What Christian men want from Christian women… in paintings!

Chivalry and chastity are two important factors in my life. Both of these ideas are rooted in Christianity, and they give men tools for expressing themselves to women using words or gifts, instead of using touch. Both are complex disciplines to learn. Reading literature is the best way to learn, or by watching your parents get along, if you have a good father and mother (I did not!). But another way to learn is by studying the great works of art. You can learn a lot about the differences between men and women by looking at great art – and you can get some ideas on how to treat them, too.

Below are just a few of my favorite paintings. (I like the Pre-Raphaelite era especially) Each of these paintings expresses something that men want from women in a chaste and chivalrous relationship. These behaviors are great as part of a formal courtship.

Click the small images for MUCH larger images!


Godspeed - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1900
Godspeed - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1900

Men should be judged by godly women based on whether they are doing what God wants them to do. Those men who are willing to put God first in their planning should be recognized as special. Standard procedure is to give committed Christian men a token with the lady’s colors that he can carry into battle.


The Accolade - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1901
The Accolade - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1901

Men need to be encouraged to fulfill their obligations to God by receiving the approval of godly women. Men who accomplish great things for God should receive rewards from women. Notice that the painting is portraying a public accolade.


Alain Chartier - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1903
Alain Chartier - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1903

Along with her relationship with God, godly women should make time for relating to godly men, especially to her husband if she is married. This is even more important than parenting! I am a big believer in eye contact and long written essays.


Call to Arms - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1888
Call to Arms - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1888
Duty - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1883
Duty - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1883

Women need to understand that a man’s duty to her comes second to a man’s duty to God. Part of loving a man is letting him do the activities that he needs to do in order to flourish as a man. Treating a man as a little boy by trying to control him is a sure way to make him disengage from the relationship.


St. George Fighting the Dragon - Raphael Sanzio - 1505
St. George Fighting the Dragon - Raphael Sanzio - 1505

A woman should be able to drive a stick shift, fire a Springfield Arms XD accurately, do the family tax return, throw a football 20 yards, and barbecue steaks. However, when men are around, she should allow men to do things for her, even if she can do them better herself. Men should always be asked to do dangerous tasks (shoveling snow, killing spiders, etc.), and they should never be criticized by women about their performance in front of other people, only in private – and even then with gentleness.

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7 thoughts on “What Christian men want from Christian women… in paintings!”

  1. Some of your demands for a woman’s qualifications are so inane it is no wonder you are still looking. “Throw a football 20 yards.” I can’t even do that, nor have I ever cared one whit about sports! So why would I care if a woman could throw it? Why should a woman’s prowess with the sports-god be even thought about as a qualification for a godly wife?!? And barbecuing? Another worthless need. I find the barbecue to be a waste of money since the food can be cooked just fine in the kitchen, and inside it can be done year-round.

    Even the idea of needing to shoot a gun has nothing to do with a woman being intelligent and godly. What if the husband doesn’t like guns? Are people wrong if they don’t like guns in their homes? I’m a gun nut, but to each his own. As noted previously, I had several guns when I met my wife and she didn’t like guns at all. Although I did make sure she knew how to operate them, and took her to the range once shortly after we married to have her fire some rounds, she wanted nothing to do with them for the next 30 years but now enjoys shooting. By your rules I shouldn’t have considered her for a mate.

    Drive a stick-shift, yes. Because that is the only kind of car I ever bought!


    1. Glenn, these are just metaphorical ways of expressing the idea that a woman should defer to a man when he is present, but should NOT be dependent on him when he is not present. It’s not the specifics that matter, it’s the general idea that matters.


  2. This is a beautifully written and beautifully illustrated article and absolutely true. When we as women miss chivalry in today’s society it is partly because we forgot how to inspire it in the men around us.
    It is for sure no coincidence that the second verse of my native German national anthem was scratched from the official version:
    German women, German loyalty,
    German wine and German song
    Shall retain in the world
    Their old beautiful chime
    And inspire us to noble deeds
    During all of our life.
    When women can inspire noble deeds in the men around them through their own walk of virtue, society as a whole will be better for it.
    The art of pursuing a Godly woman, though, cannot be neglected as well. There are some beautifully written books on that topic as well which I have discussed a long while ago myself.


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