Why do we want chivalry?

I found myself, as I did my daily tumblr check up, seeing photos from a particular television series, wondering why it is exactly that there is a longing in every girl’s heart for those days when men were men and chivalry was not so hard to find.

It does seem odd, doesn’t it? That girls wish themselves back in the 1800’s or before when those times were hard for women. Women’s rights were non existent, you very often had to marry for money not love, and all in all, you were the lower of sexes. And, it isn’t just because of characters like Mr. Darcy and Gilbert Blythe that women wish they lived in those days, though I can’t deny the draw of those two characters, but there is something else that is drawing them towards that time period.

I can only speak for myself, because every woman is so different and unique in their heart’s desires. So, personally, I will explain why I like and long for a chivalrous man.

It’s not the fashion that draws me to the 1800’s, nor the balls and carriages. I enjoy driving a car and honestly would prefer to stay home and watch netflix most nights. But, as I scrolled through pictures of a character from When Calls the Heart, I couldn’t help but wish in my heart that I could find someone like him. Daniel Lissing’s character is polite, strong, heroic, patient, loving, and much much more. I know he sounds perfect, right? And no one is perfect! But, it’s not perfection that I want.

What I desire and I honestly believe God intended it this way, is a purity of some sorts. I am a very strong independent woman who knows what she wants and I do believe I could never marry anyone and I would be okay on my own. Despite my independent woman feelings and views, I long for a man who can LEAD me, who can be the head of the house. God made men that way, he made it so women desire protection and love, and thus a man’s strong guidance. Unfortunately, this world as twisted that into something bad. Letting the man be the head of the house means that you, as a woman, are giving up your identity, you are allowing the man to control your life, you are less of a person. This is not true! And the 1800’s exemplifies this!

The men of those times were considered the heads of the family, this was a given, no question about that. Just because they were the strong ones, the leader, the head, didn’t mean that the woman was less of a person (granted sometimes I know it did, but that is not the point to this post). Being the leader meant this for a man: He gently and respectfully pursued a woman that he knew he was interested in marrying. OH MY GOODNESS! I know… crazy, right? Before a man made a move, he had to truly figure out if he wanted to marry the woman or not. He made sure his feelings and intentions were true and pure. Man oh man could we use more of that today. So many men awaken feelings in a woman only to turn around and walk away. Being the leader meant this for a man: He considered how his actions affected her and his reputations. You didn’t just make out on the spot, or go over to the girl’s house and not come home until morning without a second thought. You would think through your actions. If I kiss you, am I going to hurt you in any way, emotionally, socially, physically, etc. Men these days could certainly learn from that, think over things before you do them.  Being the leader meant this for a man: you protected and provided for her, as well as appreciated her part in your marriage. In some circumstances, I believe women back then were more equals in a marriage than they are. Divorce rates are so high because I believe both sides of a marriage forget they are in a partnership. Man and wife should share each other’s burdens, should discuss all BIG decisions. The man should be the provider, should make the house a safe place, and yes, a woman is the nurturer of the house. It’s okay for the wife to cook, but not okay for her to cook without gratitude. The man would work hard to provide for his family and that is why a wife was not upset and bitter about providing him a meal in thanks.

I could keep going, but my point is… chivalry is underrated. The world thinks women like chivalry because of a bunch of fictional characters from Austen novels. But, it’s a little more complex than that. We simply desire leadership, respect, thoughtfulness,  and a kind heart.

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