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Does Romans 16:17 apply to family members, too?

Submitted: 6/29/2007
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Question: If family members foment strife, are argumentative, or are divisive concerning proper behavior and doctrine, are we to abide by Romans 16:17? Thank you for your reply.

Answer: We would say that this verse does not apply to spouses and dependent children. It could definitely be applied to all other family members living outside the home. We acknowledge that a spouse or teenage child could be divisive in the way described in Romans 16:17, but we do not see avoiding such people as the correct approach to resolving the issues. We can certainly see how such behavior could put distance between people, but in the home we believe that persistent loving confrontation is the appropriate approach.