Even before I knew it by name, I have always believed chivalry to be very important. When I was a teenager, it was on my list of characteristics and qualities that I found particularly appealing in boys. This might sound crazy, but “yes,” I really did have a list, and I really did go over it with a pencil and check it off whenever a new boy caught my attention. This li st included everything from “is Catholic” and “has a relationship with God” to “likes kids,” “makes me laugh” and “my parents like him.” Seriously, close to the top of the list I wrote, “is chivalrous.”
In being on the watch for chivalry for so long, on e of the first things that attracted me to my future husband, Daniel, was that he was an almost perfect gentleman (I say “almost” because no one is perfect—but I happen to think my Daniel is pretty darn close). When Daniel was with me, I never found myself opening a car door or any other door. If his arms were empty, mine immediately were cleared of whatever they were carrying (except for my purse, of course—he wouldn’t carry that!). As the years went by, none of these chivalrous habits disappeared. Daniel wasn’t trying to impress me during our courtship. He’s just a gentleman, pure and simple.
Now that we’re married, there’s an even more meaningful way that Daniel has been able to be a gentleman for me. In our experience with Natural Family Planning, I can tell you that I feel so respected and well cared-for by my husband in a very big way. He would never treat my healthy body, working perfectly as God designed it, as though it was diseased and in n eed of being “fixed” just to be sexually more available to him at all times.
In addition, Daniel would never encourage me to put my health at risk. Many dangerous side effects result in using hormonal contraception. In fact, something is not quite right when people take a daily pill or wear a patch in order to prevent a healthy reproductive organ from working properly. Contraception is not the way to go and I have a wonderful, chivalrous gentleman who knows that!
This pretty much sums up what I’m getting at: one day over the summer, Daniel said to me, “I’m really glad that we don’t use contraception. I feel like that would really cause me to see you as more of an object. You don’t deserve that.”
That is my “knight in shining armor.” I’m so glad I put chivalry on my list!
This article was adapted from “Sarah’s Blog,” ForYourMarriage.org, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2009. It is used here with permission.