By Cindy Koch –
Today I picked up a wooden sign. We were cleaning up our VBS extravaganza and there were decorations everywhere that needed to be put away. This sign weighed only about 20 lbs. and was a little awkward to carry. A gentleman from the church ran up behind me and offered to carry it to the shed that was only a few feet away.
“Oh, she CrossFits. She lifts heavy things all the time!” The gals standing next to me chimed in instantly. And yes, they were absolutely correct. 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 girls (and guys) I meet on a regular basis. This little sign was not hard for me to carry, nor was it anything out of my daily routine of lifting things in a quick competent manner.
I could have carried it a few steps further. However this was not an issue of my ability to lift a sign from here to there. My answer to this gentleman was simple. “Thank you so much.” I handed him the sign and he put it away in the shed, just as easily as I could have done myself. However, this person who offered his assistance, acted as a man should. He took responsibility to care for a woman, and completed a simple task that eased her burden. This was a cherished example of chivalry, a dying art among the masculine.
It was the swift answer from the chorus of ladies that has haunted me this week, ever since. Their nonchalant dismissal keeps echoing in my head. It is the very same response that I had been trained to offer to any man granting his assistance. No, no… I’m fine. I’m a strong independent woman who can take care of myself. These encouraging women were actually counseling me to refuse his help. They were helping me pull the trigger on this kind and considerate man.
Ladies, this is what we have learned to 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 (women) 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, just think before you shoot.