I remember the day I decided I wanted to be sober from alcohol and drugs. I drank maybe a total of five times in my entire life, and never tried recreational drugs. How can someone who has never really been drunk or high decide they want to be sober?
The answer is simple: I saw these vices destroy many around me growing up. I watched alcohol destroy my uncle's body and mind. He was at death's doorstep, his body yellow from liver failure. I saw drugs send my dad to prison and rob him of fulfillment, and his choices rob him of a long life. I saw addiction destroy my mom, and she went from relationship to relationship to find some sort of cure for the void in her life, only for her to end up alone.
Sure, I know lots of people who don’t drink or do drugs because of the Bible and church’s teaching. But for me, my convictions are far more personal. I don’t want to ruin my life with drugs or alcohol.
I’ve had the opportunity to talk to more than 100 guys who have come to a recovery program and anytime someone says to me “I want to save my marriage,” or “I don’t want to lose my ministry,” I am quick to respond that those are great side effects of being sober, but why do you want to be sober... for you?
I ask guys to narrow down their “Why” to them specifically and to keep God as their motivation when they first join recovery (not the only reason but the main reason).
Now, you might be thinking, “But isn’t a healed marriage a great reason to be sober?” It's a great secondary reason. But what happens when your marriage is the primary reason and then you and your wife fight? What happens when that motivation becomes a frustration?
Soon your reason to be sober will become a reason to be bitter, angry, or simply frustrated.
Then what? It’s a lot easier to give up on a fight when you aren’t in a good place with your "Why."
Having a solid “Why” in my back pocket every day I am walking in sobriety is one of the best tools I’ve ever found.
Take what you like and leave the rest. My name is Dean, grateful believer in Jesus Christ striving for moral and sexual purity.
Next week's article will be part 2 entitled "An Empowered How"