Tag Archives: Paul

Gillette and 21st Century Chivalry

Who says chivalry is dead? Certainly not Gillette. In fact, Gillette is calling men back to chivalry. They are calling men to rise above the stereotypes and hold accountable any man who lives by them. However, there seems to be quite a bit of backlash from hundreds of people on twitter. Many, in fact most, from men. Many, in fact most, from what I would consider to be the more “conservative” men. Todd Starnes for example heads his op/ed “Does Gillette Want Men To Start Shaving Their Legs Too?” One only needs to look at the comments on Twitter to find the many photos of razors in toilets or trash cans, calling for a boycott of Gillette.

Back in the day of kings and knights and squires, there was chivalry. There was an expectation upon the nobles to live with courage, valor, and generosity. Often we hear of the “knight in shining armor,” coming to the rescue. They were expected to treat women with a certain decorum of respect, even if her behavior warranted otherwise. Chivalry was what men aspired to ever since. They would open doors, put coats over puddles, pull back chairs, stand up for a lady’s honor. It was the most masculine thing a man could do. Gillette seems to be calling men back to chivalry, albeit a 21st century chivalry.

They are calling on fathers to get involved in their children’s lives and teach their boys that bullying is not okay. Because–as the commercial says–boys become men. At some point, what they have learned in boyhood they will act out in manhood. I remember my dad only spanking me once in my entire life. I had gotten into a fight with my nephew (who is one year older). We were going at it in my room and without knowing my dad heard, walked in, and swatted me once on my rear. Then he swatted my nephew. We were both so stunned because he never had done anything like that before. He looked at us and with a stern look said, “knock it off,” and walked away. That was all it took. It was the only fight I got into in my life.

In this commercial, we see men holding other men back, protecting women’s honor, teaching their sons to act better than their instincts, and protecting those being bullied. It’s what we used to call chivalry. Gillette is not calling for the feminization of men, but for masculinity of old. They are calling for men in shining armor to rise above, have courage to stand up when others look the other way, treat others with valor, and be generous with their strength.

Paul wrote, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love,” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, ESV). That what God calls us to do. Gillette’s message is not all that different in my eyes. No, they are not a “Christian” company, but as far as I can see (I’ve watched the commercial several times last night and this morning), what they seek men to be and do is in line with these words from Paul.

As always, I would love to read your comments. Maybe you think I am wrong. Please let me know. Maybe you agree; I’d love to read your thoughts as well. If you like the article, feel free to share it with others.

3 Ways to Fight Anxiety (Part 3)

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been writing about fighting anxiety on “Suffering Saturday.”  This is the final installment in the series based on 1 Peter 5:5-14.  I would encourage you to read the previous two first (Part 1, Part 2) before reading Part 3.  So far we have seen that Peter wrote that we are to first abase ourselves, and then to go on the attack against the enemy.  When that is done we cannot forget to praise God, or as I say here, acclaim our God.

It is difficult to see how going through a paralyzing bout of anxiety is praiseworthy, but let me assure you, it is.  Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that we are to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV). I’ve heard people say, “Yes, we are to give thank in all circumstances, but not for all circumstances,” hoping that the difference in words will alleviate them from having to thank God for something that caused suffering.  And while it is true that Paul told the Thessalonians that they were to give thanks in all circumstances, he wrote to the Ephesians that we are to be “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Ephesians 5:20, ESV; italics mine).  So then we are to give thanks because in the end, God must always get the glory.  It is God who strengthens us and who gives us grace.  So it is He whom we shall realize deserves that acclamation of our praise.  “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  To him be the dominion forever and ever.  Amen,” (1 Peter 5.10-11, ESV).  The suffering is necessary.  The pain and uncertainty is necessary.  It shows our weakness and our frailty.  It opens our eyes to our finitude.  It refines us.  It breaks us.  It puts doubt into self.  It takes away all our trust in our personal abilities.  And where it breaks us, God restores us.  Where it puts doubt in us, God confirms us.  Where it weakens us, God strengthens us.  Where it takes away our trust in self, God establishes us on a firm footing of Himself.  And in the end, after all the frustration and tears and pain we will see God’s way was indeed the most glorious way imaginable.

Paul ended his letter with some greetings, which was typical of letters in this era.

By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God.  Stand firm in it.  She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son.

Greet one another with the kiss of love.  Peace to all of you who are in Christ, (1 Peter 5.12-14, ESV).

Just a quick thought as we close.  Peter wrote that “this is the true grace of God.  Stand firm in it.”  This pointing to all that Peter has said about suffering and subjection and trust and being mindful of our salvation and the inheritance that awaits us.  This is God’s grace.  His putting us through the ringer is His grace though we don’t understand it.  May we stand in that grace and never flinch from it.  May we embrace our cross as closely as Jesus did His own.