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Ladies, Who Needs a Drink?

Dec 13 2013
More women are pouring themselves a glass—including me and my Christian friends.

Today's women aren't afraid of kicking back with a glass of wine, or a craft cocktail, or a cold beer for that matter. Across every female demographic—especially single women and young mothers—drinking is on the rise.

I never imagined that I'd count myself among them. I went to a Baptist college and was raised with the worldview that drinking was to be avoided. It wasn't necessarily a sin—but it wasn't good. But somewhere in early adulthood, I had my first glass of wine, and in that moment, I realized that it wasn't the evil that my background had claimed it to be.

So here we are. I have a favorite bar in Chicago, where they make the perfect Manhattan. Instead of basketball games lighting up televisions in a corner, they play artsy, swingy music as you sit in candlelight and chat quietly with friends. The women's bathroom looks like an Anthropologie ad. Bars like this show how the drinking scene has involved, with more places and beverages geared toward both sexes.

I'm not alone. Not only are more women drinking alcohol, so are more evangelicals. As Christian college campuses loosen rules on drinking and churches incorporate drinking into their fellowship, we are far more open to alcohol than generations before.

At my age, my mother's church groups spent time chatting over coffee and baked goods; mine goes out for beers and burgers. Men's groups in my dad's generation probably bonded over basketball and prayer time; now guys can get together and talk theology over a Guinness.

Even as a church-going, Bible-reading employee at a Christian publication, I know of maybe one female friend who doesn't drink. Drinking is so common among women, and Christian women, that we aren't afraid to admit it. At all. Somewhere in this evolution, a culture of drinking regularly to cope with life—and joking about it—has sprung up, especially amongst women.

We quip about how working in an office makes us need to drink. Or about how motherhood forces us to the bottle. Facebook sites like Moms Who Need Wine, Moms Who Drink Boxed Wine Club, and OMG I so need a glass of wine or I'm gonna sell my kids have hundreds of thousands of Facebook likes. (And if I had kids, I'd probably be one of the likers. I'm a sucker for comedy.)

It's not wrong to joke. I know it's not. As a matter of fact, I think it's good—but we still need to be careful not to cross a line. We need to make sure that alcohol never becomes a casual habit, or drunkenness a casualty of a "girl's night" or even a night in. Amid our joking and antics, we rarely ask ourselves or each other: How much is too much?How often is too often? … unless it's in jest.

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