a way that teaches your children how to love one another and appropriately honor the opposite sex. When we take this interactive approach within the home, a foundation of respecting the opposite sex is laid for a lifetime.
- Be pure. Our culture emphasizes the opposite of respect towards women. In fact, hundreds of times a day, we receive messages through media training our minds to believe that a woman’s value derives from her ability to please a man with her body, sexually. Unless we teach our young men and women a proper respect of one another they will view and treat the opposite sex impurely. Paul’s caution towards Timothy to honor women ‘in all purity’ indicates this crisis is not a new one. But when we are taught respectful treatment of the opposite sex, this promotes purity.
So, what do you think? Is chivalry dead? God’s Word is living and active, and His way proclaims we are to honor our elders and show a specific regard to women.
Read 1 Timothy 5:1&2. There are certain relationships requiring some specific attention. Think about these ways to honor others before yourself.
- How can you show honor to someone who is older than you?
- What are ways you can practice respecting the opposite sex?
- What is purity? How do we remain pure in relationships?