Picking up again, let’s continue to dig into what it looks like to be a Godly man. I realize this study is taking quite a while, so I am going to begin to pick up the pace a bit. After all, I am still eager to break down what it looks like to be a Godly woman, as well as what Godly relationships should look like! There is so much, still, to cover. However, I appreciate you all continuing to follow. The feedback I have been receiving from both men and women, alike, has been so beautiful. I am humbled in your interest and so affirmed that the words decorating this blog are inspired by and blessed by God. So, if you are just joining, take a look at parts 1 through 5 of this study before you read this portion. But here goes…
“Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to but one wife, temperate, self-controlled…
Chivalry is dead. How many times have we heard this saying? It’s become an all-too-familiar mantra in our society. But who’s to blame? Who’s responsible for the murder? Are the men to blame…or the women? And is chivalry truly lost–or is it harbored in us all, stifled by the norms of our culture–left unlearned and uncultivated?
My opinion: I blame the women. And I blame the men. But I don’t blame them for the death of chivalry–I blame them for giving life to the silly phrase. For exacerbating the problem. For giving in rather than rising up and requiring more. Is chivalry dead–no. Is it wounded–MOST DEFINITELY. And who’s truly to blame for that–Satan. Before you dismiss me as crazy, give me a chance to explain. You may find that I support your side of the argument, after all.
Throughout this entire study of what it looks like to be a Godly man, one of the most prevalent reoccurring themes is that living for the glory of God is NOT easy. I’m not trying to fool anyone here. It’s tough stuff striving to live a righteous life. We fail a lot; both men and women alike. We are fallible, we are human. That’s our nature. Fortunately, we are saved by grace. And every time we fall, God gives us the opportunity to stand up, brush ourselves off, and start fresh with a clean slate. We can never fail too many times, His love is unconditional. He is always prepared to forgive us and always proud to love us. That’s what Jesus Christ’s sacrifice did for us.
So why, with all that said, do we not capitalize on that forgiveness and that grace? It is offered to us in limitless quantity. Yet when we stumble and we fall, we settle for a life in the dirt. Is it guilt that binds us? Is it fear? Guilt and fear aren’t in God’s dictionary–so why do we allow them to be in bold in ours? This portion of the 1 Timothy verse addresses a man’s responsibility to be respectable and hospitable. Two terms that many may argue are framework terms to define chivalry. They are powerful requirements, they are character attributes that take work and commitment. Yet God calls us to strive for them. So why do we settle for less?–because Satan makes anything “less” SO much easier.
It’s no secret that our society’s view on manners and behavior have drastically changed over time. Men used to open doors for women. Now women kick down doors for themselves. Men used to court women patiently and lovingly. Now Vegas offers quicky-weddings and quicky-enullments in a package deal. Women used to respect themselves enough to hold on to their purity until their wedding day. Now we have middle schoolers pressured to have sex to feel accepted and popular–to “keep up” with society around them. I don’t mean to be crude–I mean to be REAL.
I’m going to be painfully direct, blunt, and straightforward here. So if you don’t want a harsh reality check then skip the next two paragraphs. This is going to call out men and women, alike–no one is safe. Men: get over yourselves and man up. For real, man up. Stop settling for what’s easy. Stop settling for what’s temporary and fast because you don’t want to put work in. You’re weak if that’s how you function through life. The quick-route requires low integrity, low discipline, and low self-esteem. I don’t care if that’s what the rest of the world praises and exaggerates. I don’t care if that’s what your friends or your teammates or your buddies are doing. Grow a set and be different. Set a better example. Stop numbing yourself and be a REAL man. There’s no more “This is fun now while I’m in college, I’ll man up later when it matters…” Man-up now. It matters NOW. You have the power to be a real leader. You have the power to inspire. You have the opportunity to experience grace and be strengthened in Christ. Stop trying so hard to control it all on your own–you’re not good at it.
Women: it’s not all the men’s fault. We are just as big of messes as they are. Stop making it easy for them. Stop settling–better DOES exist. Stop giving to the temporary and start valuing yourself. Snap out of the self-esteem issues–there are people that are much worse off than you. There are people who are truly suffering. You comparing your beauty to other women’s beauty and then giving yourself up to men in order to feel desired–it’s a tired routine. You are worth a King’s life. Start living like that carries value to you. Start living like it matters to you that Jesus Christ died for you. We are fallible humans that are easily tempted. Stop teasing men. How can we expect them to treat us with chivalry and respect and hospitality if we are tempting them and teasing them and inviting their imaginations to wander? If that’s what makes you feel better about yourself, I feel bad for you. Have some self respect. If you want more from men, there has to be a give and take. RESPECT THEM BY RESPECTING YOURSELF, FIRST.
Satan is having so much fun with our world. He is tearing it down, bit by bit, and celebrating our society’s slide towards heathenism and self-obsession. What adds fuel to his fire?–When we confirm his corruption by feeding into phrases like “Chivalry is dead.” Chivalry is NOT dead. Nor will it ever be. They may be few and far between, but there ARE men out there who are striving to live righteous lives. There ARE men out there who are holding fast to what the Bible asks of them and who ARE respectable and hospitable…and temperate, and self-controlled, and faithful, and all of the above. Have those men lived perfect lives? NO! Have they never slipped of failed or denied Christ? Of course not! Nobody is perfect. But there are men who desire to be BETTER. I believe that with my whole heart. If you are one of those men, you have my respect. You may be different…you may stand out…you may not be accepted as easily because you make different choices than the average man. There is NOTHING wrong with that. In fact, celebrate it! Because YOU are a real man–and you will be rewarded. I can promise that because our King promises us that.
Stay encouraged, men. Fight the good fight of faith. And stay encouraged, women. The less we settle, the more it requires of men. You deserve the best, so require the best. Don’t let that self-worth waver. Men and women, if we want to improve this world, if we want to be a generation of change and righteous growth, we HAVE to require MORE from one another. We HAVE to hold one another responsible and we have to be unashamed of standing out–no matter how much scrutiny or doubt or criticism we fall under. Chivalry is very much alive because the words of the Bible are very much alive–nothing should ever shake our belief in that.
(to be continued…)