I once heard someone say that the American culture is losing sight of its moral ethical compass. Sad to say, I believe they are correct. For example, what used to be wrong in our culture some 50-plus years ago is now considered to be right, and the respect we used to have for each other is now obsolete. The kindness one had for their neighbor and the compassion we should have for each other are looked at as signs of weakness. Our hearts have grown cold towards one another because we have become more self centered overall as a culture.
Now, this word chivalry is interesting because it is used to describe the qualities of a knight. Here is what we know about a knight:
1. In Europe in the Middle Ages, a man, usually of noble birth, who after an apprenticeship as page and squire was raised to honorable military rank and bound to chivalrous conduct.
2. A man upon whom the nonhereditary dignity of knighthood is conferred by a sovereign because of personal merit or for services rendered to the country. In Great Britain he holds the rank next below that of a baronet, and the title Sir is prefixed to the name, as in Sir John Smith.
Now the word chivalry means: The combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak.
One would say that these qualities should be common nature, especially amongst men, right? Well, it is not common, because many of the men we take our lead from in this culture do not reflect these traits. Many actors in TV shows and movies, sports figures, politicians and even spiritual leaders are in the position to influence our society negatively or positively. With their platform, these cultural figures can actually lead an army of men in being “knights in shining armor”.
I believe there is a solution for the issue of chivalry being seemingly dead in our culture, but it starts with the body of Christ. We have been chosen to REpresent Christ in a culture that has been REpresenting evil and selfish ambition since the beginning of mankind. I also believe this mission starts with the men. Since God created man first, and gave us work to do, it is our job to lead our culture for His glory. The scripture says it like this in Genesis 2:15 & 19-20 (NIV)
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals….”
Wow, these verses sound like “men” had a purpose, which was the responsibility to set the tone of how earth would function from the beginning of creation. Unfortunately, we are not always aware of our purpose here on earth. We’ve seen so many men strive for power, but haven’t seen many of them strive to use that power for the betterment of our world. We have seen power used to build up self, and the selfish model is to get all you can, can all you get, and then sit on the can! Men, our purpose is not to fulfill all of our own personal desires (although God does care about our desires), but our purpose is for our desires to line up with His.
The point that I am trying to make is, our culture needs a shot of good ole Biblical ethics and morals, which need to be carried out by the ones who are submitted to, and defined by the Bible.
Colossians 3:12-17 (NLT) says:
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”
As Christians, especially as Christian men, we have a beautiful responsibility to make earth look like heaven. It may seem like it’s hard to do in a world that is so self centered, but with Christ living inside of us, ALL things are possible. Chivalry may be dead in the culture but it isn’t dead in the kingdom of God. So let’s be kingdom representatives and be the light of the world, leading a nation back to the chivalric heart of Jesus.