Friday, February 3, 2012

Why do you do the good things you do?

I recently ran across a list of chivalrous acts men can practice today.  As I read the list I realized it was geared toward the single guy.  The list really was a variation of one item - show respect for the woman you're with, as well as other people in general.

Chivalrous acts.  Done out of respect or done because a man wants something?  Brains specifically in this example.
I think my caption says it all, if you omit the part about brains. 

As I struggle with my own shortcomings and sinful nature, I have come to realize something:  Chivalrous acts are no longer chivalrous when you do them for selfish reasons.  You can easily replace chivalrous with any action and it will hold true.

Walking a woman to her door to make sure she arrives home safely is chivalrous.  Walking a woman to her door while hoping she'll invite you in - not so much.

For us married guys, we can still be chivalrous by doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, or simply encouraging our wives to go do something they enjoy and will help them relax.  If we're doing those things and expecting something in return, all chivalry is lost.

Even when I feel as though I am doing something out of the goodness of my heart, I find myself thinking about what I've done and how that ultimately could benefit me. I know that sounds horrible, but I find myself keeping score - and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one doing this. I know it's wrong, and I try not to do it, but at various points I find myself thinking about that.

The more I do while expecting something in return, the more the person I did it for will (most likely) start to resent those actions as they expect them to come with a price tag.  They then don't appreciate what I've done for them.  The less they appreciate, the less likely I will be to continue doing things.  What a vicious cycle!
I encourage you to reread the last paragraph out loud and listen to what you are saying.  Or read it to someone else and see what they think.  It might make more of an impact.  Go ahead.  I'm done.


Helene said...

Totally agreed! Hmmmm, I may forward this post to my husband....from an anonymous e-mail of course.

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

It's so true...thank God I have Husband or I'd be up a creek! I need to be better to him though. I got it.