acts of chivalry

10 Acts a Chivalrous Husband Does for His Wife

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When thinking about acts of chivalry, medieval moral codes and norms may come to mind. Some might think it is an archaic notion that has long since faded away. It actually makes me think of the Marines. If you have ever observed a Marine flag-folding ceremony, you will notice a few things. The general attitude towards the flag is one of reverence, tenderness, and respect. There is a clear desire to defend it from harm. You can tell it is more than fabric to them. It represents something of significant value.

Significantly more than a flag, the women in our lives are human beings and should be treated with honor, dignity, and a level of protection. [Tweet This] This attitude is at the core of chivalry and should be displayed particularly towards our wives. Here are 10 acts a chivalrous husband does for his wife.

1. He always thinks of her first.

It’s human nature to think of ourselves first. Putting someone else is a choice. It takes strong and consistent decision making to be selfless. Make that decision every morning as you start the day.

2. He opens all doors.

Yes, the car door thing is cliché. But it – and every door – is such a good opportunity to let both our wife and the entire world know how you honor her.

3. He holds her hand.

Just holding your wife’s hand with no ulterior motive lets her know she’s deeply connected to you and that you prize her affection. It signals warmth and protection. And that she’s the only one for you.

4. He walks on the street side of the sidewalk.

This action has its roots in shielding women from the mud and the splash. However, splash or no splash, it’s a posture that says, “I will protect you. I place myself between you and danger.” Simply moving around to that side is a huge statement of respect.

5. He gets soaked fetching an umbrella.

Again, it’s the principle of the action. You get the car, you run around in the rain and open the door, and you shield her with the umbrella. This kind of initiative is a way of life, not a novelty action.

6. He coaches his children in self-giving love.

Don’t let it stop with you. Teach your children, especially your sons, to look out for their mother and to put her first. When they see it in you and practice it in their own lives, kindness will heal your family.

7. He serves her coffee or tea in bed in the morning.

Don’t ride in on the horse, but do serve her in this way as much as possible. And when the whole family eats together, everyone waits to take a bite of food until mom lifts her spoon. It’s a way to honor her sacrifice of preparing the meal.

8. He is always courteous.

Many men are unchivalrous in the way they put themselves first and fail to think of the needs of their wives. Say please and thank you. Do not raise your voice. Turn off the distractions when you eat together. she’s more important than answering the phone. Make it obvious that the relationship is primary. Believe us, courtesy sets the tone and it is always reciprocated.

9. He washes her car first.

It’s the little things. Did you offer her the last cookie? When you poured yourself a glass of water, did you offer her one too? Did it occur to you to wash her car when you spent all afternoon spiffing up yours?

10. He stands up and takes the heat.

Does she know you “have her back?” Was the repair guy surly when she talked with him on the phone? Is she getting the runaround trying to sort out the insurance claim? Was the waiter at the restaurant or the clerk at the store out of line? We’re not suggesting you go Rambo on these people, but consider stepping up and saying, “Excuse me, but it’s unacceptable for you to talk to my wife that way.” But leave the shield, the lance, and the sword in the car.

Sound Off

What acts of chivalry do your wife most appreciate?

  • Trent

    White knight behavior can cause victimhood. The whole problem with this list is that is creating an unequal partnership. She is more special than you is what I get. I do think some of these things are nice gestures to do but constantly honoring your spouse as the author states indicates shows that she is better more deserving. I wouldn’t teach my children to put their mom first. I will teach them to respect their mom, putting her 1st again seems unequal.

    • Sean

      The fact that your stuck on the word equal shows that you have missed the whole point and may need to freshen up on your bible. Christ clearly states
      that we are to put others before ourselves and to love our wives as He did the church(body of believers not the building). With that said it is not only our honor but our duty and privilege to put our wives first. There are few things more honoring to God then to put others before ourselves especially our wives. It’s what he did for us and wants us to do for others.

      • Trent

        Jesus wasn’t married.

        • Jaramia Becker

          I think you have missed the point. I don’t see how you read this article and feel you have to be concerned for equality. These are very small gestures and all are easy to do. However easy, they are very important. If these make you or your wife feel unequal, you may want to look deeper for other problems in yourself or your marriage. I hope you can find the true value in this process some day.

          • Trent

            I never said don’t do those things.

          • Luvmyfam4

            I debated with myself on if I should chime in. I think I might understand where you’re coming from, but if you could humor me, I’d like to offer a different way of looking at this article. I believe that this article is only half the story and probably not meant to be an only resource for marital tips. I agree that as a wife, being treated the ways that are stated in this article, really do make me feel special to my husband. In turn, those things he does for me, boosts my self-esteem, allows me to feel the importance of my job as a stay at home mom, and the fruit keeps on giving from there. With that said, though, I think this type of respect and kindness is important for any relationship on all sides. In my opinion, the key is to how the other person best recieves this display of love and affection. This article, in my thinking, is not stating that this is the only way to making a marriage work (although the title under the heading “Marriage Tips” may be a bit deceiving?). I see these as tips for how a husband can love on his wife in a way that she would be receptive. Perhaps there could be a part 2? “10 things a loving wife can do for her husband”? 🙂

          • Paul_Sp

            And maybe a part 3, dads to their kids, as this IS a site for dads primarily…..

          • Luvmyfam4

            Yes. You’re right. I was just wondering if maybe Trent was reading it as something more than it was meant to be. I’m not very good at communicating my thoughts (which is why I debated even attempting).

          • Paul_Sp

            No, you’re fine at communicating your thoughts, and will only get better if you keep practicing doing so.

          • Luvmyfam4

            Thank you, Paul. That means a lot to me.

          • Paul_Sp

            You’re very welcome!

        • Sean

          Jesus was all things to all people and his instructions where clear.

        • JT

          The imagery and symbolism of marriage is applied to Christ and the body of believers known as the Church. In the New Testament, Christ, the Bridegroom, has sacrificially and lovingly chosen the church to be His bride (Eph 5:25-27).

          Just as there was a betrothal period in biblical times during which the bride and groom were separated until the wedding, so is the bride of Christ separate from her Bridegroom during the church age. Her responsibility during the betrothal period is to be faithful to Him (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:24).

          At the Second Coming of Christ, the church will be united with the Bridegroom, the official “wedding ceremony” will take place and, with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will be actualized (Rev 19:7-9; 21:1-2).

          • Paul_Sp

            Where did this come from? Sounds like an excerpt of a sermon.
            And your point is…..?

        • Paul_Sp


      • obammy

        Sean, sadly, you are wasting your time. Poor Trent is convinced that being kind to your wife creates “victimhood”. He sees himself as the “victim” of being overly kind. He will not be convinced otherwise and will defend this point to the dying end. Liberal thinkers always become “victims” when they are asked to do more for another or it is pointed out that putting others first is best. But, I do respect that you are trying. Carry on.

        • Sean

          Thanks for the reply but the one thing I don’t want to do is pile on Trent. We don’t know his situation nor his history in marriage. Trent I say to you keep looking for biblical guidance for your marriage and life, the fact that you are even reading All Pro Dad tells me your seeking to be a better man/husband. Stand strong sir.

        • Trent

          Good Twist.

        • Trent

          I’m liberal? Funny.

    • Deer Hurs

      Trent, you may have missed the point of this message and of marriage in general. Marriage is not about equality or keeping scores on who did what for whom. In my experience, when I do the gestures that show her I’m humbly looking out for her, the rewards are out of this world and she is eager to reciprocate the generosity. We serve our spouses and others as though we are working for the Lord (Col. 3:23) and our relationships are greatly enhanced.

      • Trent

        I don’t think you can make such a sweeping generalization of that white knighting gestures like that work every time and then have a scripture to back it up. I never said don’t be kind. Yes, whenever someone has a different opinion, generally I’m missing the point as you say. You serve and honor though.

        • Robin

          You sound just like my husband and we are on the verge of separation! I am STARVING for physical and emotional affection OUTSIDE THE BEDROOM! I can’t remember the last time he held my hand or even kissed or hugged me just because for that matter.

          • Sean

            It hurts my heart to read these words Robin. I’m sorry you and your husband are at this point. Due to past things in my marriage I know where your coming from. If you haven’t already, get some good Christian marital consouling. It has helped me and my wife greatly. Lastly gaurd your heart from outsiders(men) that will prey on you in your situation. Be the person you want your husband to be. Grab his hand when yall are together. Love on him so much that he has no choice but to love you back.

        • Sarah H.

          I feel like the point is that men are supposed to love their wives like Jesus loves the Church. Jesus gave up everything for his bride (us), even though there would be tons of people who would never lift a finger to reciprocate that love. Jesus loves 100%, no matter what. It’s also good to note that when you take vows, you vow to choose to love her no matter how she is acting (better or worse, etc). Husbands should strive to be like Jesus and YES women should be striving to give the reins over to the head of the household, but it’s a whole lot easier when you know he is willing to do anything he can to make sure you know you are loved.
          The bottom line is that you are supposed to be doing your part no matter what she is doing (and vice versa) because that is true love. Each spouse should be treating the other as if the other spouse is more important than they are, while still understanding that they themselves are worth so much because of Christ.

    • Gil Long

      Trent, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. You’re totally missing the point. You’re skewing the word “equal”. Nothing is “equal” all of the time. My wife’s and my relationship isn’t 50/50, but 100/100. It’s not about keeping a running tally. You ALWAYS put your spouse first. If your spouse takes advantage of that or disrespects you, then you picked wrong and you’re married to a bad person. But ALL of these points are tried and true. My dad always put my mom first and she did the same for him. My brother and I do that for our wives and our wives do so for us. We all have awesome marriages. My parents were married for 56 years until my dad passed away in 2011. My wife and I taught our children this (girl 24, boys 23, 22, 19). It just boggles my mind how backwards people are in these types of things since the early 70’s. This type of thinking actually damages relationships. Not trying to be a wise guy, just that this type if mindset of not teaching our kids (especially our sons) NOT to put their mom first is setting them up for failure in the future.

      • Trent

        Your argument is backwards. I think your missing my point. Of course relationships are not 50/50. Blanketing relationships and saying putting them 1st works all the time is a myth. I never said not to do some of those things on the list. In fact I agree with some of them. Invariably so often is that one person puts them 1st. What if the other doesn’t? It isn’t always reciprocated as others have argued. Teaching my sons to put his mom 1st is not a good idea. He will not be married to his mom. They will respect their mom and I teach them that just as My mom was not 1st in my life and she is a great mom and my dad is just as great. Putting women higher than them my sons and on pedestals is not a good way in my opinion. You have to do X y and z or the women will be unhappy. No! They will be good men and treat women respectfully. I think again your blanketing your situation and your family as fact. My situation and my family thinks differently. I guess we will agree to disagree.

    • Mark

      Trent, I’ve read through the comments and I’m not going to quote scrip. at you. I mostly agree with you that there are nice gestures on this list. Victimhood is a buzz word that I avoid. I do find this article to be negative toward women. You know what happens when someone is “surly” toward my wife? She gets in their face and defends herself. I always have her back and step in when needed, but she is not a helpless damsel. Also, instead of honoring her long work in the kitchen, help out. Shoot, make the whole dinner for your family. That is a great act of servitude. If I opened every door for my wife, we’d never get anywhere. As for number 5., there are more efficient ways to ensure that neither of you get wet. I am the definite top earner of the household, but we don’t use that to define roles. We make financial decisions. It is our money. We make decisions for us.

    • Mark

      I believe this post is assuming you have a “good willed wife”, if you are married to a woman who believes all we need is love, then yes it will probably be one sided. However, Christ commanded we love our wives, so is it up to me to change her or act in accordance with what Christ commanded me, as a husband to do?

  • Len Tuccelli

    When you demonstrate by these and other actions that she comes first, it is reciprocated by respect back to the husband. Woman need to know they are loved and men more need to know they are respected. After 17 years of marriage I have made many stupid mistakes and errors in this regard. Have your kids show respect but it needs to come from a heart of love for their mom, just as a reflection of dad’s heart for his wife.
    As my wife once exclaimed, “Don’t tell me your love me, show me you do”! Just my thought

  • Abolt

    This list is good for any man, and I try to do most of it. However, it is equally important for spouses and kids to acknowledge that the husband/father is head of the household, in no uncertain terms. My wife has made it a point, especially when our kids were growing up in our house (2 out of 3 are in college now), to verbally express IN FRONT OF the kids, that I am head of the household. I cannot tell you what a positive impact that has had on me and our kids. It states God’s order in spite of what our kids hear everyday from society and is very powerful. And this is from a wife who is very smart and has a Masters Degree, whereas I only have a Bachelors. I challenge every woman reading this to do it. If you can’t then you really need to go look in the mirror and ask yourself why?

  • John Coloe

    Contrary to popular belief, chivalry is not dead. There’s simply a shortage of practitioners!

    The principles and habits of a chivalrous man are timeless and unchanging. So are the effects that these acts have on the women in men’s lives.

    And, while all of these acts are important, #6 is particularly critical. As the old saying goes, “much more is caught than taught”. Sure, guide and instruct your sons to do all of these things, beginning with their mother and sisters. More importantly, model the behavior that you hope to see in them. Doing so teaches sons crucial lessons about how to be a man. It also teaches daughters what to expect, and what to accept; never settling to be treated other than the valuable and vulnerable gifts from God that they are.

    P.S. Fathers of daughters, demonstrate this level of love, caring, respect and support to them as well. Do so daily, and especially on daddy-daughter date nights.

    P.P.S. Also never fail to do these things for your mother!

    “Being male is easy. Being a man is hard.”
    — John Woodall​, (7)

  • GaMomof5

    If my spouse did even half of these, I’d worship the ground he walks on. Right now, we both work hard, but I’m sacrificing sleep every single night to “keep all the balls in the air”. Going to bed at 1-2 am, and getting kids up at 5:30 and 6 am leave this momma so exhausted, I’m barely functioning some days.
    It’s a great idea, but I don’t know many couples that the man even knows how to make coffee, let alone deliver it to her in bed!!

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