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Romans 14:13-23, Do Not Make Another Stumble

My sister is raising two amazing kids. Her daughter who is 10, and her son who is 2, are both incredibly smart, polite, articulate, and easy-mannered.

I am also raising amazing kids. My sons are 19 and 17, and my daughter is 12. All of them are fun, easy to talk with, see things in the world that others don’t see, and caring of others.

My sister and I have vastly different parenting styles. She is highly organized and their calendar is tightly structured. I am free-flowing and my calendar is quite fluid. She feeds them veggies and almond milk. I feed mine Doritos and pop. She has them in a private French-immersion school. I put mine in whatever school the bus took them to.

Earlier this month my niece came for a visit. Despite our differences, I made sure to provide fresh fruit and I didn’t let her have caffeine. To feed her outside her norm not only would have been disrespectful to my sister, but it also would have messed with her body. You can’t give cans of soda to a kid that doesn’t drink caffeine without some nasty side effects. By respecting my sister’s parenting, I didn’t have to worry about doing anything that might harm her daughter. Sometimes it’s hard to respect other people’s boundaries, but in doing so I respect myself and God, too.

Romans 14:13-23

Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. If your brother or sister is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat; it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble. The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God. Blessed are those who have no reason to condemn themselves because of what they approve. But those who have doubts are condemned if they eat, because they do not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.