Beating Women… To The Door

5 Apr


Can we just take a moment to appreciate the humorously similar characteristics shared between Pastor Doug Wilson and the “Good Intentions Axe Murderer” meme? Seriously.

I promise, there’s a tie-in here somewhere.

Doug Wilson writes,

“We have lost the heart of masculinity, and all we had left over were the residual badges from the last cultural era that assigned them. As time went on, it became easier and easier to make fun of the badges as entirely capricious. Why should men take out the garbage? Ho ho ho…why can’t women open their own car doors? But when a man opens the car door for his wife, he is doing far more than just getting the door open…

…he is disciplining his own heart and soul, which need it, and he is honoring his wife, who is glorified by it. The role of a man here, if we may speak this way,is not just to get the door open. His central role is the liturgical act of saying that women everywhere should be held in honor by men, and that he adds his amen to  this, as everyone in the parking lot at Costco can now see.” (Father Hunger, pg. 45-46 – Advance Reader’s Copy)

…I told you there was a tie-in.

Put simply, Pastor Wilson is reminding us that the act of holding the door means far more than merely making it convenient for a lady to pass through without dirtying her white gloves. Men everywhere honor women by the simple act of opening the door for them, an act that says, “Although we may not even know each other, I honor and respect you.”

Clearly, honoring and respecting women everywhere is not limited to merely door opening. Holding the elevator, carrying a tray to the lunch room, taking out the garbage, etc., all can have similar sentiments embedded within them. Just recently I was picking up ice cream for my wife and I from a local ice cream parlor, and as I walked from my car I noticed a young woman struggling to carry her several bags of groceries up the icy walkway to her house. Ashamedly, I looked away and continued walking a few steps. But then something pricked my conscience. I turned, walked back and offered her a hand. She was clearly caught off guard, and politely refused. I offered again, assuring her that it was no trouble. She smiled meekly and agreed. After carrying her goods to her front door, I continued on my way.

Why is such a little gesture so seldom seen in our culture today? Why was it easier for me to initially walk away? And why was she so caught off guard?

Men, we are failing. As a culture, we are not holding the door open for chivalry anymore. We don’t make opportunities to honor women around us. We don’t seek them out, and we don’t take advantage of them enough when they are right before our eyes.

Would feminist “I-don’t-need-a-man” movements and egalitarian/complimentarian fights be lessened if men simply stepped up and acted like men by honoring and respecting women in everyday life? Would domestic abuse and the rampant addiction of pornography be lessened as men view women as gifts to be cherished? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Certainly the solution is greater than merely opening doors more often.

But could it be a start? Yes. I truly think it could be. Men, join with me in seeking out opportunities to honor and respect the women around us more intentionally on a daily basis. Women, join us in this endeavor by encouraging and thanking us when we do, and by playfully reminding us when we miss opportunities.

Reflection and Interaction: How have you experienced the decline in chivalry? What do you think has led to that?

-Joel Onyshuk


Joel Onyshuk is a worship leader and seminary student in the fourth year of pursuing his Masters of Divinity. Joel’s goal is to see others more passionately love God and others. Holding a degree in Psychology with a Marriage and Family emphasis, Joel is passionate about people and good relationships. Currently residing with his wife and son in the Twin Cities, Joel can be found frequenting coffee shops and taking every opportunity to play a competitive game of ultimate frisbee. He has a personal blog in addition to providing content for MoreThanABeard. For further interaction, please find him on Facebook, Twitter, or even dabbling on Pinterest (he has one of the top Christian Humor boards on the social network…if you’re into that stuff).

6 Responses to “Beating Women… To The Door”

  1. Bryan Logan April 5, 2013 at 08:28 #

    I think the feminist movement went on for a while, that a generation of men got raised without instruction on how to treat women. So not only do we need to be doing this, but we need to ensure we’re teaching (and demonstrating) this for our sons.

    • Joel Onyshuk April 5, 2013 at 09:52 #

      I totally agree. It is on the shoulders of Fathers everywhere to pass this stuff on to the next generation. Problem is, too many fathers aren’t stepping up in the world of divorces and bad marriages we live in today.

  2. Judithann Campbell April 5, 2013 at 17:22 #

    Thank you so much for addressing this issue!

  3. For the Love of God April 5, 2013 at 18:40 #

    Great post, Id have to agree that chivalry isnt dead! Its a matter of recognizing the young men that we dont parent, and that no one else is parenting either that need to raised up. Starts in our churches!

    • Joel Onyshuk April 5, 2013 at 22:52 #

      I think it starts at home! And it starts with parents! But the church is certainly helpful. Absolutely.

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