This one's for the men, "by a lady," as Jane Austen would say. I don't have impossible standards for a gentleman. All these things, like my 6 Ways to Be a Lady, are qualities you can cultivate in your life. As always, we will start with what the Lord says about men.Call a boy a gentleman and watch his shoulders straighten. Call a girl a lady and watch her spirit turn graceful. Humanity was brought into existence by God speaking words into the void of the universe. We tend to become what we are called.~The Medicine of Hope
1 Timothy 6:11-12a says, "But you, man of God, flee from all this and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith."
I won't preach at you, but you get the idea for God's calling for you men. And here are 6 ways to be a gentleman:
1. Focus on others. Unselfishness is a dying art. When your focus is on serving others and meeting their needs, gentlemanliness follows. Don't ask if we want help; just jump in and help! But never open doors or help carry things just to impress people. If your heart truly desires to help, that is a step in the right direction.
2. Be humble. Yes, sometimes girls are going to reject your help. Hopefully not, if they are ladies. But still, it may happen. Or people will just be downright mean to you for no reason. Remember in these tricky situations that "humility comes before honor" (Proverbs 18:12, 15:33). It might be best to just take a step back. And never be unkind because someone was unkind to you!
3. Protect. Be the one who stands in the gap for the defenseless. Don't just protect your girlfriend or mother or wife. Protect anyone who needs it. Protect them from verbal abuse, physical abuse, or anything that threatens them. Protect their hearts and protect their minds.
4. Be patient. Whether it's something as simple as waiting in line or as difficult as waiting years to get married, a true gentleman knows that God's timing is best. As you wait, redeem the time. Work on your own character in the minutes or years of waiting.
5. Lead. Be faithful in the little things. Take responsibility for your actions. Speak words of peace. You might have to strike out all alone a few times, but your example is important. "Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity," reads 1 Timothy 4:12. Any young person can be a leader when they follow the Lord instead of the world. And people will follow a strong leader.
6. Listen and speak respectfully. I'm not here to tell you to just listen all the time. That would be awful of me. Yes, we should all listen respectfully more than we do, but I also want the next generation of gentleman to speak up respectfully. You can voice your opinion. Tell us what you're thinking. And for heaven's sake, just like I told the ladies, don't be a doormat. Listen to us when we're speaking, but you can speak to us too. And when you are respectful of us, you will gain respect for yourself.
These are all the things I would tell my brother (if he was subscribed to my blog) and will tell my son one day.
Maybe they seem like simple things. Maybe they seem impossibly hard. But they are definitely important and make a huge difference.