Men need to stand up and lead their families, businesses, and communities with passion! It is time to fight for what’s right. Is chivalry dead? On Wikipedia, it says that during medieval times chivalry was associated with ideals of knightly virtues, honor and courtly love. However, it goes on to say that today chivalry is used to describe courteous behavior. Ugh! Have we really let such a powerful idea as chivalry be watered down to just politely opening doors? I say it is time to take a stand, to be men, and bring true chivalry back!
Imagine for a moment that we live in the times of knights that wore shining armor and rode valiant, white steeds. I am the king and you desire knighthood. I like this already! Knights were highly respected warriors. Becoming a knight was greatly desired because it brought honor and recognition to your family name. As a result, your family has been grooming you for knighthood since you very little. They started out teaching you manners and courtesy at a very early age. These are considered the most elementary and basic traits needed to ever hope to become a knight. Now, you have grown into a strong and brave young man. You come to the king and seek knighthood. How will he evaluate your worthiness? As king, he will want to know if you have demonstrated chivalry in all your actions. But, what is chivalry really? Let’s examine more closely each of the three ideals of chivalry so you will know exactly what the king is looking for in you.
As men hopeful to become knights, it is our responsibility to lead by example. The standard is very high! What virtues is the king inquiring about when he wants to know if we live with knightly virtues? He will inquire about things like courage, justice, temperance, generosity, and hope. Are we disciplining ourselves and cultivating this kind of behavior in ourselves and those around us? Men, the king wants to know if we have embraced the more manly virtues of knighthood. He asks, “What have you done to show that you are brave in battle, loyal to your king and God, and willing to sacrifice yourself for the greater good?“ What would be your answer? Is your life committed to a cause worth fighting for?
He would go on to ask, “Do you stand up for what’s right no matter the cost, do you avoid excesses in eat and drink, have you contributed to the welfare of the kingdom’s widows and orphans?” The king might bring in your friends, family members, and members of your community as witnesses. What would they say about the way you live your life? Would they have examples of your virtuous deeds to share with the king? Once the king was satisfied that you live with knightly virtues he would move on to evaluate your honor.
The king knows that honor is about reputation. It is about your integrity. He would want to know if the important people in your life trust you. Should they? Trustworthiness comes from doing the right thing in every situation. Trust is earned. The king would want to know if your actions have earned you the trust and respect of your brother warriors. He knows that a man is only as good as his word. The king would also ask your business associates, “When he shook on deals, did he always, without exception, stand behind his agreement?” He would want to know if your word is better than any legal contract. What would these people say about you?
The king would go on to question your wife and family. He knows that in order to become a knight and serve the kingdom well, that you must stand behind your promises. He would ask your wife, “Has he been 100% faithful in action and attitude?” The king knows the temptations that exist. For example, he knows that conservative estimates are that 60% of men have extramarital affairs. He would want to know if you stood behind your word in your wedding vows to forsake all others loving her in times of sickness and health, for richer or poorer, better or worse. He would ask your kids, “Does your dad keep his promises?” Are you there both physically and mentally when you promise to be? Do you make time to play with them when you say you will? The king would scrutinize the answers of everyone closely because he knows that honor and trustworthiness are critical to knighthood. Once the king was satisfied that you have met this qualification for knighthood, he would go on to evaluate the final ideal of chivalry.
At this point, the king would be satisfied that you have met the basic requirements of your marriage, but now he would take it one step further. The standards of knighthood are high and the king would want to know if you have demonstrated courtly love for your wife. He would want to know if you treat your woman as a true princess. He would assemble a court of your wife’s sisters, friends, and co-workers to help him evaluate you in this ideal. The king would ask them about your romantic reputation with your wife. He would want to know, “Does he still romance her like he did when they were courting?” He would ask them for specific examples of your feats of romantic love. He would want to know if you demonstrate to the world that she is your one and only? He would ask the ladies, “Does she brag about his romantic feats?” Do these other woman know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you would risk your life defending your wife against the fiercest fire-breathing dragon in all the kingdom? Would your love for your wife hold up to this level of scrutiny by the king? If so, then you may be ready for knighthood!
We have high ideals to live up to in order to be dubbed modern knights. It isn’t easy being a real man and living by the ideals of chivalry. However, the benefits are well worth it. If we choose this path, we will reap its rewards. I hope you are up to the task. Our families, businesses, and communities need some true knights. We need men that pursue the ideals of chivalry with their whole hearts. Ask your wife. I bet she would love you to be her knight in shining armor!
Are you a candidate for knighthood? If so, apply to the king by leaving a comment below!
Craig is the founder of LifeGuider, he is dedicated to improving not only himself but also others in being more physically fit and mentally capable of handling life’s challenges. He is not your regular life coach, no fancy clothes or fast cars, just a regular “Ole Joe” who has experienced the ups and downs of life like everyone else.