I take my job as a mother to all boys very seriously. It was the moment I realized that I was raising the men who would be taking care of someone else’s daughter that I realized just how important my job was. My life will be meaningful if my boys grow up to be ‘good’ men. Got me thinking … what does it mean to be a ‘good man’ these days? What does the 21st century “good man” look like? Is chivalry dead? In a lot of ways I think it is … but is it too late to bring it back?
1. the medieval knightly system with its religious, moral, and social code.
I love that … a religious, moral and social code.
Religious – I want my boys to believe is God and Jesus. I want them to want to attend church and to be the head of a christian home. Now let me say this … if they choose to leave the church, I will always love my boys. But I desire them to have the comfort, support and safety net of the Christian beliefs that I have grown into. I honestly do NOT know where I would be today if it weren’t for my faith in God, my fear of God and my hope in the promises God makes every morning.
Moral – You hear about all the horrible things that happen in this world. Rape, husbands beating up their wives, children hearing their parents call each other all kinds of horrible names, men who control all the money, women who cheat. I want my boys to know right from wrong in this corrupt world. I want it to matter to them that they live by a code. I want them to be rooted in a standard that holds them to a higher level than the role models television and media give them. I pray every day that God gives them the strength to withstand peer pressure – that God whispers to them each day which path they should take. I want them to know the important of being honest, loyal and to have integrity.
Social – is it too much for a man to hold open a door for a women? Now, don’t take me for a traditionalist … I have my feminist tendencies. I believe women and men were created equal. I do not think that women should bow down to men and that women should paid the same as men. But … BUT … there is a level of honor and respect when a man opens a door for a woman. I remember when I had plans to hang out with a friend … when he picked me up, he got out of his car, waited for me to lock up my house then, opened my car door for me. I felt special. I felt cherished. I felt protected. I want my boys to know how to make a woman feel that way. Because it’s their job to protect – not to control or boss around – but to protect the women in their lives. I don’t want them to be afraid to hold their girlfriend’s purse. In turn, I pray that they meet a girl that will honor and love them. That they will accept my boys’ protection as love and that they will cherish them in a way that only a girl can.
Jaden has struggled with the divorce … as can be expected. His anger gets the best of him. He struggles with understanding the change. I’ve lost sleep over worrying about Jaden losing a father figure in his life. But something amazing has been happening with that boy. Something deeply amazing. The other day, Jaden rushed to the door ahead of me. I was irritated because I had to reach and fumble to unlock the door. He opened it, stepped aside and said, “Ladies first, mama.” Then he rushed ahead of me again, and opened the porch door and said the same, “Ladies first, mama.” This continued with each door we walked through … the daycare door, the door to Logan and Weston’s class, then back out again. The little man even opened my car door. My heart was complete mush and I was beaming with pride.
I realized that how my boys treat other other people will forever be more important than any grade they bring home. It will matter more than the level that they read at – the multiplication tables they memorize. The way they treat women will matter more than any other grade they will ever receive. How they treat women will shape their family. It will direct whether or not their heart gets broken, it will affect the kind of woman they choose to be the mother of their children. Chivalry is so important … it’s something I still pray that God blesses me with … a man who holds doors open, a man who helps me with my coat, respects my role in this world as a woman, someone who raises me up on a pedestal … not because I demand it or even deserve it. But rather, he puts me there because he wants to – because he respects me and loves me. And in return, I will love and respect him.
To my fellow mamas of boys – teach them to be chivalrous. Teach them how to treat a lady. Let’s raise chivalry from the grave …