If I have yet to share this sappiness before, let me say it now, Hubby and I were high school sweethearts.*
*I promise, there is a point to reminding you of this.
And here it is. The Christian high school we attended required chapel attendance every Thursday. During one of these chapels, the pastor preached a message where he referred to chivalry in men. What the overall point of his message was--I shamefully would not be able to tell you today--but he made a major point of saying that men of all ages should still be in the habit of opening doors for women and doing chivalrous things of that sort. He told us how he always opens the car door for his wife and challenged the 'men' in the room to do the same.
As I sat in my seat, separated from my love by grade level (he was a senior, I was a junior) I thought, That is really sweet. No one will ever do it though, especially none of the boys in this school. I gave it no further consideration until my boyfriend came up to me after and said, "I want to start doing that."
There hasn't been a day since that message was preached that my boyfriend, fiance, and now husband has not opened a door for me.
Ordinarily, I would find this not to be an earth shattering-news worthy-go tell your momma ordeal. However, over the past twelve years of doors being opened for me, I have realized that chivalry truly is endangered. Most would imagine that it should be a natural habit for men to open doors to buildings for women. However, the number of arrogant men out there who don't even recognize their shadow following them into the building, let alone the woman standing behind them, is appalling.
I truly realized that chivalry is near dead by the number of comments we have received over the years when my husband has opened my car door for me. Initially, I tried to fight it. I know spoiled when I see it, and having my car door opened for me made me feel extremely spoiled. He made it clear to me early on that this was not something I could fight him on. He was going to open my car door for me--all the time.
We have experienced continuous comments from people of all ages during the years we have been together over this simple act of opening a car door. It has ranged from hopeless romantic teenage girls cooing out, “Aww, how sweet!” to older gentlemen commenting that “you don’t see that too often”.
I saw the lengths this strive for chivalry had covered when I observed my younger brother carrying on this same habit that my husband began back at the age of seventeen. When I commented on it, Joel basically shrugged his shoulders as if what he was doing was purely natural. He went on to say the he was merely following after his role model.
I'm sure most pastors never know the impact their messages have, especially when their audience is a crowd of hormonal teenagers who can barely see past the end of their noses. Fortunately for me, one day back in 2002 a teenage boy listened to the heart of the message and has carried it with him and even made his own impact on others simply because he chose to listen.
*Note: I realize these are not car doors that I've pictured. I've made peace with it, I hope you will, too.