Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Five Acts of Spiritual Chivalry for Christian Men

Chivalry has its roots in European middle ages when knights lived by a code of conduct. The word comes from the French term chevalerie which means horse soldiery, but over time chivalry evolved into a term meaning an honorable code of conduct for all men, particularly regarding a man's treatment of a woman. Some consider chivalry unnecessary in our modern society, but it's been my pleasure to teach my three sons the importance of certain acts of chivalry because of the worth and dignity of a woman.

It would be worth studying Christian men who understand basic chivalry in public and any connection with how they spiritually, emotionally, and verbally treat women in their home and church. I have no statistical data, but I would be very surprised if those men who treat women with dignity and respect in public did not also treat women with proper dignity and respect behind closed doors. Obviously, anyone can be a hypocrite, but I find it difficult to mistreat my wife in private while always opening doors for her in public, taking my place next to the street as we walk on the sidewalk together, pulling out her chair for her, and gently placing my hand in the small of her back as we walk into a room.

I do not believe I have ever heard anyone use the term spiritual chivalry. Chivalry would be different from spiritual chivalry in that the former addresses physical actions, while the latter concerns itself with the inner attitude and heart  of men toward women. Again, there's bound to be some connection between acts of chivalry and spiritual chivalry, but in order to help measure the heart and attitude of a man toward women, I've catalogued five measurements of spiritual chivalry for Christian men. The first three are toward women in general, and the last two are for that special woman in your life.

(1). Refuse to denigrate women in general with the spoken word, even in joking. 
Christian pastors are the worst at violating this particular code of conduct. To practice spiritual chivalry, a Christian man will never use the female gender as the basis for a joke. Jokes that play on stereotypes (blond jokes, wife jokes, etc...) may cause some men to erupt in great laughter, but they will never cause a creased smile in the Christian man who respects women and admires their dignity and worth. Jokes about handicapped children never cause a parent of a handicapped child to laugh. Likewise, jokes about alleged female deficiencies will never cause any man who values women to laugh.

(2). Take interest in the opinions of women by listening, never interrupting.

Too many Christian men make the mistake of believing that a woman has nothing to teach a man, or that women should be silent in the presence of men. Sadly, some Christian men even try to claim that the silence of women in spiritual environments is ordained of God. On the contrary, any church or organization that actively seeks to silence women becomes a dysfunctional and diseased assembly. The full-orbed image of God is only seen in men and women and when some churches insist that men only should lead or teach, then you end up with a church or home with half the power, half the wisdom, half the creativity, and half the effectiveness. Spiritually chivalrous Christian men encourage the involvement and participation of women.

(3). Set physical boundaries with women that are stated and clear, never to be violated.

In a world that has no concept that sex is a symbol of the sacred, men sometimes make the tragic mistake of not establishing clear-cut physical boundaries with other women at the very beginning of a professional relationship. The spiritually chivalrous Christian man will establish appropriate physical boundaries around other women and will always abide by them. These boundaries are what I call "professional distance." This act of spiritual chivalry causes a sense of spiritual security within other women. For an understanding of what the lack of appropriate physical boundaries looks like in a Christian organization, read  The Gothard Files: A Case for Disqualification.  Here is a key principle for married men: A spiritually chivalrous man will be warm, intimate and open to other women in the presence of his wife, and physically and emotionally distant from other women when his wife is not present with him.

(4). Give specific verbal praise of the significant woman in your life and never criticize her publicly.

Some men have said to me in counseling, "I can't help criticizing my wife. She has been so cruel and mean to me, I feel myself filled with resentment and bitterness." I respond: "Isn't it a grand thing that Christ does not treat you in the manner you treat your wife?" 'Even while we were yet in our sin, Christ died for us.'"  Hurt people hurt people. Read I Corinthians 13 Next time your wife begins to criticize you, rather than defend yourself, take a moment and ask "What is going on inside of my wife? What has scared her? Where is she hurt?" When you can begin to look at your wife with unselfish eyes, then you will be able to praise her regardless of her performance, and refrain from criticizing her regardless of her condition.

(5). Pray for the significant woman in your life, and as the Spirit leads, pray with her.

A spiritually chivalrous man will not see prayer as an act as much as he does an attitude. "To pray without ceasing" means that you have a continual awareness of Christ's presence in your life, at all times, and in all places. It's difficult for a Christian man who practices spiritual chivalry to ever mistreat his wife (or girlfriend if not married) because "Christ is right here with me." More importantly, when a spiritually chivalrous man understands Christ's continual presence with him, that man becomes sensitive to the needs and problems of the significant woman in his life. How can he not? The Creator of the universe loves him and is with him. The spiritually chivalrous man takes the matter of concern to the Lord immediately, and when appropriate, pauses with his wife (or girlfriend) and prays with her. Spiritually chivalrous men are sensitive to the needs the women in their lives.

In Summary:

Spiritually chivalrous men in their relationship with women...

Stop denigrating
Start listening
Set boundaries
Speak praise
Sense problems

My boys read my blog. Kade, Logan, Boe, you have done your dad proud in terms of your chivalry! Now I ask you to join with me to become the most spiritually chivalrous men we can be in order to honor Christ and the dignity and worth of the women He has placed in our lives!


Kristen said...

This kind of chivalry-- that takes special care towards the righting of ancient wrongs-- I can approve of. The kind of chivalry that treats women like dainty hothouse flowers, is ultimately a denial of their full personhood.

(Hothouse-flower chivalry is not to be confused with daily common courtesy. There is no problem with opening a door for another person as long as you aren't doing it because she's helpless without care and protection.)

Wade Burleson said...


I agree.

Brindusa said...

I enjoyed reading the post. However, may I add a word of caution based on what my past experiences in the Evangelical environment have been?

The thoughts I'd like to share have to do with this passage:

"A spiritually chivalrous man will be warm, intimate and open to other women in the presence of his wife, and physically and emotionally distant from other women when his wife is not present with him."

I realize quite well the need for boundaries, I agree with them and am sure that what you mean to describe here is a healthy relationship with other women. But it may be easier to explain what seems to be amiss for me in the above quote if I just share a bit of my past experiences. I do hope this doesn't turn out too wordy or boring. I'll break it down into several parts if it's too long.

My husband and I have been influenced quite a bit by American fundamentalists. Nice people, generous and sincerely wanting to serve the Lord, I'm sure (the ones we've met). We admired their families and, as we were at the beginning of our life as a married couple, we learned all manner of practical things from them. Some were helpful, some I wish we hadn't learned, but we didn't know any better at the time.

One of the first things we learned about was boundaries. Rule: you never ever allow yourself to be alone with a member of the opposite sex. For years we subscribed to this, although it created some awkwardness in certain circumstances.

I clearly remember how hurt I felt one day... This missionary friend had come to our door to leave a message. I was alone at home and feeling rather frantic because I had just found out an American couple was coming for dinner that day, and I was not prepared... So I was in great hurry to get to a store and buy some stuff with which I could cook an appropriate dinner. I was so relieved to see this friend and asked him to just give me a ride to the closest store (he was driving right past it), it would have saved me some minutes. He immediately informed me that many people have ruined their ministry being alone with a woman and he would in no case do such a thing. You all may think he was wise. I'm not saying it's a good habit to allow strange women into your car, but that day I just felt so hurt and angry... (For goodness' sake, isn't a car a rather public place? No unbeliever I know would imagine anything took place between two people just because they were in the same car once.) Since then, I've read stuff written by Evangelical pastors that say even if you see a woman needing help, by the side of the road, you should never stop to help, you go call someone else to come... I realize there are all kinds of situations and people out there and one must be discerning, but this is my point: It is a matter of discerning the context and of allowing yourself to be led by God. I no longer have any problem now with the idea of my husband giving a friend a drive, if she needs it, or of him giving a work colleague a drive home when it rains... According to what we were taught, who cared that she was tired, needed help and lived next door to us (so it would have been no trouble at all to bring her along too)? Leaving her in the rain would have been better than offering her a drive. Christian love? Hardly, I think. Rules above mercy? I would say so.

Again, it takes some wisdom to correctly interpret a situation. While it's definitely wise to not go alone to visit anyone when you get a sudden call in the middle of the night, in cases such as I've described above, depending on the persons involved, it can be more of a Christian act of love to ignore this 'no time alone' rule.

Victorious said...

Wade, I appreciate that the focus of your post is directed more toward men and perhaps your sons specifically, but really the code of conduct you've mentioned should be expected of women toward men as well. Virtue, after all is not gender specific. All Christians and non-Christians as well are deserving of being treated with respect, dignity, and common courtesy. We are all admonished to treat others as we want to be treated.

Both women and men should be treated with Christian chivalry by one another.

Brindusa said...

My impression based on things we have seen or read about, is that all this legalism (I'm not describing your attitude as such, I'm referring to fundamentalist attitudes) leads to unnatural behavior, behavior that eventually goes to the other extreme. It's enough to read of the epidemic of sex offenses that occur in some of the most fundamentalist circles... Rules and outward appearances seem to trump everything. Not mercy, not love. As a result, lots of people involved become actually obsessed with the very things they are trying to avoid.

We have had lots of 'interesting' interactions and I could tell many stories. The young pastor friend who visited us out of the blue one day, when I was wearing pants. I looked quite decent, with a blouse just about knee-long over them. But the standard was wearing only skirts or dresses whenever another male was present. So during the whole visit, he literally never lifted his eyes to me and looked at the floor when addressing me. I looked perfectly decent but felt dirty because of that behavior.

Then I was taught by these fundamentalist pastors that women should not be praying aloud in the presence of men, as that would mean 'leading' them. (How they can ever be consistent with that if they pray with their wives I don't know...) I didn't believe their interpretation was correct, neither did my husband, but eventually I did stop praying aloud because of how I was shunned when I did pray. My husband's prayers got loud 'Amens', while mine were met with total silence. The disapproval was palpable.

Afterwards, I got shocked by a Reformed Baptist friend, who asked me why on earth he should read something written by a woman (when I recommended some very good materials dealing with a subject he was struggling with)... Then he informed me that it would certainly not be my place to feel comfortable discussing theology with men. Apparently, I should love only talking with women about kids, home decor and recipes... Or at the most I could mingle with men if my husband was by my side, and we were all discussing things related to couples. But it wouldn't be my place to discuss doctrine points with other brothers in the church hall.

I'm very sorry if it seems like I'm rambling. I've one more example and I'm done. To me they are all related in some way, as I will explain when I finish.

Brindusa said...

The last incident still baffles my mind. It involves a Christian friend who now lives in the States with his wife. A few months ago he wrote me an e-mail asking me to translate an essay for him, which he wanted to read to his church group. He felt that his English wasn't good enough for the translation to come out well. I made an effort and translated that whole thing right away, for which he was quite grateful. He made a comment that he hoped my husband and I were doing well, as always. Well, it so happened we were not doing all that well. We had gone through a period of great discouragement, and I had struggled with depression, questions and doubts... We had felt hurt by church people too, who either implied that perhaps we were not in God's will and that's why we had difficult things happen to us (I always felt like suggesting they reread the book of Job)... or asking us how we were doing only as an empty cliché. I've grown tired of having to smile and say 'I'm fine, thanks', when I'm not... or of sharing my problems with people who don't care at all to listen. So, I answered the message by saying that if he genuinely wanted to know how we as a family were doing, and it wasn't just a polite cliché, I'd be glad to share with him how we were doing. My husband saw no problem with this. I get to spend more time at the computer, I can type much faster than he can, when it comes to writing in English I'm more articulate than he is so we are used to me writing for both of us... Not to mention that I would have shared the message with him before even sending it. (Not because I 'have to', but because it seems normal to get his take on anything that involves him. I love him and have no desire to keep anything away from him.)

The answer I received from this Christian friend totally shocked me. It ran like this: "There are communication boundaries. One of them is that I avoid being nice and communicative with persons of the opposite sex, in the absence of our spouses." My husband was so shocked that he wrote him back after that. The conclusion of the exchange was that this barrier will no longer exist only in heaven... So I guess that until then it was inappropriate for me to write in both of our names, with my husband's full blessing, how we are doing. This wasn't about inappropriate life details that should be kept private and intimate, it was simply sharing something about the struggles we were going through. Apparently, it was somehow ok for him, a man, to write me, a woman, to ask for a service, but beyond that it was not permissible.

What all these things had in common for me: how terribly discouraging and tiresome it is for everything to be seen through the lens of gender! I'm not advocating the lack of healthy boundaries, but there should be some nuance and discernment exercised, because it's so easy to really wound someone!

After the last incident I described, I felt just about desperate, and I remember asking my husband: "Why on earth the people who treat me the nicest are not even Christians?! Why to them I am a *human being*, while to many Evangelical people I'm just a *female*?"

Our best friends are not believers in the Biblical sense. I've hardly ever seen a more beautiful marriage than these two people have. I've hardly ever seen believers that are so compassionate, loving and sensitive to other people. Why is it that they can treat me naturally? Why, if I happen to answer the phone instead of my husband, this man can talk nicely with me and is genuinely interested in how we are doing? There is never any shade of anything inappropriate, but he has the same genuine friendly concern toward me as toward my husband. Why it is Evangelicals tend to never let one forget she's a woman?

Brindusa said...

I'm very sorry if I've written much longer than I should have. I'm not even sure I've managed to express my ideas very clearly... You can no doubt tell that this is a rather sore point... I just meant to explain why I think that "physically and emotionally distant from other women when his wife is not present with him" could benefit from a bit of nuancing.

Thank you for your patience!

raswhiting said...

Brindusa, I much appreciate your comments. I as a Christian man and husband want to learn how to relate more graciously with the women around me. The boundaries that Wade briefly describes seem to be too strict, especially in the workplace! However, I do appreciate Wade's overall message.

raswhiting said...

The Junia Project had a good post and many comments on a similat topic this week.

Wade Burleson said...

Brindusa and Raswhiting,

Very good comments. The boundaries for the work place may, indeed, seem "unnatural" and too strict. I will reflect on your wise words. Truth is, no boundary will ever prevent a person from crossing them. Internal motivation is the only thing that guarantees moral behavior. It's my experience, however, that when boundaries are very clear in the work place from the beginning, a safe environment of respect is created. Again, I could be wrong, but I speak from years of experience counseling men whose moral failure began with a member of the opposite sex at the work place where boundaries were given no thought at all. In no way am I saying everyone's boundaries should be the same - what I am attempting to communicate is that some form of boundary setting is essential.

Brindusa said...

Raswhiting and Pastor Wade, thank you for the gracious responses and for taking into consideration what I've written!

Pastor Wade,I'm sure that you are perfectly right about the need for boundaries to be set... I just wish that the people I referred to in my long comment could have been more gracious and treated me more like a fellow human being, like a sister in Christ... instead of being permanently obsessed with my gender. And since you all do not know me well :-), please let me assure you that in anything I described, there was nothing close to flirting or questionable behavior on my part. I was just looking for some normal human interaction. I'm actually rather quick to feel uncomfortable if I get the impression that someone appears to get a bit *too* familiar with me...

Aussie John said...


Thank you for a very sound post. I have sought to function with due respect to all women, and get some strange comments because, after more than a half century of marriage, I still open doors for my wife.

I had traveled to a major city for a conference, where bus travel was necessary. I managed to obtain the only empty seat. At the next stop an older lady came on board, so, I stood up and indicated the seat to her.

Her response was an explosive refusal to take my offer, saying,"Do I look helpless, or ancient?"

Where was she coming from? You decide.

Wade Burleson said...


Completely understand, and 100% wholeheartedly agree with you. Respecting a woman as an equal, with a deep admiration for her worthy and dignity as a person should be the norm for every Christian man. Thanks so much for commenting.

Wade Burleson said...


I have had a similar experience. When I was chewed out for holding open a door for a woman (by the woman for whom I held the door open), she said, "Do I look helpless?" My response: "I open this door in recognition of your honor, not any awareness of your helplessness." To her credit, she said "Thank you."

Victorious said...

Just an assumption or guess on my part, but responses like those from women sound like they're coming from years of being perceived as helpless, weak, and needy. It does get tiresome to be perched on top of a pedestal when you're more adept at working in the trenches.

My sister and I often hold doors open for men at hockey games and invite them to go ahead of us in the grocery store line. It's common courtesy extended, not because it's a gender issue, but because we're both retired and have more time. Most reply with a gracious "thank you" rather than a "oh no...ladies first." In other words, they humbly accept them as good-will gestures; nothing more or less.

Just offering another perspective...

Tom said...


Brindusa, I wrote this yesterday after reading your comments but did not post it as I considered that it might be too “left field” for this blog. However, you are not alone in your experience.

My wife and I are both good at listening to other people unburden themselves and have a gift of asking just the right question to help them work through their troubles to discover a means of resolving their own problems without either of us stepping over the line of actually suggesting what steps they should be taking to resolve their “burden” or “problem” or “issue.”

However, the same consideration and grace within church circles is not reciprocated when the situations are reversed and we are in need of finding someone to help us with solving our own problems when they occur, whether they be material or spiritual. It seems the people whom we would call “our church friends” are “too busy” to lend us their ears and their time to enable us to work through what is troubling us.

Such Christian unchivalrous behaviour is recognised in the secular world where the secular business experience is that the worst customers for their businesses are “Churchified” people with good intentions who divert their obligations to their “creditors” to “sanctified causes” that they will feel good about supporting or helping. Sadly, their principles do not match their proclamations of being “Christian” and their secular creditors find that their self centred natures exceeds those of their secular friend who they more willingly do business with because they are more “hassle free” to interact with.

When we enter into God’s freedom he places boundaries around us to protect us. However, if we chose to cross over these boundaries, our freedom in God/Christ begins to disappear as a self centred focus begins to dominate our lives such that it eventually and completely takes over every aspect of our life. This “condition” is called the “Sin of turning away from God and acting God like.”

A trap I find so easy to fall into. Intentionally becoming and acting “god” like to those around me.

How does it express itself within the body of Christ?

The widows and orphans are forgotten about and the hungry and naked people’s needs are not met or satisfied. People who are burdened by everyday activities to just live are left to be overcome by their heavy yokes of oppression and a lack of understanding that should be shown towards them is missing. People within the church bicker with each other and complain and no spring or perfumed garden can be found within their company.

This sin is difficult to realise and God’s grace has been known to allow it to reside is a man’s heart for up to eight years before he sends a prophet to challenge the sinner(s) of their sin.

In this Biblically recorded case God did not deal with the manifestations of this sin, but only with the sin of turning away from God.

God’s grace in forgiving this biblical character is available if we are prepared to take responsibility for what we have done and totally repent.

Trying to put band aids over the visible manifestations of this serious sin is not the way to deal with it. The difficulty is recognising the actual sin the “sin manifestations” are revealing.

For example, exceeding the speed limit is not a “sin” but the reason behind why you are exceeding the speed limit without good reason, certainly is.


PS: - Having said that, it is easy to spot and some common manifestations are: - road rage, adrenaline junkies, divorces, physical and sexual abuse, protecting one’s sanctification, the way and manner in which we interact with other people, etc..

Anonymous said...

14Excellent post and totally agree, Pastor Wade.

One of the great myths, at least in our experience, is that Christians are hard hearted beasts never caring for the hurting.

Of course we care. But within boundaries. So if a lady needs aid and assistance, my husband refers her to me. If a gent needs to pour his heart out to a friend, I send him to my husband.

Both of us give as much time as we can WITHOUT neglecting our own marriage or family. So no, I am not available every evening if I have children to raise. He isn't available weekends if we have family plans.

It took us a long time to get past the codependent guilt but finally we realized our own family is every bit as important as anyone else needing us.

Your boundaries are very similar to my husband's and mine. I'm glad to see you promoting healthy chivalry as opposed to patriarchy.


raswhiting said...

The Junia Project has another post this week that is even more relevant to this subject. THe tile is "Questions About Egalitarian Dating" but it delves into chivalry and honor and respect that apply in marriage as well. The readers have added many helpful comments too. The link is

raswhiting said...

When I commented about the workplace, and Wade's "rule" not working well, I was thinking of this part of #3: "physically and emotionally distant from other women when his wife is not present with him." In the work place I must treat men and women the same. And in my workplace I cannot be emotionally and physically distant from people while providing excellent service to colleagues. Although since much business is done by phone, the distance thing works out much of the time.

Brindusa said...

Tom Ross, thank you for responding to me. Much of what you describe sounds familiar... Where I live, there are some people who stay away from hiring those who profess to be believers for jobs... because they'd rather keep their illusions. Also, many business owners who are known to be believers (or at least church goers)tend to treat their workers worse than unbelievers do - exploit them, not pay them decent wages, be obsessed with their own personal gain... I'm sure there are very serious and loving Christians out there. But too many of those who profess to be Christians are clearly frauds and giving Christianity a bad name. That's sad.

EMSoliDeoGloria said...

I really like these and personally try to practice them in reverse toward the brothers in my life.

I think I know what you were trying to express in your 3rd point about emotional boundaries. I'm not sure I quite like the way it was expressed.
I'll say for myself that I never accept in confidence a member of the other sex attempting to gain sympathy by sharing problems in their relationship with their wife. I'll redirect them to their own behavior, suggest they speak with a brother or suggest that I'd be happy to talk with them and their wife about it at the same time.

Anonymous said...

I agree.

Anonymous said...

"Five Acts of Spiritual Chivalry for Christian Men"

Great. Very great for men to treat women with respect.
So, when will the author write the "Five Acts of Marital Submission for Christian Women"? After all, the submission and obedience of the wife to her husband is actually everywhere commanded in the Bible anytime it addresses Christians' domestic relations.

Victorious said...

Anonymous, there are far more than 5 behaviors for men and women in scripture and nowhere is anyone of them noted as gender-specific.

The 59 “One Anothers” of the New Testament*

1. “…Be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50)
2. “…Wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)
3. “…Love one another…” (John 13:34)
4. “…Love one another…” (John 13:34)
5. “…Love one another…” (John 13:35)
6. “…Love one another…” (John 15:12)
7. “…Love one another” (John 15:17)
8. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” (Romans 12:10)
9. “…Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
10. “Live in harmony with one another…” (Romans 12:16)
11. “…Love one another…” (Romans 13:8)
12. “…Stop passing judgment on one another.” (Romans 14:13)
13. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you…” (Romans 15:7)
14. “…Instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14)
15. “Greet one another with a holy kiss…” (Romans 16:16)
16. “…When you come together to eat, wait for each other.” (I Cor. 11:33)
17. “…Have equal concern for each other.” (I Corinthians 12:25)
18. “…Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (I Corinthians 16:20)
19. “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (II Corinthians 13:12)
20. “…Serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
21. “If you keep on biting and devouring each other…you will be destroyed by each other.” 
(Galatians 5:15)
22. “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:26)
23. “Carry each other’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2)
24. “…Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
25. “Be kind and compassionate to one another…” (Ephesians 4:32)
26. “…Forgiving each other…” (Ephesians 4:32)
27. “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5:19)
28. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
29. “…In humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
30. “Do not lie to each other…” (Colossians 3:9)
31. “Bear with each other…” (Colossians 3:13)
32. “…Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” (Colossians 3:13)
33. “Teach…[one another]” (Colossians 3:16)
34. “…Admonish one another (Colossians 3:16)
35. “…Make your love increase and overflow for each other.” (I Thessalonians 3:12)
36. “…Love each other.” (I Thessalonians 4:9)
37. “…Encourage each other…”(I Thessalonians 4:18)
38. “…Encourage each other…” I Thessalonians 5:11)
39. “…Build each other up…” (I Thessalonians 5:11)
40. “Encourage one another daily…” Hebrews 3:13)
41. “…Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
42. “…Encourage one another.” (Hebrews 10:25)
43. “…Do not slander one another.” (James 4:11)
44. “Don’t grumble against each other…” (James 5:9)
45. “Confess your sins to each other…” (James 5:16)
46. “…Pray for each other.” (James 5:16)
47. “…Love one another deeply, from the heart.” (I Peter 3:8)
48. “…Live in harmony with one another…” (I Peter 3:8)
49. “…Love each other deeply…” (I Peter 4:8)
50. “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (I Peter 4:9)
51. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…” (I Peter 4:10)
52. “…Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…”(I Peter 5:5)
53. “Greet one another with a kiss of love.” (I Peter 5:14)
54. “…Love one another.” (I John 3:11)
55. “…Love one another.” (I John 3:23)
56. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:7)
57. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:11)
58. “…Love one another.” (I John 4:12)
59. “…Love one another.” (II John 5)

If we agree with these behaviors and agree that they are not gender-specific, we will have to agree that they result in a relationship of mutuality in the body of Christ at large without exception regardless of one's status, age, gender, ethnicity, or marital status.

Mary Ann