"Anyone can be heroic from time to time, but a gentleman is something you have to be all the time." Luigi Pirandello
Guys, this post is for you, and I'm not speaking only on my behalf, but that of so many godly girls desperately praying for you to rise up and stand out. For those guys already doing so, you have not gone unnoticed!! Even if we can't see you, your works aren't ignored by our Father who designed and loves chivalry- "Your labour in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:18)". Christ treats His church with the same love, respect, and devotion, and He expects nothing less from us towards each other. This is for the guys out there wondering, "What does and should a girl expect of me if I'm to pursue her as Christ pursues the Church?" Please know I'm not providing a formula of ANY sort or trying to be legalistic, but simply putting down some thoughts accumulated from so many girls I've talked to about writing this. Consider them.
Nothing is more attractive than a man in love with Jesus. You don't need to be 6'3, 210 lbs to be masculine in our eyes- all we ask is that you have a heart for the Lord, and are trusting His strength and wisdom to guide you every step of the way. A man who is trusting the Lord in that way and has a visible desire to serve Him is incredibly attractive. Our prayer is that you will be more in love with Jesus than with us.
We pray for you. Mind boggling to you, I'm sure, but we do. It doesn't matter if you're our brother, father, cousin, best friend, future husband, we pray for you. My main prayer for the godly men in my life is "for the Lord to strengthen, bless, and uphold them throughout their daily lives, for them to run wholeheartedly towards Christ, and pursue a life modeled after Him." I know that one day God will bring a man into my life who'll become my husband, and even though I don't know who he is, I pray for him every single day. My hope is that one day I'll get to see God's glory come full circle by discovering which prayers He answered and when.
Your words are held to high esteem. When you take the time to uplift, encourage, and inspire us towards Christ, it makes us want to move mountains! You encourage us to "press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Phil 3:14), and some days that encouragement is just the thing we need. We don't expect everything that comes out of your mouth to be all "C.S. Lewis", because let's get real- that's not everyone's gift, and we understand that! Sometimes all it takes is a, "Thank you for ____", or even, "Hey, I'm really proud of you." On the flip side, your words can tear us down in a second. Phrases such as "Shut up", "Get over here", "Hey thunder thighs"(oh yes, I've heard it) and other derogatory words, hurt us deeply even when you're joking. Be gentle with our hearts, please. Don't purposefully lead us on if you have no intentions beyond friendship with us, and if you do, make those intentions known. We love clear communication; it certainly makes life a little easier for everyone.
Manners still go a long way. There are some girls out there who don't appreciate men opening doors for them, offering their seat on the bus, paying, pulling out her chair for her, being on time, etc. Our only explanation is that we often feel bitter towards chivalry because we rarely see it anymore, so instead we've become cynical and doubtful. We love when you prove us wrong though! It speaks volumes about your character.
The little things count. This could be taking five minutes out of your day to call us just to see how we're doing, reminding us of things you like about us that we may not know, a big bear hug, quality time without cell phones/technology, random acts of kindness, even praying for us! If you're sitting there thinking, "I'm not creative though!!" or "Maybe if I had time..."- don't worry, all it takes is a genuine heart with sincere intentions. Promise. When you make the time to go out of your way for us, we notice and appreciate it more than words can explain.
I'm sure there are so many things I'm missing- trying to share girls' thoughts is like trying to count the drops of water in an ocean... only God knows the number. And I know there are many things you guys wish you could say to us. Girls are always asking each other, "What do you think he's thinking?!", so by all means, feel free to let us in sometimes. We're on equal playing ground in that no side is better than the other, and we're blessed to be able to hold each other accountable! I love what Paul says in Philippians 2:1-4,
"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."
All that is within me wants to believe that chivalry is not dead, that there are not only true gentlemen out there, but strong gentlemen of Christ devoted to His cause, yet all I see and hear is society screaming back, "Dream on." And dream I will.