Boy to Man Book, Chapter 10: Booze and Drugs
(For a father to read with his teen or pre-teen son.)
Boys abuse drugs and alcohol. Men don’t.
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” ~ Proverbs 20:1
As you grow to manhood, you will have a decision to make about the use of both alcohol and drugs.
Some students of Scripture believe that, for adults, drinking alcohol in moderation is permissible according to the Bible, while others believe it is forbidden. The Bible indicates in Romans 14 that this is a matter for each man to decide between himself and God.
But all mature men know that, while drinking itself may not be a sin, drunkenness always is. Lives, marriages, families and careers have been destroyed by intoxicating beverages that were consumed in excess.
Don’t let yourself become another grim statistic. The time is now, right now, to make a decision that you will never get drunk, even if you join a fraternity in college. Young men do really stupid things when they are drunk, including getting into fights (“strong drink [is] a brawler”), and driving under the influence, which can leave them in big trouble or even dead.
And now is the time to decide you will not take drugs, period. The only reason to take any drug, other than one prescribed by your doctor for illness, is to get high. Hard drugs have obvious and destructive effects on males, messing with their minds, their health, their ambitions and their ability to function.
But even marijuana, which a lot of your peers will call a recreational drug that won’t do you any harm, can lead to permanent brain damage. This long-lasting brain damage is particularly pronounced in males who starting smoking dope when they are in their teens.
Even casual pot use causes abnormalities in the part of the brain that deals with emotion, motivation, judgment and planning, meaning pot use will stunt your emotional growth and reduce your drive to succeed in life and your ability to make good decisions.
The earlier someone starts smoking pot, the more the chances are that it will make him slower at tasks, reduce his IQ and increase his risk of stroke later in life. So if you don’t want to be dumber, and lazier, sicker and less successful as an adult, don’t even think about picking up a joint.
Now is the time, right now, to resolve that you will not fry your brain with drugs, even pot. Even a little bit of pot. Just don’t do it.
The New Testament is quite direct: “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). The word “debauchery” means excessive indulgence in pleasure. What God is warning us about is that when we hand over control of our minds and bodies to substances like drugs or alcohol, it lowers our self-restraint and we wind up doing a lot of things we will live to regret.
We will do things that cannot be undone, all because we were too high or too drunk to make smart choices. Do not let this happen to you.
The counsel of the Proverbs is this: “Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way. Do not be among drunkards…for the drunkard will come to poverty” (Proverbs 23:19-21). The lesson is pretty simple: don’t hang with or run with males who like to get drunk and get high.
If you are with friends who start to head down that road, don’t go with them. Peel out of there so fast it will give you a nosebleed. You won’t regret it.
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine…in the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. ~ Proverbs 29:29-33
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)
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