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TEXT: Proverbs 23:29-35
SUBJECT: The godly training of teenagers #7: Drugs
Two words terrify the parents of a teenager more than any others: "Drug abuse". The thought of my little children, one day, becoming involved with narcotics sends shivers down my spine. The memory of a child so entangled is, no doubt, far worse. If you're a parent, therefore, you are deeply concerned with keeping your kids off drugs.
But is it possible? Nowadays, most teenagers experiment with drugs. Many of them develop "drug problems." More than a few become addicted, and suffer all the misery associated with that way of life.
But it is not necessary! By God's grace, it is possible to keep your children drug-free. Or even to get them off of drugs. This sermon, if the Lord should bless it, addresses these issues in what I hope is a Biblical and practical way. May God use it to keep our children free from chemical slavery is my urgent prayer. Amen.
Drug abuse, under God's blessing, can be largely prevented by four steps, which every parent must take. They are: education, provision, supervision, and--where needed--correction.
A.Who should do the teaching?
1.At this point, many godly parents have been "cowed down" by the professionals, who claim a unique insight into the nature and cure of drug abuse.
a.They argue that a specialized knowledge of narcotics is absolutely necessary to deal with kids on drugs. But most of us, of course, are not medical doctors, police detectives, or drug counsellors. Therefore, we turn over our children to the "professionals", hoping that they can do something with them.
b.But this is false, for one simple reason: Drug abuse is not primarily a matter of chemistry, sociology, or physiology. It is a matter of religion.
(1)It stems from original sin.
(2)It is energized by the devil.
(3)It becomes a spiritual slavery, from which "only the Son can make you free".
(4)Therefore, the very word for "drug abuse" in the Bible--reeks with religion. You know what it is, don't you? Sorcery!
c.And no one can wield more religious authority over children than godly parents.
2.Thus, the responsibility to do drug counselling should not be left to the athiest counsellors of this world, but to parents, concerned for the true welfare of their children. As it is written, v.26.
B.Education must begin with substance. True teaching presupposes a "truth to teach". Therefore, we must begin our study of preventing drug abuse by asking the question, "What should I teach?"
1.Drug use affects both body and mind. Therefore, you should begin by teaching God's design in making man.
a.What the body is for. I Corinthians 6:13 tells us. "The body is not for fornication, but for the Lord". From this verse (and many like it), we may justly infer that we are given our bodies, not for personal pleasure, but for the glory of God. And He is glorified, only when we "yield its members to righteousness".
b.What the mind is for. Colossians 3:10 applies here. "You have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him." From this verse, we learn that God intends to make our minds like his Mind. But how can His mind be characterized? One word will do: rational. God, in other words, sees things as they really are.
c.Having established these two facts, you must then ask if drug use is consistent with God's design for man.
(1)Does it make for a healthy body? The man in our text doesn't seem very well. He has "wounds without cause and redness of eyes".
(2)Does it make for a sound mind? Our drunkard doesn't appear very happy or wise, does he? He is filled with "woe, sorrow, contentions, and complaints". Yet he is never able to learn from his past mistakes. He is still crying, "When shall I awake that I may seek another drink?"
d.Drug use, therefore, instead of "heightening" a man's experience or creativity, only debases it.
2.You should teach, in the second place, the dangers of drug abuse.
a.Drugs are dangerous to their user. The drunkard before us is in imminent peril. He is like one taking a nap "on the top of a mast" or even "at the bottom of the sea". His perception is so clouded that he is likely to irrationally respond to an hallucination ("seeing strange things"). And, having lost his self-control, "shoot off his mouth", much to his later regret ("heart uttering perverse things").
(1)His reputation is also at stake. This man is obviously held up for inspired ridicule.
(2)He is also in danger of legal sanctions. It is illegal to use drugs in this state. And the state, remember, "Does not bear the sword in vain".
(3)His future is also in jeopardy. 21:17, 23:19-21.
(4)But what's worse is this: he is in danger of hell fire. "Drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven".
b.Drugs are damaging to the abuser's family. "He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother is a son who causes shame and brings reproach".
c.Drug abuse is also destructive to society-at-large. As it encourages smuggling, theft, prostitution, and murder.
d.But worst of all, drug abuse is displeasing to God.
3.You should teach the alternative to drug abuse. Ephesians 5:18.
C.How you should teach your children about drug abuse.
5.In the fear of God. (I Cor. 10:12)
6.With serious prayer.
D.When to teach them.
1.Before the problem arises 22:3.
A.Why do kids use drugs? Chiefly to escape an unpleasant reality. But, although parents cannot ultimately shape their children's world, they can do everything within their power to make it a little brighter. Some things to avoid:
1.Unrealistic expectations which drive children to despair.
3.General unpleasantness 21:9.
A.What do you do, in other words, if you discover your child using drugs?
2.Don't accuse, but only confront them with the evidence.
3.Communicate the truth to them.
4.Ask other, godlier saints to talk with them.
5.Use the medical options at hand, James 5:14.
7.Pray earnestly for them.
8.Don't give up on them.
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