[!--QuoteBegin--][/span][table border=\"0\" align=\"center\" width=\"95%\" cellpadding=\"3\" cellspacing=\"1\"][tr][td]Quote [/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]For one, why do they drink? It isn't because beer or wine taste good. It isn't with a meal. It is simply to fit in with everyone else, to be popular or to escape from some problem. Those can't be good reasons to drink alcohol.
I think there is a lot of strength in never drinking at all. That is the choice that my wife and I have made. :)[/quote]
I admire the decision you and your wife have made. There is a whole lot of strength in not drinking.
Forgive me as I share a few thoughts from near-past experience.
Why do young people drink? Valid question.
I didn't drink until I was 21ish. For many years I said it was because of my [legalistic] faith. I also reasoned that beer smelled so bad, it had to taste even worse. At the time I was a dedicated athlete. An injury ended those pursuits I quickly learned several things about myself.
1. The reason I didn't drink had nothing to do with my false perception that drinking in and of itself is a sin. My abstinance had more to do with my quest for optimum athletic performance. I understand what Paul meant when he said "such regulations indeed have the appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility, and their their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence." (Col 2:23) My life eventually became a case and point.
2. The first time I tried beer, I liked it instantly. While studying at a buddies house, I found myself alone with nobody was around. I pilferred a single beer (mostly because he had two refridgerators and the only thing they had was beer--stacks and stacks of beer on every shelf in both), and as I had my first beer I surprisingly discovered I loved the taste, hence ending my personal fantasy that it tasted bad. It tasted great! I couldn't believe something could smell bad and still taste good. Later I learned that rum goes with this, whiskey with that, and Margaritas taste great, etc. Some hooch used by HS and College kids doesn't even have a taste at all! Wine was trickier because of all the different kinds, but wine coolers and other malted drinks taste like koolaid. I'm sure for some the taste is acquired or that it never is acquired, but many people quickly find booze that tastes good to them.
3. There can be no denying the pull to "fit in" and drink amongst teens and college students binge because... well, it's college and mommy and daddy aren't around.
4. But this is key: escape. We have an entire generation now that views the world in a jaded way. The American Dream is a pipe dream and they know it! I'm part of that bunch. Drinking might be about perceived popularity or peer pressure for some, but, truth be told, when I abstained my teammates and classmates RESPECTED me big time! It wasn't hard to say no and I never felt pressured and I was oh, so popular in both HS and college. But once my life hit the reality of the world--no more athletics, no more fiance after she was raped by somebody and she couldn't bring herself to see me again--the bottle provided an escape.
Fortunately I didn't wind up AA material. I was a binge drinker for several years though. It's been years since I was inoxicated and I thank God everyday that he spared me the addiction. Many bingers do not escape.
Some drink for courage (pick-up girls, boys), some drink to forget, some drink out of boredom, and as much as I hate to admit it, I think the urge/compulsion to drink is less about fitting in than we (ministers, servants, etc.) would like to admit. Sure, that's one reason for some, but the overall problem is much bigger.
Well... all of that was just this one jerks oppinion, for whatever it's worth.
Keep up the good work, my brother. Each individual will drink for their own reasons... and statistically speaking, most young people will. I understand your frustration as I deal with the same issues in my work. Keep the faith.