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Drinking Dilemma

Discussion in 'Biblical Advices' started by SoulFire, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. Drinking Dilemma

    Hello everyone,
    I'm new here, and I hope you can help me. I joined because I need advice from Christians who I don't know personally. It is a delicate subject and I know it can be very easy for some to pass judgment.

    I am a college student who has been dating a wonderful guy for almost two years now. We are both Christians, but I am the stronger of the two of us. He is extremely shy around new people, and as a result he didn't make any friends while at college last year. That hit him pretty hard, but I kept encouraging him and told him that he just hadn't met the right people (and I do believe it takes a special kind of person who is willing to put in the extra effort to get to know a shy person. I did and I'm glad, because beneath the shyness I found an amazing person whom I love dearly).

    I read my Bible daily and strongly adhere to Christian principles. There are a few verses in the Bible that discuss abiding by the laws of our time (i.e. 1 Peter 2:13-14: "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right." This may not be the best verse to use as an example, but I am sure you get my point). With that said, the current legal drinking age in the US is 21. I have no qualms about waiting to drink alcoholic beverages in small amounts on occasion until I am of age, legally, to do so. However, my boyfriend has been wanting to receive my blessing to allow him to drink. I know there is a stigma attached to underage drinking and college students: that they all do it to get absolutely drunk, where they will then get themselves into a dire situation or perhaps do something they wouldn't normally do because of their clouded judgment. My boyfriend is extremely responsible. He assures me that if he were to drink, it would be in a safe setting with a few close individuals whom he trusts, and that it would only be a social thing and he would take great care to drink only a small amount. I believe him when he says this. However, I can't get past the fact that it's illegal. I also just don't like the idea of him drinking; it is not fitting of who he is. I know that he would be true to his word and only do it in a safe setting, not at a wild frat party. He and I have had many serious discussions about this. At times he will ask me, "Since the drinking age in Europe is 16, would you be fine with me drinking there?" and "What about speeding?" (I will exceed the speed limit by a couple miles an hour from time to time, which qualifies me for technically breaking the law).

    I know I have valid reasons for objecting to his desire to drink. He brings up good points too, though. I also know that he sees it as an opportunity to make friends (of course, I have told him you don't have to drink to make friends, and that there is no guarantee that if he drinks, he will make friends). He is always exploring all possibilities, though, and he thinks there is a faint chance that this will help him overcome the shyness he has struggled with for so long. Making friends is a huge deal to him and he was quite depressed to have not made any last year. He is on a very large campus, making it even more difficult to make new friends in such an impersonal and unfriendly place. I have given every possible counterargument as to why I don't want him to do it, and he respects my wishes. But he is still set on at least trying it to see if it will help his chances (this goes to show how desperate he is to have at least one close friend at college). It saddens me that he and I differ on this point.


    What I would like to know is, am I being too strict? Is it really as big of a deal to me as it should be? In your opinion, how bad is it for a 20 year old to have a small amount of alcohol in the presence of a few close friends in a controlled setting? I also keep in mind that in the US, it's alright for minors to drink when they are with their parents. I myself have never exercised this "right," if you will, but I do know that it exists. For all I know, I might be slightly irrational about drinking because I just don't like the idea of it being associated with someone I care so much about. Subconsciously, maybe the stigma of a college student drinking alcohol is affecting my judgment. Even if he were 21, I might still not be comfortable with him drinking. I can't say for sure at this point. He is very obviously hurt that I am not allowing him to drink. It is so important to him that it is straining our relationship. :(

    There is much more to this issue than what I've mentioned here. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I just didn't want to end up writing a book about this, but rather give you the gist in hopes that you will understand my problem. Thank you so much for reading this rambling concern of mine. I would love to hear what you have to say about this.

    Appreciatively,
    SoulFire
     
  2. I do believe his strong desire to drink is wanting to "fit in" with the other guys.
    That, to me, is a weak excuse.
    I would rather want please my girlfriend and God then the other guys.
    Personally, I would have second thoughts if my boyfriend found this more important than how I feel or abiding by the law.
    The fact is, he is not in Europe and I bet there is less alcoholism there too!
    It is one thing if he were at home with his family and had a glass of wine at dinner where he would not be leaving the house.......
    I don't mean to sound harsh but he is not a 14 year old struggling to fit in and be accepted. He is in College.
    I think his respect for you as a Christian could stand to be strengthened.
    I hope you don't think I am uncaring.
    What is truly important to him, in priority?
    This should not even be an issue if God and you were more important than his need to fit in with the world.
    Blessings to you, SoulFire~

     
  3. I don't think it's wanting to "fit in" necessarily. It's wanting to get out there and be social in a way a lot of college students utilize in order to gain a friend or two. What he wants is the best of both worlds. He wants to try a method of making friends and have me be okay with it. At this point he is already pleasing me by not going through with it. He is not going to unless I give my consent.

    It's not that he finds this more important than my feelings, but he places high value on friends as well. And he has absolutely none at college. We do not attend the same college yet I am the only visitor he ever has.

    That is a good point about Europe, and I believe I brought that up once too, about how I bet they're way more responsible about it than the average American.

    I am a higher priority to him than making friends, but the way he sees it, I am holding him back from making friends. I am taking away his main method to try and gain a friend. I don't see it like that, but that is his view and for that he is unhappy with me. I don't think he is content just having me. He wants to have some guy friends, too, which is understandable.

    I hope that clarifies a couple points for you. Thank you for your input!
     
  4. Let him think on this...you are still going to be with him long after college.

    There are plenty of popular people at college who don't have to drink like the typical freshman. Perhaps he should still hang out with the others but not drink alcohol. I think they would see a strength of character that at least most of the other students would respect and admire.

    Sadly the situation is exactly the same in some parts of Europe, particularly in Britain, where getting drunk is a part of University life, almost an initiation. But it is a phase and by the 2nd and 3rd years most students have worked past it (whether that is due to lack of money or not I don't know!)

    I know that they are very responsible in France and Italy where drinking is very much a social necessity only and over indulgence is frowned upon.

    (If only this extended to the rest of the world)
     
  5. Drinking doesn't give you friends- the bible states- if you want friends you must show yourself friendly but we don't meet lost people on their level- we share the love and grace of God with them-
     
  6. Who's Temple?

    Hey there SoulFire,

    I would like to say that he should be so greatful that you are an encouraging part of his life as he tries to find himself. I can see that you may want him to spread his wings and learn how to communicate with others, and use whatever avenues he can to gain friends.

    but, i think that the subject here is mutual respect, love, and consideration for one's spirit, for we are not our own, we are CHRISTIAN's, and our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost.

    As we mature in the Lord, we must learn to put away revellings and drunkenness, and submit ourselves to be stripped of fleshly desires. It is part of identifying with who you are, and what your purpose for God is.

    When you do not yeild your members, or desires to the Holy Spirit then God cannot fully use you to your maximum capacity for His glory.

    All seek acceptance, but few really are willing to sacrifice soulish cravings so they won't be accountable or responsible for their own actions. they can always say that the few on the crowd urged them on, and they just had to do this or that.

    not having a moral conviction, or a firm understanding of your Christian foundations would lead you to explore every inch of this planet in search of who you are and why you are here.

    when your boyfriend finally accepts God and Jesus, then he will truly love you for who you are, and how important and precious you are in his life. it will take him submitting to the love of God, that he will then see that the bottle is nothing more than an emotional crutch people use in order to engage each other socially, hence the term,..."liquid courage".

    I was able to look dead at the bottle and say enough is enough, and have not considered drinking ever again. but this kind of inner conviction, and moral fiber comes with respecting yourself, your dignity, and those closest to you.

    if i was him, and you had been there all this time, i would have thrown the bottle away a long time ago. this is simply because you just don't hear a people having the patience or desire to walk alongside a person until they finally come through.

    your telling him yes or no is like putting a yield sign on an interstate, you'll see it, slow down and obey it, but you will forget about it as soon as you see everyone passing you by.

    he must fix his eyes on Jesus, and then the Word will manifest itself in his life. You must pray for his deliverance, courage, and for his eyes to be opened, and pray that he develops a passion for God. An then, sit back in faith, take your hands off the matter, and allow God to saturate him completely. You should constantly pray positive things into his life until you see a change.

    Believe in the power of God, and not in the social power of the bottle....there's no comparison.

    let God be true, and invite him to fellowship at a local church, ministry, outreach, etc. that is bible-teaching and God-fearing, who has a men's ministry that can mentor him, and be surprised at his growth when he graduates college not merely an alumni but as a man of God with a mandate.

    be blessed and highly favored,

    steadywalking
     
  7. I see a lot of problems that extend beyond his desire to consume alcoholic beverages. To begin with, he is placing you in the role of "mommy" by asking your permission to do things. Why is he asking you? And why are you even answering him? He needs to learn to be in control of his own behavior as an adult and not force you into the mother role to control his behavior. Men who get in those patterns have a hard time breaking out of that cycle. He clearly isn't asking your advice on something as a "helpmate" as God intended. If that was the case, then he would not be argumentative and attempt to justify his behavior. Instead he is acting like a child who wants the candy at the store checkout and as much as mommy says "no" the child begins to argue and plead, and rationalize why they should have the candy. You need to step out of the mother role and tell him that if he wants to drink then that is between him and God, and although you do not approve, it is not your place to tell him how he should behave. I think you already know this without me telling you. Look at your own words, "the way he sees it, I am holding him back from making friends. I am taking away his main method to try and gain a friend." Exactly...you are mommy and you are preventing him from having that candy at the checkout. You are the "bad guy" because you set the rules. He does not want to take responsibility for his own behavior and actions. Why? Because if he fails then he has no one to blame. He wants to wear you down so that he has your mommy-permission and then when he fails he can blame you for letting him do it. I implore you to learn ways of getting out of the mommy-role. There are many men out there who do this and when I was young I was not so bright as to see it.

    There is a reason that the drinking age is 21 in our country, just as there is a reason for many laws in our country. Laws are not an excuse on how to behave. It seems like people in our society only regulate their behavior based upon the laws and have no moral code beyond that. They don't realize that many laws were create as a "band-aid" to try and fix how messed up people act. If homosexual marriage became legal tomorrow, would your friend go marry a man? In some countries people marry little girls-- does that mean we should marry off our pre-pubescent daughters? In some countries smoking marijuana is legal, does that mean that we should also adopt the law and all of us light up a joint? The point is that something being law should not be the standard for what is acceptable and not acceptable. Think of it as being that the laws were created for idiots. There are people out there who put beer in their babies bottles. That is why we have the laws that we do. Because people have lost their sense of right and wrong and society must tell them.

    If he wants friends so badly, and feels drinking is the only way to make friends, then I am sorry to say that the type of friends he wants are not the type a person needs. As an adult, I am not against the occasional drink of alcohol. What I am against is alcoholism and the way that it controls people's lives. I have seen it. Sitting in a class one day, I heard a guest speaker speak about the differences between an alcohol abuser and an alcoholic (not that either is good). If two men are sitting in a bar and halfway through their drinks they decide it is time to go home, the alcohol abuser can get up and leave his glass half empty and walk out. The alcoholic cannot. He must finish his glass before leaving and will not leave until it is finished. (Plus, he still wants more.) That is a basic assessment of the two. In college, many youngster become alcohol abuser, and for many unfortunate young people it quickly turns into alcoholism. I don't know your friend, and I don't know if he would become and alcoholic or even an alcohol abuser, but I can say this: if he is not mature and responsible enough to make his own decisions about things like drinking, then he is clearly not mature enough to drink. When he is at the party drinking with his "friends" where will "mommy" (you) be to tell him he has had enough? When he is our bowling and kicks back several beers, where will "mommy" be to tell him not to drive home?

    Has he thought about looking for friends at a local church? Many colleges have various religious student centers that he could go hang out in and make friends. He has you as a friend. :) He could volunteer his time places. He could join non-drinking/ non-partying student organizations. He has options. It sounds to me like he doesn't want those options.
     

  8. The fact that he is trying to get your permission/blessing tells me that he KNOWS it is wrong. Not only that, but he is trying to shift the blame of this sin onto someone else. (this is what Adam did in the garden) Don't give in to his pleading. He's a big boy, and will do whatever he wants. He doesn't need your permission. Don't give it.
     
  9. Thank you for your input so far everyone. I really appreciate it.

    BookWorm,
    I do agree that he is putting me in the position of decision-maker when he asks me if he can drink. However, it's not quite the child-mother situation. It is not a lack of a mind of his own. He has made the decision himself that drinking will possibly allow him to gain friends. Think of it more like this:
    Two friends care deeply about each other's thoughts and opinions. They have a great deal of respect for each other. Both of them go into a store and one of them decides to buy something and asks what the other friend thinks. The other friend doesn't think it is a good idea to buy the item, but the potential buyer still wants to make the purchase. However, out of respect for the other friend, the person decides not to make the purchase because the friend is more important to them than what it is they wanted to buy.

    It's not so much about asking permission, you see. It's out of respect and care for my thoughts/feelings/opinions that he listens to me. He wants to be able to drink without it upsetting me. Unfortunately, I would be quite upset if he were to do it and that isn't going to change.

    Maybe in a way I am his "Mommy." I am the only one he knows who does not want him to do this. His parents are not good role models and even encourage him to drink at times. He looks up to them a great deal and their influence on him is hard to shake after living with them for 18 years. I've tried in the past to tell him that this is his decision. But he is set on wanting my blessing so that he won't feel guilty when he goes and does it. Guilty that he is hurting me for doing it.


    I just wanted to say that I am not supporting his want to drink in any way. I do want him to make friends, but I know drinking is not the correct way to go about it. It's true that if he did have a stronger relationship with Christ, he would not consider drinking as a means of obtaining friends. I do not agree with him wanting to do this. He does listen to me when I tell him why I don't want him to do it, but for him, they are not good enough reasons. They don't convince him to not want to do it. He thinks that I am prematurely judging the idea of him drinking.

    There are many Christians who say they have a close relationship with Christ and go out and drink with friends and the like. I am sure many of them get drunk, but there are also some who don't do it to get drunk. Hypothetically, let's say my boyfriend wasn't interested in alcohol to help him overcome his shyness. What would you tell a 20 year old Christian when he said to you that he was considering going to a friend's place to have, say, a beer with them?

    I don't have a problem with drinking when it is in small quantities and when it is legal. It is a given he would not drink too much. What would you say to him concerning the legal aspect of him not being of age? I know there is a law on the drinking age to promote responsible drinking. He would be responsible about it and would not turn into an alcoholic because he cares about me too much. It also isn't what he wants.

    I will definitely try to tell him the things I have heard from you here so far. I just want to be able to address all the aspects he brings up the next time we talk about it.

    Thank you everyone =)
     
  10. The reason that I do not see it as this way at all is because of the fact that he keeps pressuring you to change your mind and blaming you for his inability to have friends. If you went to the store with a friend, and gave advice to not purchase an item and the friend left without purchasing it because he valued your opinion..... that is not the same thing as the friend standing in the store arguing with you on why he should buy it and then leaving the store telling you how you are ruining his life by not allowing him to buy it.

    That type of thing is not respect. It is placing you in a mommy role.

    God gave men women as helpmates in order to help them. We are here to provide advice, and opinions, but it is still the man's ultimate decision and responsibility. If he respects your opinion and makes the choice not to drink (or not to buy the item), then there is no need for him to continue to beg your about it or make it your fault that he cannot do it. It was his choice to make and he made it. With your friend, he is clearly not making a choice out of respect for your opinion or else he would be satisfied in his decision, not place the blame on you, and not continue to ask you when he already knows how you stand on the issue. If I tell my friend in the store that in my opinion I would not purchase said item and why, then my friend has two choices: purchase it or don't purchase it. Arguing, pleading, attempting to make me change my mind, attempting to make me feel guilty over how I believe-- those are tricks a child plays to try and manipulate a parent into giving up control. Those are not an option for an adult in a friendship or relationship. What your friend is doing by continuing to ask, plead with you, coerce you into changing your mind, make you feel guilty-- is he is saying that he does not respect your opinion.

    Respecting someone's opinion is not about doing what another person says either. If you were with a friend in the store and he wanted to purchase an item, then asked for your opinion on it. He can still respect your opinion, while making the choice to go ahead and buy it. In doing so, he is saying that he respects your opinion (otherwise he would not have asked for it in the first place), but he is making a choice to go against your advise knowing full well that he is making a choice contrary to what you advise and therefore any negative consequences of said decision are his own fault.And then it is not for us to "I told you so" if their decision does turn out badly.


    Guilt can be a very good thing. :)

    Try approaching him at a time when he and you are having a good time and the topic of drinking has not even come up. Then YOU bring it up and tell him...... "You know how you always ask me about drinking and want my permission? Well, it hurts me more that you keep asking me and hoping to change my mind. You know how I feel about underage drinking and about drinking in general. If you want to drink, then that is your choice and I would rather not discuss it anymore because it is causing me a lot of unnecessary stress." You don't have to tell him in these exact words. Say it however you feel comfortable saying it and with whatever words you apply best to you.

    I would ask him why he is planning to go commit several illegal acts, and put himself in harm's way. I said several illegal acts, because if he is driving there then he is also driving home while intoxicated, which is also illegal. There are some states where minors can legally drink with approval from parents, and under certain circumstances. To me, there is a difference in a 20 year old being at home, watching the superbowl with dad and sharing a beer..... and in a 20 year old going to a friends house in order to drink with a bunch of guys. What are those guys doing? Just drinking? Getting drunk and doing stupid things? Watching porn? I was young once, and I am not going to pretend that I don't know what college guys do when they get together at someone's house to drink. You talk about a 20 year old wanting to go to a friend's house to "have a beer" like it is just one beer between friends while they talk and share bosom buddy moments in a casual setting-- all innocence. I mean, maybe it is that way in some places, but when I was young (and that was not too long ago) I can tell you that guys getting together at someone's house for a beer, meant guys getting together at someone's house for several beers and stupid behavior would follow. Even guys my husband has known are still like that, and he makes sure to stay away from men like that. What happens when he goes to the house and has "a beer" and then is offered a second, and third, and fourth, and porn, and finds out some girls are now planning to stop by, and then what? Does he honestly fool himself to thinking that he can now walk out on his "friends?" If he walks out on them watching porn or talking sexually about women, then suddenly he will be labeled a homosexual. Is he strong enough or willing to take that risk?

    You want to know what I would tell a 20 year old Christian who wants to go have a beer with some friends..... I would tell him all of these things and ask him why he wants to potentially put himself in this situation. "These friends aren't like that" he would probably say..... and maybe they aren't..... but what if he gets there and they are? Can he handle it right and maturely? I will say again....the ultimate decision is his to make. If he thinks he is mature enough to handle it, then that is between him and God and all the consequences are on him, and he is the one who must repent to God over it.

    And if everything turns out fine and dandy, and the guys have a nice time sharing "a beer", talking about clean and positive things, bar-b-queing out back and having good clean fun.... then great!

    I don't think that it is ever a given that a person will not drink too much, especially when in the company of others who are drinking, and the alcohol is plentiful. Sometimes people forget how much they've had.

    There is not much to say concerning the legal aspect other than it is illegal. (But may not be with parents approval in your state. I don't know your state laws. In my state minors can drink with parent approval.) He needs to realize the consequences of underage drinking. You break the law and there can be long term repercussions of such.

    Turning into an alcoholic has nothing to do with how much you love/ care about someone, nor with what you want. Alcohol is like a drug and can take over a person's body to where they physically crave it. Alcohol can become physically addictive. I would suggest you read some on alcoholism and the physical addiction aspect of it.
     
  11. Tell him to drink the new wine that flows from heaven.
     
  12. Tee hee.... :eek: My last post was too long and needed shortening. I never had that problem before. :D Here is the end of it:

    I will pray for you that it will all go well when you speak to him and that God will help you with the right words to say. I know from personal experience how damaging alcohol can be. I have had many alcoholics in my family. By the grace of God, I do not have an addictive personality, nor have I ever had a craving for alcohol. In fact, I hate how 99% of it tastes. ;) For me it has never been a struggle, but I have seen many others go through the struggle.

    I know a person who is close to me who confessed to me not too long ago that everytime he drinks 1 beer (yes, limit of 1) that he prays to God beforehand to keep him away from alcoholism. This person avoids all social situations where there are people drinking, and I know for a fact that he will literally buy only 1 can of beer and drink 1 beer in his own home. He likes the way it tastes and the calming properties it provides him. But he realizes that he has the potential to become addicted to it, and he takes steps to protect himself from it. He makes responsible choices.
     
  13. If they can send us to war at the age of 18, you should be able to drink at 18. (Although i don't drink, that is my take on it)
     

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