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Your Boy: Raising a Godly Son in an Ungodly World

(Broadman & Holman)

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Are You Raising a Nice Guy?

By Vicki Courtney Nice guys are not born; they are made. While dads will play a big role in modeling noble behavior to their sons, moms should never minimize the critical role they play. Don’t wait until your son is about to enter into his first dating relationship and then give him a crash course in acceptable dating behavior.

During my ministry to college women, I was disturbed at the number of young ladies who shared that “good Christian guys” are rare on their campuses and in their church groups. Many shared that the Christian guys were no different from the rest of the guys out there when it comes to rude behaviors, sexual joking, immaturity, and lack of respect for women. How sad.

Christian parents must be purposeful in training their sons or, by default, their sons will follow the world’s lead. Christians are called to be set apart from the world. That being said, moms (and dads) should consider passing down the “nice guy’s dating code of behavior” to their sons and continue to hold them accountable to that code over the years. Some of these may seem out of date or old-fashioned, but if you have a daughter, I’m sure you’ll agree that nothing less is acceptable for your girl!

Nice guys . . .

  • Never ask a girl out via IM, text message, or e-mail.
  • Never discuss details of the relationship with their friends, or anyone, for that matter. It will almost always come back to haunt them.
  • Never flirt with someone else’s girlfriend. There will be many insecure girls who initiate the flirting to bait the attention they crave, but most guys see through this behavior and recognize that they are one of many boys being flirted with.
  • Stay true to their friends. If they are considering asking out a friend of a past girlfriend or a buddy’s past girlfriend, they will wait a suitable amount of time and, if need be, give the friend or past girlfriend the heads-up beforehand.
  • Will not engage in physical intimacies (hand-holding, kissing, etc.) with someone he is not going out with.
  • Do not believe in “going Dutch” when they have a girlfriend. Some exceptions might be made (expensive concerts, etc.), but they should not be the rule.
  • Make every effort to introduce themselves to the parents of the girl they are dating. With confidence and assurance, they know how to give a firm handshake to the girl’s dad, make proper eye contact with him and the girl’s mom, use proper manners (“Yes, sir,” “No, ma’am”), be responsive to any questions they ask, and initiate conversation with them from time to time.
  • Do not build a relationship with a girlfriend solely by means of IM and text messaging. Some conversations were meant to occur by phone call or face-to-face.
  • Are not in the habit of belching, passing gas, swearing, and other abominable behaviors in front of the opposite sex. Girls should be treated as girls—not “one of the guys.”
  • Open car doors and doors, allow their girlfriends to pass through doors ahead of them, as well as display other common acts of courtesy.
  • Never engage in sexual banter with the opposite sex. Insecure girls may laugh along with them, but deep inside they feel disrespected and devalued.
  • Recognize the importance of prayer for making wise choices and avoiding temptations in a relationship.
  • Flee tempting situations. No need to explain. If need be, they run for their lives and explain later.
  • Never expect the girl they are dating to set the physical limits in the relationship. They have determined their own limits according to God, up front.
  • Never end relationships over the telephone or by IM, e-mail, or text messaging. Further, they do not ask friends to deliver the bad news. If she was important enough to ask out in the first place, she is important enough to end the relationship in person.
  • Behave nobly after the breakup. They do not vent their hurt or anger publicly or seek revenge.
    Treat past girlfriends with honor and respect. They do not betray them by sharing personal information with others.

There you have it. Are you raising a “nice guy”? If you see some signs in your son that cause you to believe the answer is no, it is not too late to try to teach him the ropes when it comes to relating to the opposite sex in a healthy manner.

Never underestimate the role you play in helping your son navigate these uncertain currents. The time you invest in helping him relate to girls will not return void. Even if he rolls his eyes, shrugs you off, or harasses you about the advice you give, persevere. There have been many times when I have imparted great motherly wisdom to my older son on matters involving girls only to be told, “Mom, you have no clue what you are talking about.” Just recently he had the humility to admit that most everything I had told him had proved true or come to pass. With that he added with frustration and a smile, “It is so annoying!” And I thought he wasn’t listening. He doesn’t always follow my counsel, but clearly my words of wisdom were not forgotten.

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About the author: As a past agnostic and feminist, Vicki bought into the world's formula for liberation only to emerge empty and confused in her college years. During her junior year at the University of Texas in Austin, a friend invited her to a Christian conference for college students. It was there that she discovered that true liberation could only be found in Jesus Christ. She later founded Virtuous Reality Ministries® which reaches over 150,000 girls and mothers a year. She is the creator of, an online magazine for teen girls, and college-aged and adult women. Vicki resides in Austin , Texas with her husband, Keith and three children, Ryan, Paige and Hayden.

Adapted from Your Boy: Raising a Godly Son in an Ungodly World by Vicki Courtney, copyright © 2006. Published by Broadman & Holman Publishers. Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.


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