I was a new bride 42 years ago. I continue to be blessed by a husband that has many great qualities, but one of the best things is his strength in a crisis. This is ultimate. This is when he is an extreme protector and a fearless solution-finder. When we face crises together, this is when I feel the most safe. Because this is when his safeguarding and sheltering reaches its height.
We live in a lovely area. But, it is truly a swamp-like environment posing many hazards due to large trees, vulnerable power lines nearby, and 6-8 months of pesky humidity. I won’t mention the critters. At least we don’t have alligators. Then there are also garden variety hazards like a recent second floor hot water heater pipe bursting into flooding waters in our house, ensuing mopping and bucketing of water, emergency calls to plumbers and restoration companies, and then life with dust-storming “air movers” to dry out the water-soiled places. In this crisis, my husband’s heroism was and is notable. The picture of heroism that my husband gave me reminded me that chivalry is definitely not dead…
There is a picture of of chivalry in God’s Word (Revelation) in the picture of the Church being the Bride of Christ (the Bridegroom). The chivalry of Christ cannot die, because He cannot die. His kind of chivalry is eternal and definitely not passe, definitely not a flawed human tradition. Christ will present His Bride spotless one day to God the Father, with honor, courtesy, and courage surrounding her. Like a knight in shining armor, Christ is the gallant and compassionate husband of His Bride the Church.
Ephesians 5:28-33 says, “In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the Church – for we are members of His body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the Church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” The feeding and caring and love of Christ is the ultimate chivalry.
Christ bestows honor to believers (His Bride) based upon His Name. He bestows protection to her because of His victory over sin and death. He bestows sensitivity to her because of His great love and compassion. Her holiness is not intrinsic, but derived from Him. Although battered and soiled and fragile and disappointing, the Church-Bride is declared holy because of dependence upon the One Who sanctifies her. This is the One Who covers her with the cloak of righteousness. Prepares her, rescues her, intercedes for her, shelters her in a chivalrous manner, defends her, cares for her.
Long ago when I became a Martin, I knew that I would take on a covering of more than a name. But, I didn’t know how blessed I would be to enjoy a lifetime of knight-in-shining armor moments and seasons. All this to say, my earthly picture at home of the bridegroom-bride relationship has reminded me of the more powerful reality of the chivalrous Christ-Church relationship whereby Christ is the ultimate hero. The chivalrous Rock and Redeemer Who is valiant, benevolent, brave, protective, rescuing. Jesus Christ – the ultimate Shelter in the storms.
Psalm 34:22 says, “The Lord will rescue His servants, no one who takes refuge in Him will be condemned.” The safeguarding and sheltering of Christ is the ultimate chivalry and makes me very grateful for an earthly husband who regularly hints at eternal realities through his protectiveness.