Never drink alcohol to the point where you’re no longer sober-minded. My sons are going to know that.
When they 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 it’s not true. But it is against the law for them to drink. They can’t legally drink until they are twenty-one. I’ll make sure they know that!
When my sons turn sixteen, they might ask me, “Why can’t I have a beer?” I will tell them, “In this country, it’s not legal. The Bible says to obey the government, and this government doesn’t want you drinking at sixteen years of age.”
Why do I think they’ll ask me at sixteen? It’s the age when they will start driving. Do you remember driving at sixteen? It’s a challenge. You have to build your confidence. Sometimes 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. It’s really easy to make a wrong decision.
It’s against the law to drink and drive because the consequences of a wrong decision can be huge. You can kill someone. And teenagers are especially vulnerable to making poor decisions.
I’ll invite them to think about how hard it is to be sixteen and drive. And then I’ll ask, “What makes you think that you’re going to make the right decision at the wheel when you’re sixteen and drunk?”
The government says that when you turn twenty-one, you make adult decisions. An adult decision is a decision that can influence another person’s life. So at twenty-one, you can go ahead and drink. But if you drive drunk and someone dies, you can be jailed with adults, and you can be punished as an adult.
I know young people will argue. They’ll say, “I’m eighteen years old, so I should be able to make my own decisions.” Right. Because you’re good at that. At sixteen, seventeen, eighteen years old, you’re telling me that the decisions you make are made with a lot of wisdom. You’re telling me that you’ve been through life. You know exactly what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Well kids, I know you think you know everything. But you know what? You don’t! I know, because we all thought the same thing when we were sixteen. Or eighteen. I thought I had it all figured out too. I get it! I understand. But it’s not true. And when it comes to alcohol, too much of it can cause you to lose self-control, and this can be dangerous. It can get you or someone else killed.
That’s what I’ll tell my sons. I’ll tell them, and I’ll keep dialoging with them about it. Because when they turn twenty-one, they will no longer be in my control and I won’t be able to help them. They will be adults. They will be making adult decisions. I will still give them wisdom. I will still help them. But I can’t sit there and slap their hands if they have a beer or an alcoholic drink at twenty-one. They can do what they want, and I can’t go to battle for them.
That’s why I have to protect and prepare them now. More on this next time. See you Wednesday.