Today’s Table Talk is by our friend Ruth Meek, the manners maven.

I asked her to consider for a moment our pertinent issue of group dating/girls leading relationships.

Here are her thoughts.

Thanks Ruth 

… and Thanks for walking the road with me.


Many parents of adolescents are frustrated with the new cultural norm of group dating.  They observe with angst their daughters run with the social reigns and their sons relax and let them. This aggression in the girls and passivity in the boys is an issue modern Christian families should lean against.

Long held Biblical beliefs about the role of the husband are severely challenged today.  Ideas such as: the husband has spiritual authority over his wife and is the head of household (anything with two heads is a monster), and that the husband is the primary protector/provider for his family.

Regardless of how society views it, in God’s opinion, in a Christian marriage, the husband is the leaders.  He will either lead well or badly.  Adolescence is a good time for a young man to stand against the assault on Biblical manhood and begin practicing leadership skills in his boy/girl relationships.

When my children were younger, Robin Lewis, founder of The Providence Christian School, gave me a valuable parenting tip: “Work backwards”.  That is, consider what you want your children to be like when they leave for college and start working towards that goal. 

As I considered Post Modern culture’s problem, I remembered an instructive book, A Modern Day Night, by Robert Lewis (no relationship to Robin).  This powerful work gives fathers a framework for shaping Godly attitudes about women and leadership in their sons.

Ideally, our sons have seen theirs father model kind authority at home.  And, hopefully, they are in a harmonious relationship with their dads; for as culture specialist John Seel says, “Rules without relationship breed rebellion.” But he still needs to take advantage of situations where he can get experience in working this out in his own social life. 

Here’s a challenge for you parents of teenaged boys, the next time a ‘date’ occasion, such as a school dance, rolls around, encourage him give some prior thought to who he might enjoy spending an evening with. (Constant cellular contact and text messaging deprives our kids of opportunities to practice advance planning skills).  Have him think through issues such as, where they might go before or/after the dance, who else he might invite to join them, etc.  

Suggest that he call this girl on his own – meaning cold call her – meaning call her without any prior communication with her girlfriends. That’s a courage cultivator for sure. I
can remember in high school admiring the guys with guts enough to call unannounced. The aggressive networks of junior and senior high girls specializing in matchmaking and social planning keep many young men from learning how to take initiative and make plans for a social event.

And even if he has misunderstood his place in the pecking order and gets turned down, painful lessons usually lead to the greatest character building.  For a young man to learn how to deal with rejection and maintain his self-esteem will serve him well all his life.

One more suggestion for pre-teens is a program called, Survival Etiquette Essentials (SEE).  This course is offered by the Jon D. Williams Cotillions   It is not Christian curricula, but the material is not antagonistic to our values.  I recommend it for your 6th-8th grade students.  See:

May God establish the work of your hands today.

Love, Ruth

Ruth Meek

Ruth Meek, founder of Redeeming Ministries, is a Realtor, Etiquette Coach,mother of four, and mentor to many. She is a highly sought after speaker (and soon to be author) on issues pertaining to: reclaiming Christmas, the benefits of silence, and intimacy with husbands.  Ruth is a native of Jackson, MS; she has lived in Dallas for 30 years. Ruth and Stephen have been happily married for 25 years.  The Meek family are active charter members of Park Cities Presbyterian

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