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Talking to Young People About Drinking

I like the taste of some beers. I really do. I like enjoying a nice beer. It relaxes me and it calms me. Wine does the same thing. That’s why my wife enjoys a glass of wine. It relaxes her, and relieves some of her stress. It eases up her shoulders after a long day. It’s okay to do that.

But you shouldn’t drink to a point where you’re no longer sober-minded. And my sons are going to know that.

If my sons ask me if it’s wrong to drink, I will say, “No. It’s not wrong. If you drink to drunkenness, son, that’s when it is wrong.”

I won’t tell them it’s a sin to drink, because that’s not true. But it is against the law to drink. I’ll tell them about that. I think that angle would work pretty well for most young people. It is illegal, and you’ve got to follow the laws about drinking.

So when my sons turn 16, they might ask me, “Why can’t I have a beer?” I’ll tell them, “In this country, it’s not legal for a 16 year-old to drink beer. That’s why. The Bible says to obey the government that you’re in, and this country, they don’t want you drinking at sixteen years of age.”

be sober

Because here’s another reality: at sixteen, you’ve just started driving. You don’t know whether to make a left turn or a right turn. You’re not even confident enough to know whether to speed up or slow down at a yellow light. So what makes you think that you’re going to make the right decision when you’re sixteen and drunk? If you get drunk and then drive drunk, people can die.

That’s why it’s against the law for teenagers to drink. There are huge decisions involved here, with huge consequences!

The government says that when you turn 21, you’re an adult.  At 21, you are expected to make adult decisions. And an adult decision is a decision that can influence another person’s life. So at 21, you can go ahead and drink. But if you drive drunk, and someone dies, you can be held with adults, and you can be punished as an adult.

I know young people will argue , especially when they reach the age of 18. They’ll say, “I’m 18 years old, so I should be able to make my own decisions.” Right. Because you’re good at that. At 16, 17, 18 years old, you’re telling me that the decisions you make are made with a lot of wisdom. You’ve been through life. You know exactly what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

I know you think you know everything. Well, you don’t. I mean, we all went through it when we were 18. I get it. I understand. But it is what it is. You have to wait until you’re 21. Anyway, when it comes to alcohol, too much of it can cause you to lose self-control, and that leads to bad consequences. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. People see self-control in us when we represent Jesus, and they don’t see Him in us when we lose self-control.

That’s what I’ll tell my sons. Because when you’re 21 boys, you are no longer in my control. When you’re 21, I can’t help you. You’ll be an adult then, making adult decisions. While you’re with me, I’ll give you wisdom. I’ll help you, defend you, and fight for you. But I’m not going to sit there and slap your hand if you have a beer or an alcoholic drink at 21. You can do what you want. Just know that I can’t go to battle for you anymore.

We can tell our children it’s a sin to drink. We can try to control them with fear. But why not relate to them instead, with love and respect? That’s what I want to talk about next time. See you Thursday.

2 thoughts on “Talking to Young People About Drinking

  1. I am an adult child of an alcoholic so I have pretty strong feelings about alcohol. I occasionally will have a beer or a glass of wine. My favorite is a really good glass of red wine. I know from years and years of experience, in spite of my Irish heritage, I can be moderate. That is how I have always been and that is how I will always be in the future. Shopping is another thing all together, especially for my beautiful daughter who is my only child light of my life. I spoil her a great deal. I am getting better, ironically, with her help.

    So, I agree with all you say. Yet, I wonder if your adult sons would have some problem, even say with alcohol some day. I think the compassionate man who plays in the 7th to 8th inning would work extra innings for his two adult young men, even if they are over 21 years old. It is a good metaphorical stick to hold out that the game of saving you is over once you hit 21 years old. Yet, I know with all my mind, heart spirit and soul that I will still be parenting and yes, sometimes saving my daughter till the day I go home to the Lord. I will have to have angels sent down once I am home with Jesus. The goal is independence, but then life just happens and your child is your child… the bone of your bone and the flesh or your flesh and you see their wide eyes staring up at you in fear like when their heart was first broken over a dog dying or a friend betraying them. Then, at least for the moms, it’s all over, they are your baby again and by God you will save them when they are fifty if you still have life and breath to do it. Amen. Go Giants! Victoria

  2. Fantastic perspective and way to share with our kids the right and wrong~~ Having kids who are “old enough” to drink and suffer the consequences of over-indulging, I have seen this first hand. Sharing ways to talk with our kids about the issues is so helpful. Keep it up!

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