As a dad, I want my daughters to find their knight in shining armor. Someone who treats them like princesses. I want the guys they date to open their car doors, walk them to the front porch, and work hard at their job and career to support them. I want guys who will never even think of cheating on them, who will not look at pornography, who are worthy to get married in the temple, and who will live up to their temple covenants. I also want my son to be that knight in shining armor to the girls he dates and the one he marries.
In short, I want men to be chivalrous. In our day, chivalry in love is a cliché that’s misunderstood these days, where men pretend to be nice just to convince a girl to date/marry him.
So where did the idea of finding your knight in shining armor and chivalry really come from? Chivalry was a belief and practice of the knights of medieval times. It was a code of ethics and conduct upheld by the knights. A man who was to be called a knight had to abide by all of the rules that summed up the “knight’s code.” The knight’s code including honor, bravery, courteousness, and honesty. Chivalry was the honor code of the knight. Knights who live by the code of chivalry were to show self-control, respect to authority and to women, protect the innocent or those weaker or unarmed, they were never to attack an unarmed foe, attack from behind, or use a weapon on an opponent that was not equal to the attack. They were to administer justice, avoid cheating, lying and torture, and were expected to avenge the wronged. An important part of chivalry was to show respect and gallantry towards women. They would never abandon a friend or noble cause or betray them. They were to exhibit manners, avoid deception, keep one’s word of honor and die with valor.
Can you imagine if we taught our sons to live the knight’s code and our daughters to expect this from men? While you do not need to save your date from a fire-breathing dragon to prove your undying affections, the knight’s code in our modern day remains the same as it did in medieval times. The modern day knight’s code includes giving flowers, holding open doors, ensuring that a woman feels safe, respecting a woman, and assisting her in her time of need. Hold your lady’s hand, guide her by placing your palm on her back while crossing the street, allow her to walk on the curb side of the street, listen to her smallest needs and help her or assist her the way she would like. These are just a few knightly ways by which you can let her know how much she means to you.
In our modern day, a lady craves for the same knight’s code that draws her to her knight in shining armor. When you place your woman’s feelings and opinions above all others in every aspect when she’s around you, it’s nothing but understanding chivalry.
This is what I want for my sons and daughters. It is up to us as parents to teach our sons to abide by the knight’s code and daughters to only accept men that abide by this code. While this seems like an “old-fashioned” idea, I was reminded of the idea of chivalry while watching the show Old-Fashioned with my wife for our weekly date night (thanks to our Pureflix subscription).
While we are not going to change the world overnight, we have a great power and responsibility as parents to set an example for our kids of the knight’s code so that they know how to live by it as they grow up and find/become a knight in shining armor.