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3 Steps To Becoming Her Knight In Shining Armor

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If a guy opens the door for a girl, but expects to sleep with her, is this courtesy of door-opening truly an act of chivalry?

There are many articles, websites, and books all pushing “chivalry” in dating and relationships, but do we even know what chivalry actually means?

The modern definition of chivalry falls short of the original code. When a girl complains, “chivalry is dead,” she is referring to men who don’t open doors, pay for meals, walk her home, etc.  However, the definition of chivalry according to medieval literature is much more involved: “Chivalry can be classified into three basic but overlapping areas: 1. Duties to countrymen…2. Duties to God…3. Duties to women.” In other words, chivalry embodies a more holistic definition: respecting neighbors, women, and serving God.

Chivalry is the code of conduct for knights. “The origin of the term ‘Knights’ derives from [the] Anglo-Saxon word ‘Cniht’ meaning ‘boy’ or ‘page boy.’ The steps to knighthood begin as a boy. The honor of being a knight is eventually passed from a knight to his sons.” (lordsandladies.org)

Honor, respect, integrity, etc. are all values passed on from generation to generation through knightly fathers, but their prevalence began diminishing when fathers and sons stopped working alongside each other , and dads spent more time away at work.

Do you really want to be chivalrous? No one is too old to begin the process, but you will have to follow the three original steps everyone took to become a knight.

1. Become a Page

The page is a student. He is sent to a noble’s home so he can learn how to act, obey, and serve. He is taken out of his circumstances and environment because it’s the only way to get rid of the distractions that keep a man from growing and progressing.

This starts by getting over yourself, acknowledging you don’t know everything, and admitting you need help. This could inspire you to leave your familiar settings and immerse yourself in a new culture.  Or maybe take a class, read a book about becoming a better man, etc.  Get help where you need it such as church groups, AA meetings, or finding a counselor. You can’t be afraid of improvement. What’s missing in your life? What’s holding you back from becoming the man you are supposed to be?

2. Become a Squire:

The squire SERVES those who have fought the good fight and have become a knight. It doesn’t matter what you’ve studied or experienced, humble yourself and learn from someone older and wiser.

Find a good mentor. When seeking mentorship, be sure to choose someone who’s overcome the trials you are about to undertake. Don’t pick one of your peers. Find a highly respected man and go into “an apprenticeship” if you will, to learn from him. The most productive form of learning is applied learning.

3. Partake in the Ceremony:

Once the squire is ready to become a knight, there is a rite of passage known as the Accolade. Who hasn’t re-enacted the ceremony as a kid? Bow down and tap a sword on each shoulder.

Today, there are no clear rites of passage into manhood.”Academic research shows that institutionalised sport provides a key site for the construction of traditional masculinity amongst boys and young males,” (sociology.org) but what if you weren’t a star athlete? There is a need to have a rite of passage for every guy out there. If you are in college, I would strongly encourage you to join a good fraternity. If you’ve already graduated, do some searching and find a men’s retreat. 

All the attributes of a chivalrous man culminate in knighthood. There’s gravity in the “Sir” title, because he’s operating from a place of success and wisdom he has earned. This creates a humble confidence.  A chivalrous man doesn’t need to put on an act because chivalry abides in him.

True chivalry is not just an act, a motion, a step-by-step do-it-yourself. It’s about walking in an identity, and when you know your identity, you can finally be her knight in shining armor.

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One Response to 3 Steps To Becoming Her Knight In Shining Armor

  1. Gabriel June 21, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

    🙂

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