What it Means to be a Gentleman

by Dr. Lorin Bradbury

Question: Can you please talk about what it means to be a gentleman? I think it would benefit men and boys to know how to treat others with civility, especially women. Thank you!

Answer: Interesting question! I did a little research and found nothing from a purely psychological perspective. The Internet is full of opinions about what characters should be considered, so I decided my opinions were probably as valid as anyone else’s.

I still believe in helping my wife put on her coat and opening doors for her, including car doors. In fact, I will hold a door open for any lady and stand back until she passes through.

I believe a good way to describe a gentleman would be to go the Bible and open to I Corinthians 13. This is known as the classic description of love: “Love is patient (longsuffering), love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (Corinthians 13:4-7).

Now instead of using the word “love,” lets us the word “gentleman.”

“A gentleman is patient (longsuffering), a gentleman is kind. He does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud. He is not rude, he is not self-seeking, he is not easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs. A gentleman does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I believe if men and boys will seek to fulfill that description, it is likely someone will speak of them as gentleman.

Lorin L. Bradbury, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Bethel. For appointments, he can be reached at 543-3266. If you have questions that you would like Dr. Bradbury to answer in the Delta Discovery, please send them to The Delta Discovery, P.O. Box 1028, Bethel, AK 99559, or e-mail them to [email protected].