Over the last few weeks, a very interesting question has floated to the MOAT. How do you raise your boys (and girls) to respect their roles in a society that is pressing to reverse them. One example … Dating.
Not just mainstream but also the conservative crowd has championed the art of “group dating”, an approach that certainly avoids some pitfalls, but creates others … such as complacent young men who rarely need to step up to the plate.
The topic arose as our district’s first dance approached. The dance, Highlights, is a girl ask guy. So you have several freshman girls whose very first date will be one where she has to make the tough call (you know the one where your stomach hurts and you dread every minute until it’s over), arrange the evening, (for some) even pay.
So I floated the issue of guy/girl responsibility to our Ironing Board. Here’s one very interesting response from our dear Lucina Thompson.
Love that you are handling this question. I can only speak from my own family’s experience (which was so very different than my own dating experience).
I’m not so sure I’d focus on the lack of responsibility of the boys, but rather the father’s of both the boys and the girls. It really all starts there. The boys will step up if their father expects them to. The girls will not “drive” the relationship if their father will not allow them to. So, if you want to talk about that, I’d love to weigh in. Anytime we make the kids responsible for their own behavior at 13+, we are in danger!!
Now, here’s the cool part. She sent it straight to where the buck stops… her husband, Kyle. Here’s his take:
Some rough thoughts: Given the culture we live in and the message of sex, pleasure, and pursuit of gratification; how do I expect my son and daughter to be able to navigate all that is thrown at them if I am not intentionally and proactively helping train them!
This is clearly my responsibility from Deut. 6:6-9; Eph 6:4 etc.
How do I expect them to understand how to apply I Tim 5:2, I Thess 4:1-8; I Cor. 6:12-20
As a dad these are great opportunities to navigate dances, dates, proms, etc to help them rather than relying on what their friends do as normative.
Our first entrée into this was when Jordan was in high school. He had a girl ask him to a highlights type of dance.
We had spent months prior to this on understanding what leadership is, how to lead as a young man, how to interact with young women in a way that honors Christ and them.
Jordan accepted and then asked the what was the best to get ahold of her dad.
We role played on what he would say etc. After he was comfortable Jordan called him and told him he would like to come over and visit with him. The dad was taken back as you can imagine.
Since Jordan couldn’t drive he set a time and I drove him over and went in with him.
He met with the mom and dad and let them know:
1) He understood the responsibility he had to treat her in a way that would honor them.
2) He expected that given he would be responsible for how he treated her they would want to know more about him.
3) He therefore wanted to int
roduce himself, let them know a little about him and allow them to ask him questions.
(This was all for a highlights dance that he was asked to and did not involve “dating” etc)
The mom and dad were overwhelmed with what Jordan had done and even voiced how they had whiffed by not training their older son to do the same.
The girl got to see how young men should engage with her.
Above all, Jordan’s little sister got to watch and see how she should expect young men to treat her.
As a result, the first time Audrey got invited to a dance she
1) Thanked the young man and told him he would need to call me,
2) She and I got to talk in advance so I could be prepared etc,
3)Gave me an opportunity to affirm and help equip another young man on how to treat/honor women.
Lastly, she got to expose the young man in that he retracted his invitation immediately because he had to contact her dad!
Thanks, Lucina and Kyle for weighing in. … We’ll have more to come on this topic if y’all want.