mere Chivalry.

Written & read by Melanie. A special thank you to Howard Shore and Harry Gregson-Williams for graciously allowing The Last Gen to use your music ;)

Hi, welcome to The Last Gen. I’m Melanie, just a random single woman navigating out there in the world in the year 2022, and right now it is a very quiet for me. I might as well be on a desolate planet because I am clearing the noise and just listening to God. It’s currently a Friday night and although I’m in my prime and social pressures tell me that I should be out, I’m at home, bundled up with a cup of tea, a candle, my bible, and I’m really just quite happy to be right here at this very moment and with you; wherever you may be out there in the world. I hear God speaking to me more than ever and for the first time, I am obeying everything He tells me. To be frank, I’m deathly scared to date again and all I hear from God now is to wait. I’m an LA California girl and time is of the essence. I’m 33, my eggs are frying up, and because of this I’ve never taken an intentional time away from dating, but at this very delicate point in my life, I have no desire to seek anyone but Jesus. God has told me that the man He has for me cannot be found on a dating app and will not be found if I go looking for him. Every day I pray for my future husband and my future children. I know that the man God has for me is out there in the world right now and that God is working on his eyes as he is working on mine.

In the past on The Last Gen, we or I have written some incredibly epic tragic dating stories about men who have fallen short, but I wrote them because I was hurt and I was in my flesh. Although I’m proud of my literary works and my many fairytale adaptions written into modern-day metaphorical op-eds, I thought writing these stories would be a way to release and let go of the men that had hurt me. And in many ways, it did help me let go of them as I created art from my pain, but the thing is I was never able to let go of the actual pain. The pain always builds and it’s passed on to the next guy until it all comes tumbling down. My best friend has nailed it into me that I must guard my heart, and every time that I think that I have, it’s revealed that I did not guard it well enough. But today is a new day, and I am in a completely different season in life as Jesus is sitting right next to me leading the words that I write. He has always been sitting next to me, it’s just my eyes were closed and I couldn’t distinguish between His words and the enemy’s. For the past few months, I’ve felt hurt after opening up to someone who wasn’t the One, he was a counterfeit Adam, and I hope by the end of this chronicle, I can move on and find forgiveness and love for myself. I pray this piece of my soul will not only be a light for women in the dark, but also be something my future husband would be so proud to read.

Lord, I pray that you cover these words that I write below and that my words embody the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, you are welcome here at The Last Gen.

To begin, the title of this chronicle is Mere Chivalry. 

Once upon a time, in a LaLa Land far far away, I dated a lot of frogs 🐸 disguised as princes 👑. At the end of each failed dating experience I’ve had with yet another man that I give more credit to than he deserves, I blame myself for everything and I mean everything. I go over every single moment and find that it was all my fault and if only I hadn’t given so much of myself – then he’d still want me. But I am not a woman of games, never have been and never will be. It always ends with me feeling as if I wasn’t enough for someone. Although I always find out the truth about the men I date, I have finally absorbed the message God was trying to send me all along – which is to WAIT. Wait on everything. God has told me that if I do not wait, it will delay the process of the plan He has for me. When it comes to finding my husband, I have to wait and watch God’s plans all unfold before me. I have to stand still and for the first time, I have to let a man be a man instead of trying to pick up the slack where he is lacking. I have to wait to see if the frog turns into a prince on his own instead of kissing him trying to magically turn him into one. Like many women, I tend to settle for less, when God has always promised me more in a man and thus I play myself. I break my own heart by making these counterfeit men more important to me than I am to them.

This is embarrassing to admit, but if there are three things I pride myself most on it’s that I’m the bravest person I know, my moral code is no joke that of a knight in shining armor, and  I’m the most chivalrous woman you will ever meet. Growing up I never had a man in my life, so I had to learn to be the man in my life. Literally, I can fix and build anything with my hands, I can handle a household from chores to finances, and I will ferociously protect anyone and everyone I love. So back to the embarrassing stuff. When I know that I deserve to be treated better by a man and he doesn’t do the simple things that I wish he would do, I almost always step in and be the better man. Call me old-fashioned (because I am), but I am not an alpha female by any means, but because I want to feel special to someone, I try to make the person I’m dating feel extra special in hopes that he’ll see me for me. I used to wish to be a princess but I am in no means a princess either. I’m just a goose who dreams of being a swan. So here we go, with the embarrassing stuff 🙈. I’ve bought guys flowers, I’ve written them letters, I’ve been the first to call when they should be calling, I’ve been the one to plan everything, I’ve been a woman of my word, I’ve been a protector and a provider for men, I’ve held men as they cry when they couldn’t do the same for me, I’ve paid for dinners, I’ve traveled across the world for several men (all at my own monetary expense), and I’ve been more chivalrous to each man than all then men combined that I’ve dated. It’s not only embarrassing, but it’s quite pathetic on both ends. It’s pathetic that I’d go so far for men who can’t exult even a fraction of my actions and it’s pathetic that any man would even let me do any of these things for them before showing me the same. It truly takes two.

Beautiful woman chasing boring dude on a horse

Again, God has told me to wait. There are a handful of good women out there as there are of good men and I am one of them. The problem with being me and showing all my cards at once, which I tend to do because I enter each relationship with an open heart, is seldom have I have ever seen a guy lay it all down for me to see – in fact usually when he finally flips his cards, they’re all jokers and the joke is on me… I was dealing Queens to a bluffer. There was a point in my life when men would show and actually tell me they were no good from the start, but I’d ignore it and I’d pretend they were better because I hold others to such a high standard. I believe in the good in people, and it always shocks me when I realize most don’t have an honest heart like mine. Now that I’ve learned to cut these men out of my life almost immediately, the enemy is getting more and more cunning with the men he is throwing my way. 

This last one, I could have sworn he was sent from God. In fact, I told my friends and my family I met a man of God, but recently and finally, the cards were all flipped and it was the enemy up to his same old tricks. I had a lot more written here, but I asked the Lord if it was fruitful and it wasn’t. We’re not airing out our dirty laundry here again on The Last Gen, as it’s my beautiful safe space of mercy – and I do forgive the men that I’ve dated. So all I will say is during my hardest of times in this season of loss that I’m in, the enemy sent me something to disrupt my faith and time of healing. When there is chaos and confusion, it is not from God, period. I’m grateful God protected me from things going further.

In the book Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, he wrote about the simplicity of what it means to be Christain and how nonbelievers will use the word Christian in a refined sense to give the word a meaning that fits their agenda. For example, I’ve met so many men who put “Christian” on their dating app profiles, but when I ask them if they follow Jesus they say, “I’m not religious and I’m not sure about the bible, but I believe in God.” That is not a Christian man, nor is he a true believer. There is a wicked arrogance in how we’ve refined the meaning of words. I acknowledge in the past I have been a hypocrite at my own game, and jokingly I’ve always admitted my hypocrisy, but that game now is over.

At the beginning of C.S. Lewis’s book, he gives an antidote to the point he is trying to make by explaining the word “gentleman,” which originally signified the physical belongings of a man. It simply meant a man who obtained a coat of arms and who owned land or property. It was not an insult to say, “He is not a gentleman” any more than saying “He doesn’t own a home.” But somewhere down the road people refined the word to mean something that portrayed the behavior of man. Now a gentleman needs not to own a coat of arms or land, but rather he must be honorable, brave, and good to women (and maybe his mother). These meanings are completely different from each other. The purpose of the word gentleman is spoiled and rendered meaningless as we already had words to describe honor and bravery. Lewis wrote, “When a word ceases to be a term of description and becomes merely a term of praise, it no longer tells you facets about the object: it only tells you about the speaker’s attitude toward that object.”

girl who can help herself

You know what other word is spoiled by man? Chivalry. “Oh but he bought me dinner and opened my door, he was so chivalrous. I think he’s the One.” she doted. Nowadays when a man opens a woman’s door, to put it bluntly, he later expects her to be his whore.

your typical LA two week situationship

I’ve dated a lot of men and I don’t think there isn’t one man who hasn’t said to me “Chivalry isn’t dead” by the second date. It actually makes me sick every time a guy says this because I always give him the benefit of the doubt that he will be different from the others. I always think, this one is special and don’t spoil him because of what the others have done. But I’ve had to learn the hard way, most men today are only chivalrous when it’s convenient for them. Ladies, I want you to know that the right man, your Knight, will already be kneeling to God before he kneels to you in honor. If he hasn’t done this, he is not for you, at least right not right now.

The Accolade by Edmund Blair Leighton, 1900s

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” – 1 Peter 3:7

So, what does it even mean to be chivalrous? Associated with the medieval Christian institution of knighthood, in the 1100s – it was an informal code of conduct for knight’s and gentleman’s behaviors. It meant that knights, men of title and noble class, and horsemen were to uphold a social code of the warrior ethos, courtly manners, and adhere to a quality of religion. It was a combination of knightly honor and noble class. Popularized in medieval literature, the ideals of chivalry became legendary in the magnificent and magical story of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table.

Christianity modified chivalry into knights not only protecting weaker members of society but that they also maintained peace within the church. In the bibliograph works of King Arthur, also known as Arthurian literature, also known as the time of the most romantic and savage literature ever written – Christian knighthood entailed a knight’s sword being blessed and a bath of chivalric purification. The code of chivalry was a way of life to live by honor to please God.

With all that said, what is chivalry in the age of text messaging, Instagram, and swipe culture? Today it seems more women are fighting off dragons than men. Chivalry today means to open a woman’s door on the first few dates, to buy her dinner a couple of times, and then to call her back when you feel like it. Chivalry today always starts with a man saying, “Chivalry isn’t dead.” Today, a man will tell a woman he honors her, but when he’s not with her he’ll communicate with ungodly jezebels on Instagram and render how the woman he is courting would feel about it as meaningless. Today a man will say anything and do everything he can to enter a woman’s home only to disrespect her once he gets inside. Today on dating apps, a man will write that he is a seeker of truth, a lover of others and say that he will only marry a woman who goes to church, but then lie about even the simplest of superficial things like his age, his height, and his background. These things don’t matter, but if you lie from the start, then it will all be a lie because how can you trust someone if they can’t even tell the truth about the smallest of things. Whether it be culture, religion, physical attributes, or money – a man will have requirements for what he wants in a future wife, but still date women outside of those requirements knowing he will never marry her, but rather dishonor her until he finds someone else to honor. What was once a code of conduct is now nothing but smoke and mirrors.

There is a law that is thought to be known by everyone, a law that does not need to be taught because instinctually all humans know this law like all animals have natural instincts. The human idea behind this law is that decent behavior is obvious to everyone, that unlike animals, humans have morality ingrained in them. This law is called the Law of Nature, the law of right and wrong. Today the meaning of the Law of Nature has been refined to knowing the laws of gravity and physics, but the true meaning comes from human nature. 

This decree got me thinking about chivalry. Isn’t it instinctual to know how to treat a woman? Isn’t it instinctual to know what is right and wrong when it comes to how to conduct yourself when no one is watching? Unfortunately today, nothing is private and everyone is watching and although something like Instagram can poison the well and ruin someone – it can also reveal who someone is at their core. I once wrote an article here on The Last Gen about how to get to know someone without getting to know someone, and I theorized you can learn a lot by looking at who someone follows and what photos they like on Instagram. You can call this stalking, but if someone intentionally set’s their profile is public then then that’s an open invitation to look. Social media has become our second home and all homes have closets. There are two types of men in 2022 – the ones that inside the core of them truly have no interest in perversions and attention and then the ones who at the core of them are addicted to the darkness, they just can’t look way. They are the ones who momentarily stop dabbling in the night when they meet a wholesome gal, but go right back to it when she’s gone. The spirit they obtain is a hard one to shake. We live in a time where you have the choice to access everything and anything at your fingertips and true chivalry today is how a man upholds a woman’s honor and virtues when he thinks no one is watching. True chivalry today isn’t how many times a man can open your door, but rather how many times he turns the other cheek to what pops up on his phone. The battlefield is no longer fought with a sword and a horse, but rather with the swipe of your finger. So ladies, chivalry isn’t that hard. We’ve set the standard quite low. True chivalry is not when a man buys you dinner and tells that you’re beautiful, but rather a man who gently checks in with a woman’s spirit make sure she is comfortable and okay. Today a man can get your door, but not call you back after intimacy. What was the point of even getting the door? All that proves is that a man opened those doors for one reason only.

I evaluated who I am as a chivalrous woman and I realized that although I am broken and in a million pieces at the moment, I conduct my life as if I already have met my husband. The core of me has no interest in nightly desires and acts of the flesh, except for a really good dinner and the occasional night cruise along the pacific coast. I have this rule, no men are allowed in my home unless they are my closest friends and recently I broke that rule and had to learn a very hard lesson. Letting a man into your home is a right of passage. I did not honor my virtues and thus this man did not either. God had already told me to keep men out, but I trusted a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I did not wait for him to show me all his cards first. What God really recently told me was the hardest truth of all and it was I cannot sleep with a man until marriage. I am not one to sleep around, I’ve never had it in my being to do that, but every time I even get a little intimate with a man, immediately the relationship ends. I never knew what God was saying until now and it was to wait. The right man, a true man of God, will come to me and all I have to do is wait, honor myself, and prepare for the future. If a man cannot wait for me and until marriage, then I’ll have my answer. It’s much easier to cut that cord from the start when you already know what his intentions are. This isn’t an easy commitment, but at this point in my life, the thought of being with someone that isn’t my future husband makes me feel ill. I hear God loud and clear, and I cannot disobey him. I feel joy knowing that God has washed me clean and relief in not having soul ties.

a girl can dream

In the Book of Ruth, it tells a story of a Moabite widow named Ruth who gives herself to God. After her husband dies, she dedicates her life to the Lord and her mother-in-law, Naomi. Naomi tries to get her to leave and move on, but instead, Ruth promises to take care of Naomi and devoutly follows her to Bethlehem. At the beginning of the barley harvest, to support her mother-in-law and herself, Ruth goes to a field and works by reaping crops and collecting them by hand. As it happened, the field she worked in belonged to a man named Boaz. Because he had heard of her loyalty to her mother-in-law, he took notice of her and was very kind to her. Ruth continued to work hard in the field until the end of the harvest and after Boaz tells Ruth’s mother-in-law that he will marry her. It explains in Ruth 3:4 that, that night Naomi tells Ruth to go to the floor where Boaz sleeps. She says, “uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what you are to do.” Ruth does so and when Boaz asks who she is, she explained, “I am your handmaid Ruth. Spread your robe over your handmaid, for you are a redeeming kinsman” Boaz blessed her and treated her with respect at his bed as she kneeled to him. He said to her, “all the elders of my town know what a fine woman you are.” Boaz settled her family debts and he married Ruth. The moral to his story is that Ruth didn’t look for her husband, she was a good woman and she worked in the field and a man who was already established in his field came to Ruth. She did not chase him and when her mother-in-law told her what to do and to wait for Boaz to react, Ruth trusted and obeyed. Boaz was a good man and because he honored her at the foot of his bed, they were worthy to marry each other in a holy union. Boaz righteous ruled over Ruth when he could have done anything he wanted as she was in a very vulnerable position. This is chivalry, this is how a man should treat a woman from day one. 

There is another story in the bible about Hosea and Gomer, the prophet and the prostitute. Even with Gomer’s sins, Hosea tries to make an honest woman of her by marrying her. He didn’t look at her Instagram and like her butt photos because she wanted attention – but rather he tried to cover her up. This is chivalry.

In the Book of Esther, Esther had to go through a six-month preparation period before she was even allowed to meet King Xerxes, whom she ended up marrying. She had to go through a purification process by using the oil of myrrh for six months and sweet odours for six months before becoming a queen. She had to wait.

God prepared a place in a man’s life for both Ruth and Esther in the fullness of time – just as when Chronos meets Kairos (earthly time meets heavenly time). He had a plan for these women, but they had to wait to see if these men fully wanted them. There was no chaos or confusion about these unions because they were of God. These women didn’t chase these men by writing them love letters and bringing them flowers, nor did they ask these men why they aren’t paying attention to them or ask them to talk about their feelings. All these women did was wait and watch God’s plans unravel before their eyes. So in this new fruitful season of my life, I am going to listen and obey God and wait. My kingdom will come, as God’s will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

So the verdict is out, is chivalry dead? As stated before, I’m a hopeful romantic and my eyes are opening. I am growing and unlike before with every man I meet I can see the weeds sprouting up below me. Before I was still in the earth, in the dark, unable to see what was happening all around, but I am blossoming. I know chivalry isn’t dead because I am chivalrous and I have met good men, they just weren’t who God has for me. Something that wasn’t revealed to me until this past couple of years is that I’m blessed with a good family and every day right now God uses my family and friends to show and tell me how a man should and will love me one day.

So ladies, you need not to worry. Work in your field, do what you love, find out who you are, and in the fullness of time God will bring you your Adam. For all the women out there who are praying for a husband, listen to God. Dating apps can be wonderful but listen to God to tell you when it’s time to use them. Don’t unconsciously swipe because you are what you do. I must thank my best friend here, who has rebuked me again and again when I do not listen to God, when I have wishful thinking that a man is from God when he is not. Keep your eyes open and guard your heart. In a world where closets now exist in the palm of your hands, protect your peace and close those doors of darkness. All those men in the past, God blocked for a reason. The enemy hates marriage and especially of two believers, so you must be armed and ready for the spiritual warfare when you do meet him. Qualify a man by the Fruits of the Holy Spirit and you will know. 

Chivalry is not dead. Treat yourself like a princess and know your happily ever after starts with the grace you give yourself, only God can save you in the dark.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

-Ephesians 5:25

To my future husband, I will wait for You. 

King Arthur and his forever & ever after Lover

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God bless you.

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