*STRONG RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOT HINDERED BY DIFFERENCES OF OPINION.

Romans 14:4 Who are you to criticize another’s household slave? Before his own Lord he stands or falls. And he will stand. For the Lord is able to make him stand.

v.13 Therefore, let us no longer criticize one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in your brother’s way.

*In Romans 14, Paul was addressing “gray areas” in the Christian life. Disputable matters- those about which Scripture is silent. Still, in verse 4, he made it plain that each of us will have to answer to God for the way we have lived this life. God is not going to ask me what I thought about another person’s actions. God is the Lord and Judge over the other person. I’m not.

 It was a year ago when I had to move my husband into a hospital bed in his office. I wish I had never done that. I wasn’t able to hear him clearly enough. I was so tired by night time. I was going to put the hospital bed in our room. Hospice felt I would sleep better with him in the office. I stalled for a few weeks. I still slept on the floor of the office anyway.

  We were married in August. I think he asked me to marry him in May. We had only been dating maybe for a month. I was 50 and he was 65. We were both very ready to finally “settle down”! We were both moving closer to Christ and were facing a lot of changes in life style. We both had a lot to learn about the “black-and-white-sin” spelled out in the Bible. Our straight from the Bible church we joined together and an International Bible Study helped us struggle through our separation from the world.

  As long as we were studying, the Holy Spirit made clear every change necessary. We were both obviously uncomfortable until we tweaked our behavior and thinking. We were given great teachers throughout our 12 years together. I’m still amazed when people are surprised by the extent of practical solutions to every day circumstances the Bible has. When in doubt- search The Word. From co-signing a loan to gossip, there’s God’s Way spelled out.

*Unfortunately, many Christians are fully aware they are putting down stumbling blocks. They know some Christians see a particular activity as offensive, but they don’t care. They’re going to do it anyway.

* Out of respect for others, mature Christians will restrict their freedom, removing anything from their lives that would cause others to feel wounded in their consciences. Our personal relationships should trump our personal freedoms. The strong should move toward the weak.

  I heard someone from my old church say that I never went anywhere without my husband. I’m sure they didn’t say it with the kindest intent. But when I heard about it my heart swelled with pride. I’m so happy it was so obvious to the world my love and devotion for my husband.

*taken from Bible Studies For Life Spring 2015 LifeWay Adults