I have two princesses . . . but I also am bringing up two knights in my home.
The Almighty King's kids are right under my nose . . . daily.
Raising royalty is kingdom work and I don't take my job lightly. A princess requires training if she is indeed going to bring the King joy and honor, but so does a knight. While they are both heirs to the kingdom, some of their training is different because God created them that way. No amount of feminism or modernism changes God economy or design.
Training my boys in chivalry is a daily effort that I believe will pay off. I know there are people who believe this is old-fashioned. We have critics of our newest book, A Royal Christmas to Remember, who would have liked the girls to rescue the boys. Some themes are timeless, as I believe our latest princess adventure is.
Here is a shocking quote, "Chivalry is dead!" Do you believe it? I don't, nor do I want it to be. I know my boys desire a challenge, whether physically or mentally. An instinctual quality God put in them is to protect, hunt and fight. My boys came out this way from my womb without an ounce of training.
What do I do with all this testosterone brewing in my home?
We train in righteousness, which can be the same as chivalry.
In the Middle Ages, chivalry how knights standards of behavior for their honored profession. Among other things, the code of chivalry emphasized bravery, honor, generosity, and courtesy to women. Boys glean these skills from watching other chivalrous men. But here are five ways moms can promote chivalry in their homes.
Teach your sons to:
1. Be ready to help.
My boys are strong and able. They have to use those muscles for something, right? I give them jobs that are hard and require them to flex their strength and height. I could do any of the jobs if I wanted, but why? My 6'1" son can carry more than me and reach higher than me. I let him know how much I appreciate his help, but I also remind and require them to be ready to help anyone at anytime wherever they are. This is how God made men. Let their gifts be a blessing to others because they are blessed to be a blessing.
2. Practice manners.
Truly, the act of gentlemaness is lost on this generation and with my own boys. The only way to redeem the goodness of etiquette and manners is to require it in the home. We still wait to eat before prayer at the dinner table. We put the napkin in our laps. We open doors for ladies. We keep elbows off the table. We don't talk with our mouths open. We have family conversations without phone. We offer our seat to ladies. And the list goes on . . . If we don't practice them in our home and as a family, they will never learn them in the world.
3. Be observant.
I don't think #1 and #2 can be achieved without being aware of what is happening around you. If boys don't see the help that is needed or the napkin on the table, then no amount of training will matter. Sometimes just reminding will help them be aware, but some day they will be out in the world without me. Who will remind them then? We have to be diligent to help them "see" the world around them - to notice the lost, the broken, and the helpless - because it is easy just to walk by. A knight is always there to be a help, but only if he can first assess the world around him.
4. Speak for those who cannot.
Being the knight in shining armor means you can stand up for people who are less fortunate or less able. Starting when they are young, I encourage my kids to stick up for kids being bullied or step in when unkind words are being said. Too many people in our culture sit by and watch things happen. I want my kids to speak out again injustice and cruelty. I believe, as they get older, they will fight against modern day slavery and slander. Teaching them young to be the change they want to see in the world is how we make a modern day knight.
5. Defer to girls and women.
I am training up someone's husband and dad. Yes, I am! When I look into my boys' faces, I know I am also training up the next generation. I need to teach them now how special women are and how to treat them more gently and with respect. I am grateful God has given me two girls to practice with, but even with a house full of brothers, I believe it still can be done. Letting girls go first, or giving the best piece of cake, or serving their sisters breakfast in bed occasionally, can lead to a greater sensitivity to the female kind.
I love our knights in our new Christmas book, A Royal Christmas to Remember, as they are fighting the "bad guys" and rescuing the princesses. For all of you with sons out there that listen in on the princess books with their sisters, your boys will love the new book. We wrote it with them in mind. We wanted to remind this generation of old-fashioned timeless values.
I am not looking to create Disney's Prince Charming, but on the contrary, I desire my sons to be like the greatest example of chivalry the world has ever known- Jesus. He was kind, brave, honoring, serving and loving. By requiring a code of conduct for my boys to live up to, I am giving them lessons to be more like Jesus.
And who doesn't want that for their sons?
~Jeanna Young - When Jeanna is not writing, speaking, event planning, or homeschooling, she can be found scrapbooking her life, redecorating her home, loving on her husband, planning fun events for her kids or eating healthy to stay cancer-free!