Sunday, January 14, 2018

Men of Valor

Hello, my dear friends. I have had something burning inside of me for weeks, and today - on this cold and snowy Sunday evening in January - I'd like to share my heart with you regarding a topic that seems all but dead:  chivalry.
Chivalry - men behaving courteously toward women.
While today we may not expect men to truly lay down their coats over mud puddles to protect the feet of lovely ladies, there is still a place for courtesy, respect, and gentlemanly kindness in 2018.
Thoughtful gestures such as opening doors for women back in yesteryear are still appreciated today.
Chivalry:  Men being brave and honest; having courage, enforcing justice, having a devotion to God; being generous, polite, kind; having a readiness to help the weak; being courteous and respectful toward women.
But chivalry goes far beyond just how men treat women. It's the way men treat everyone. Gentlemen never knowingly insult, demean or disrespect anyone, including women, and they live their lives with honor.
Chivalry is simply a choice - the choice to do the right things, for the right reasons, in the right ways, at the right times. Gentlemen should experience the internal joy and satisfaction of knowing that they have stood behind the right causes and embraced right principles not because anyone has told them to do so, but simply because they have chosen that path. Chivalry and gentlemanly behavior is a good thing, and it goes far beyond simply opening doors for women - it's an internal code of valor.
Valor:  Having boldness and determination when facing great danger; heroic courage; having the strength of mind and spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness; having personal bravery and strength. Valor is honor plus dignity - traits fit for a hero.
Let's bring back chivalry, decency, gentlemanly courtesy, and respect in 2018!
The year 2017 was turned upside down as the eyes of the world were transfixed on the online campaign of the #MeToo movement. Courageous women by the thousands came out of the woodwork and told their stories of sexual assault and harassment. Every day new stories were exposed. So many stories, in fact, that it seemed like every woman alive had somehow been affected - either directly or indirectly. It was hard to take. Nevertheless - keep telling your stories. While there may be some women who are embellishing the truth of their experience (and trust me, God is watching), by and large women are telling their stories because they want to know that they have a voice, that it matters, that they were hurt, and that they now want to be treated with respect. It's hard to admit, but almost every woman has a #MeToo story, including me (which will be told in a future post), and I want you to know that YOU matter. I'm sorry for the pain you endured, and I want you to know that God sees you and wants to heal you. The heartache that you suffered can be transformed into a beautiful testimony of grace.
And so today, in spite of the pain of the tragic stories of abuse that were being told in 2017, I'd like to offer a new campaign for 2018 . . . #MenOfValor. In a day when the reputations of men are suffering tremendously, we all know Men of Valor. In spite of the reckless behavior of some men who have acted inappropriately, there are thousands of men who are gentlemen - not perfect, but true Men Of Valor.
Men Of Valor are men who:
Love and honor God first and foremost.
Live their lives, privately and publicly, with honesty, integrity, and self-respect.
Honor, respect, and protect all women - starting in their own home.
Guard their eyes and control their hands with regard to the opposite sex.
Look at women's eyes when they talk, not their breasts.
Commit to loving their wife for a lifetime.
Love, protect and defend their daughters.
Teach their sons to live honorably, and encourage their male friends to live with respect.
Protect the innocence of children.
Are honest, humble, kind, brave, hard-working, responsible, and respectful.
Face challenges with integrity, humility, courage, and determination.
Are generous and help the needy.
Enforce justice and stand up for what is right, no matter what the cost.
Defend those who have been victims of abuse, and listen intently to their stories.
Do the right things, for the right reasons, in the right ways, at the right times.
Simply put, Men Of Valor have honor plus dignity.
I am well aware that this blog is read mostly by women. So here is my challenge to women of all ages and backgrounds:  Tell the stories of Men Of Valor that you know. Use #MenOfValor, and share/tweet your stories and pictures. This will give honor to men where honor is due and will inspire us all to do better! With all the ugliness going on in our world today, we need to recognize and talk about men of courage and dignity.
If you are a young girl, teenager, college-age, or woman of any age who has a tremendous father, grandfather, brother, uncle, or cousin who has loved and protected you for as long as you can remember . . . tell the story!
If you have a friend, or a boyfriend or fianc√© who loves and protects you, encourages you, and treats you with dignity and respect . . . tell the story!
If you are a married woman, newly married or in your golden years, and you have a wonderful husband who has loved, cherished, and protected you for as long as you've been together . . . tell the story!
If you have a supervisor/employer who is a man that honors, respects, and encourages you . . . tell the story!
If you are a single mama and have received help and protection from men who have also served as incredible role models for your children . . . tell the story!
If you are a mama of any age, or a grandmama who has sons and grandsons who are incredible men of honor, absolutely . . . tell the story!
My 4 sons:  Jason, Danny, Chris, and David. #MenOfValor
This is the future - Train them while they're young. #MenOfValor
Last but not least, and probably most importantly,
If you are a #MeToo survivor, have healed from the unfair abuses you suffered, and are now in a healthy relationship with a chivalrous gentleman who understands you and your past hurts, and stands by you in love and encouragement, by all means . . . tell the story!
I am also well aware that there are many men who read this blog, and many of you are humble, God-fearing gentlemen who are living your lives to the best of your ability as Men Of Valor. So here is my challenge to you:  Use #MenOfValor, and share/tweet your story! Please, don't feel like you're bragging - we need to hear from you! Your lives, and your stories, are encouraging and redeeming in a world that seems to be spiraling out of control and is anything but chivalrous.
If you are a man who lives as honorably as you can to respect and protect women of all ages, living in your home or not - whether it be your mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, wife, daughter, granddaughter, co-worker, neighbor, friend, please . . . tell your story!
If you are a man who at one time had a less-than-stellar reputation in how you treated people, including women - and maybe can see yourself as the abuser in a #MeToo story, but you have since turned your life around and now live with dignity, honor and respect, please . . . tell your story!
And maybe,
You know that you are currently not living an honorable life that you can be proud of, but today you would like to change direction and take the Men Of Valor challenge, that's awesome! Please . . . tell your story!
My deep desire in writing this blog is to bring encouragement and to be a light in a very dark and troubled world. We are a nation on a very slippery slope of ungodlike attitudes and behaviors - we need to change direction and return to old-fashioned morals and values. But how do we turn this ship around? One man, one woman, one family, one church, one community, one city, one state at a time. One choice at a time. We decide to live honorably, and then we do it. We need to repent and ask God to help us live our lives as an honor to Him and each other. Men and women need to equally respect each other. Women should enjoy being a woman and allow men to be gentlemen. Chivalry is still in high demand, and we should celebrate it every chance we get!
Men Of Valor, we applaud you! Thank you for the gracious way you live and how honored you make others feel. You are respected and appreciated.
Thank you so much for reading and for your support - I am forever grateful for your encouragement. As I have been telling the "pearl" stories of our family - including sons who are facing life's challenges and struggles and who are endeavoring to be Men Of Valor - I am excited to see and hear #MenOfValor stories from all over the world. Because chivalry is not dead! 2018 will be the year of mighty Men of Valor. We need you!
All my love,
May The Lord bless you and protect you.
May The Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May The Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.

Chivalry's not dead in 2018 - #MenOfValor

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Mom! I loved this blog post! It was honoring and so brave of you to launch a campaign that highlights and refocuses the attention on a truth that needs to be recognized more. Your delivery is full of grace and oozes a feeling of love and acceptance that is found in too few places in today's society. You are a trend setter and I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to be reared under your parental leadership. You taught me how to be the man I am today and encouraged me every step of the way. You praised me when I did things well and gently yet firmly refocused me when I needed guidance. Thank you for your devoted and unswerving devotion to me! My #MenofValor story is due in large part to you. I wouldn't be who I am today without you! I love you and I'm so proud of you!