Did you know that young adults are more likely to binge drink?
Or that college educated Americans are more likely than those without a college degree to say they’ve had a drink within the last 30 days?
What if I told you that 13% of people who attend church are binge drinkers?
Don’t believe me? Then, check out the Pew Research to find out if attending church lowers the probability that you will take a drink in the next 30 days.
During my elementary school years, I hid my uncle’s 6 pack of beer in the freezer and often threw away full liquor bottles hidden in the bushes. Even as a young girl, I didn’t like the personality changes that resulted when my uncles drank. I had no idea that their teen experimental sampling would result in a life of addiction or how that would affect my life.
Everyone feels awkward or inadequate at some point in their life and for that reason we sometimes order a glass of wine or mug of beer to give us a feeling of confidence. Teens drink to make them feel like adults in charge of their own lives. Alcohol makes us all feel happy and to continue the euphoria we fill another glass.
Once the influence of alcohol wears off, guilt and depression lies in wait. No one feels good the morning after an all nighter. Not to mention the problems that occurred during the drinking binge.
Maybe you drove home and crashed. My father died driving under the influence the night of his birthday. Or maybe you live through the crash like one of my uncles. While he lived, he permanently lost his eyesight that night. Or maybe you will only have one drink and after it wears off, you drive your girlfriend home. But on the way home a truck slams into your motorcycle resulting in your friend’s death. That consequence is my cousin’s burden.
Even if you never sit in the driver’s seat, there are still unintended consequences. Perhaps you’re a little too friendly with your girlfriend’s husband, and now your friendship is in jeopardy. Or maybe you wake up somewhere you never intended and now you face an unplanned pregnancy.
But if you don’t believe these things can or will happen to you, I challenge you to have a sober friend video you when you are drinking. If you think you remember everything that happens after your first drink, viewing the video will be an eye-opener. And just maybe it will scare you enough to never drink excessively again.
The worse part of alcoholism is you don’t realize when you are addicted. Here’s a survey you can take to see if you are an alcoholic and don’t know it. If you feel the need to cover up your drinking habits…you may be an alcoholic. Anyone who cannot control their drinking habit desperately needs help.
According to Alcoholics Anonymous, “until alcoholics hit rock bottom or admit their life is out of control, there is little hope of any change.” The first step to recovery is admitting drinking is a problem.
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13 NIV
If you are an alcoholic, there is hope for you. God is able to free you from addiction.
If your loved one is an alcoholic there is hope. God is able to free them from addiction.
“Through the power of Jesus Christ, the LORD will bring your mind and heart into harmony with God through obedience to His will and accepting His forgiveness…In Christ alone there is deliverance from our tortured thoughts and freedom from alcohol which destroys not only your life, but your family members too (Graham, Billy)”.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 NIV
How Do We Help Without Becoming Enablers?
- Let them know that you care about them and enjoy talking with them. But only talk to the person when they are sober.
- Offer to take them to a detox center.
- Avoid being judgemental, after all we all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:8 NIV
- Ask if they ever have received Christ as their Savior. Explain how Jesus died on the cross so that He could offer both salvation and restoration.
- Ask if they are willing to quit drinking for good. They must make this decision for themselves. Just because we drive them to the rehab center doesn’t mean they will make this decision. But we can share how God will provide a way out if only they will resist.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10: 13 NIV
6. Now comes the hard part. They must turn away from all their drinking buddies and even loved ones who hinder the decision “not to drink anyone.” But don’t worry! The LORD is faithful and He will give new friends who support their life changes. The desire to share their new life with their old drinking buddies may be strong, but remind them to allow God to strengthen them first. It can be difficult to walk away from an old way of life, so I suggest don’t walk but RUN! Run away like Lot hurried from Sodom and don’t look back. Christ has a better plan for your life than what Alcohol offers. Christ gives life, while alcohol destroys.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
7. Humble yourself and attend an Alcoholics Anonymous or other support group with your friend. They WILL need accountability and encouragement. Remind them they are not alone.
8. This is the Biggie! Help them find a Bible teaching church where to worship, study scripture, and discover mentors. And if actually walking through church doors scares them witless, then encourage them to listen online.
9. Don’t be surprised if they fall back into temptation. Prepare them in advance what to do if they “fall off the wagon.” Tell them when that happens, turn back to the LORD and confess. Remind them to wake up every morning and recommit every day to not drink. Ask God to remove that desire from them.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
10. Help them find three people at church to pray for them. It’s important to find three people to make certain they are covered in prayer daily. In case you forget, there are two others to lift them up to the LORD each day. While Joshua was battling in the valley, Abraham was on the mountain praying. But when his arms wearied, there were two helpers who held up his arms until the battle was won.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 NIV
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12: 1 -2 NIV
11. Advise them to seek counseling from a Christian counselor, pastor, or psychologist who has experience with alcoholism. Covering up insecurity, failure, or stress may be a reason they drink. Ask the LORD to reveal to them the reason, so they can surrender it to Him once and for all.
Will you Pray With Me?
Heavenly Father, You are our Confidence, our Victory, and our Power. We repent of the place that we have placed alcohol in our society which endangers our children. We ask that you remove the desire to drink alcohol from our children, friends, and family members. Instead of turning to alcohol when we are weary or tired, we will turn to you LORD. Only You provide the rest we seek. Thank you for loving us so much that you sent your Son, Jesus, so that our belief in Christ gives us eternal life. Transform our loved ones minds each hour of every day that Your Power will be enough to give them strength to resist this temptation. In Jesus Name, We Pray, Amen.
Alcoholic’s Anonymous (website)
Christian Churches in the United States (website)
Edgewater Alliance Church (online audio sermons)
Graham, Billy. (2013) Christian Worker’s handbook. A Topical Guide with Biblical Answers to the urgent concerns of our day. Below is an affiliate link for me. If you use the link and purchase anything from Amazon, then a small percentage will be sent to support this writing ministry. Thank you for your support!
Schwadel, Philip. (2019). American’s Drinking Habits Vary by Faith.