My husband says we ought to let our teenaged sons (15 and 17) start drinking alcohol with dinner when we do, because they'll start drinking soon enough anyway and we might as well go ahead and let them. I didn't grow up this way, but do you think this is a good approach? — Mrs. D.McM.
You and your husband may not agree with me, but wouldn't it be better for you to teach your sons about the dangers of alcohol, instead of encouraging them to begin drinking now -- especially at their age, when it isn't even legal for them to drink?
Hardly a day goes by without at least one letter coming to us that tells about the way alcohol has devastated someone's life. And far more often than you might think, those letters reveal that the people became entangled with alcohol while still young. At first, they thought it was the exciting and "adult" thing to do -- but in time they found they couldn't get free of its grip, and their lives have been ruined. The Bible warns, "Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise" (Proverbs 20:1).
Remember that our children learn not only from what we tell them, but also from the way we live. I hope you will think about this issue very carefully and prayerfully. The Bible tells us to "set an example ... in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12).
But let me ask you an even more important question: What place does God have in your life? Is Christ the foundation of your family? Put Him first, and urge your sons to do so as well.