So, do you drink?

Posted by  | Tuesday, March 3, 2009  at 12:19 AM  
This week we come back to our passage in Titus, Titus 2:3-5. Older women are instructed to not be enslaved to much wine. What does that mean? And how does that affect my life?

First off, I want to be up front that I do drink alcohol on occasion. I don't believe that it is inherently wrong to drink alcohol. I don't think the Bible specifically, or generally, prohibits the believer from drinking. That said, I know many of my brothers and sisters come down on all sides of the alcohol debate and I love and respect each of them.

The question I ask myself in this passage is "why should I not be enslaved to much wine?" What is it about being enslaved to wine that hinders my ability to be an example to younger women? I believe the point is that I should be cultivating a spirit of love and humility to exhibit to my Christian sisters. I find it interesting that "not be enslaved to much wine" is paired with "not be a malicious gossip." Gossip is usually on the top of the list of stereotypes of women. But enslaved to much wine? I don't usually equate that with women. So why is it here?

Drinking usually helps a person feel like they belong to a group and also helps to lower inhibitions. I know this was a draw for me in the past to want to drink alcohol. I wanted to feel like I was a cool person like on a TV show. And drinking helped me relax and be funny and made people pay attention to me. It's sort of the same way with sharing malicious gossip - you feel cool and people pay attention to you. Both can feed a woman's vanity and ease her insecurity. If I drink for these reasons, I take the focus off of Christ and put it on myself. I'm seeking fulfillment and worth in things other than Christ.

So why do I drink alcohol at all? I know a lot of people who just choose not to drink at all. I still have a drink every now and again when I am in a social setting and it's seems okay to me to have a glass of wine or beer. A few examples I can think of would be when we had Christmas dinner at my in-laws or when I went out to a bar with some friends to see a band. I enjoyed having a drink with family/friends without the focusing being on drinking. Another situation would be when we had some friends over for dinner the other night and one of them brought a bottle of wine. I served it with dinner and a few people had some while others did not.

We do not, however, keep alcohol in our home because my husband doesn't drink. I don't think I will keep alcohol in the house ever because it could be a temptation for our boys as they grow up. I grew up with a drinking family and a lot of alcohol in our house. It was very easy for me to start taking alcohol without anyone noticing. I don't want to create that sort of situation for my boys.

I will say that I don't drink a lot because I very rarely am in a situation where people are drinking. My husband and I don't hang out with a lot of people who drink, and we don't go to a lot of parties. I wouldn't have a drink every weekend if the opportunity were there. I have probably had fewer than 20 drinks in the past 6 years (since I turned 21). Like I said before, I don't ever want drinking to be part of the definition of who I am.

One final thing to add is that I avoid this topic a lot by being pregnant or thinking that I might be pregnant! This makes it a non-issue a lot of times.

So, ladies, please share your thoughts and opinions about being enslaved to much wine. I look forward to hearing from you as well as from the other POH authors - I think I may be in the minority on this one!


Abby Webster said...

I am very interested in this. I have done a lot of serious drinking through out my life and realize that it takes over my thoughts. I get obsessed with the idea of drinking and I use drinking to avoid a lot of issues. I have found it hard to quit drinking without a support group which I choose to use AA. Since I have stopped I have definately found myself closer to God and enjoy reading the bible and cultivating our relationship with fellowship (which I'm looking for a home church) I am excited to see the responses with this one. I learned so much last week with that topic. Thank you ladies (and gentlemen) for giving me a jumping off point for my pursuit of knowledge :)

The Watczaks said...

thanks for talking about the MOTIVATION behind drinking in different situations. i, too, am a Christian who has a beer occasionally. do you sometimes almost feel judgement about that? i loved stacy's post, too, about grace.
your post has reminded me to be sure that i am looking at every situation in which i have a glass of wine and make sure that i have no ill motives. thanks!!

Leah said...

My husband is a recovering alcoholic who stopped drinking after his first AA meeting 14 years ago. We are so thankful to the Lord for intervening in his life and helping to make his path straight. It is helpful for him to have my support in not only avoiding drinking but also in dealing with the personality struggles of an alcoholic. He is okay with me having an occasional drink when we are out, but does not want it in our home or for it to be a regular thing. It is always best to err on the side of caution when a person with a drinking problem is involved. I am so glad to hear you recognize that drinking is a problem for you and that you have sought out a support system. The fellowship found with the body of Christ is so far superior to the false sense of fellowship that can be brought on by drinking. I will continue to pray for you to find a home church.

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