Summertime is here, and parties, camping, backyard BBQ’s are in full swing. Lots of fun and family.
On a sobering note, the social media is also in full swing with very attractive ads about beautifully labeled alcoholic beverages during all the sports events on TV. Youngsters are exposed to this as they watch baseball, soccer, Olympic games and other summertime sports with their family and friends.
In my years of working as a nurse in clinical and office settings, I have seen many tragic event results. One stands out for me, though: each day I hear on the news and read in the local newspaper about a death or injury to someone as a result of ALCOHOL. It is heart wrenching to think about the families who are dealing with this. We are hearing more and more about alcoholism and its long term effects on health of the person who is drinking as well as the effect on the families and friends involved.
The Bible encourages limiting alcohol use (Romans 13:13, Ephesians 5:18 and 1 Timothy 3:3). We are also given confidence that with God’s help, alcoholism can be conquered (Psalm 103:1-5, Matthew 9:12, Hebrews 12:1-17, 1 John 1:7-10).
Alcohol affects the families of the person drinking in a broad spectrum of ways:
Stress is a huge issue. Alcoholic behavior can be erratic, creating wide emotional swings that impacts every member of the family. The wife or husband of the alcoholic feels that he/she has no true spouse. The children sometimes blame themselves for how their parent behaves and end up acting out in school, or become depressed and withdrawn. The increased stress has also been shown to be a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.
Financial issues become a real issue as alcohol consumption increases. This can impact the family income greatly if a job is lost due to erratic behavior, absenteeism or poor performance on the job. As we read the accounts of accidents, fights, shootings, and other negative behaviors, we can only guess at the huge toll this is taking on the families involved dealing with medical expense, legal fees, jail time causing lost wages, etc.
We, as fellow Christians, need to learn about alcoholism and how we can best reach out to reduce the impact on our friends and families who are experiencing some level of problems with this behavior. We can minimize alcohol-related problems in our own family by:
🍻 providing exposure to alcohol in small quantities in positive family settings –
🍻 View alcohol as a food and consume in small quantities primarily at meal time.
🍻 Set a good example of responsible alcohol use
🍻 Encourage help for those who are experiencing problems with alcohol.
🍻 View drunkenness as an unacceptable behavior
Above all, keep all who might be affected by this problem in our prayers, and set a positive, Christ-centered example in all we do. We have a beautiful summer ahead, and I pray for the health and safety and positive memories for all.
Please see me if I can help with resources for you or your family.
Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace firstname.lastname@example.org