I did something terrible this morning. I guess it happens all the time, but I am still ashamed even as I type these words. Like you, I am one who is shocked at the dreadful state of our world today, but then I go participate in their deadly games. A gentleman ran up to me today and offered to carry a heavy bag to my car, that was only a few feet away. Without thinking twice, I shot him down.
“No thanks, I’m fine.”
The bag was only about 20 pounds and it was a little awkward to carry. A voice in my head screamed – Hey! I CrossFit! Do I look like I can’t carry this little bag? I lift a lot of weight – for fun – and do it quickly and efficiently. In fact, I can lift heavier things faster than most other people I meet on a regular basis. This little bag was not hard for me to carry, nor was it anything out of my daily routine of lifting things in a quick competent manner.
However, I walked to the car disappointed and ashamed. This was not an issue of my ability to lift a bag from here to there. My answer to this gentleman should have been simple. “Thank you so much.” This person who offered his assistance, acted as a man should. He took the responsibility to step forward and care for a woman, he was there for a simple task that eased her burden. This was a cherished example of chivalry, a dying art among the masculine, and I fired right into his chest.
It was the swift answer from my mouth that has haunted me this morning, ever since. My nonchalant dismissal keeps echoing in my head. It is the response that I had been trained to offer to any man granting his help. No, no… I’m fine. I’m a strong independent woman who can take care of myself. Our liberated education counsels me to refuse his help. Our enlightened society helped me pull the trigger on this kind and considerate man.
Ladies, this is what we have learned and even what we encourage our sisters to do. You can do it yourself. You are fine on your own. You don’t need a man. Shoot him down.
And then we wonder where all the good men have gone… but we have killed chivalry.
When a man opens a door, provides a strong arm of help, fixes something that is broken, he has offered that lady a piece of his time and his care. Just as an eye-to-eye smile or an open-armed hug take a little courage to initiate, so do these small acts of chivalry. When your smile is not returned, or your hug is avoided, or his kind acts are blown-off, it only becomes harder to muster that friendly service one more time. Men were created by God to lead and protect, but we hold them hostage with our ideas of independence.
It is true, some of us have never known a trustworthy man. We have only been hurt by those who should care for us. This is our sinful reality crashing in on us. Some of us long for that person – that one who will love us like Christ loves His church, but we can’t see any man that lives up to his example. Some of us have that man who sacrificially loves us, but yet we listen to the world’s advice and take him for granted. The worst part is we can do nothing to bridge the gap between men and women. Men and women will still abuse each other, both will continue to be misunderstood.
So go ahead. Just kill him dead.
Even though we have murdered the kind chivalrous men in our lives, they keep coming back. There is always another door that is held open, another squeaky hinge fixed, and a life redeemed by that Gracious Man who forgives all of your sins. God’s gifts, leadership, and provisions keep working through the hands of our chivalrous men.
Next time, let’s think before we shoot.