Don’t Tolerate What God Condemns

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 

Now that we’ve established our identify and who/how we worship, we need to consider what we tolerate. Culture consists of two things: what you teach and what you tolerate. As a man, this is where you need to exercise your God-given dominion and authority. There will always be people in your life who try to bring Hell up for you, your family, company, and church. Your job as a man who has dominion is to protect the environment and culture where you have authority given to you by God. The resulting conflict is spiritual warfare, much like the holy angels who fought and defeated the demons in Heaven, casting them out in defense of the culture of Heaven (Revelation 12:7-10).  

For example, if you do not allow people in your house to get drunk, make crude jokes, yell, curse, or gossip, except for on holidays when you tolerate your unhealthy relatives, you are compromising the culture of your home and confusing your children. Anytime you’re going into a holiday season, you may be getting a nervous eye twitch thinking about so much time with relatives, because you may see a little Hell on the horizon. When you’re in someone else’s Hell up culture (e.g., a relative’s home), or someone is bringing their Hell up culture into your home, it causes anxiety. This explains why holidays are often so stressful: The culture you and your family will be in may not be Heaven down. As the time together nears, anxiety rises. As a man, you have to decide at what point the compromise is too great, and either they will no longer be around you, or things will need to change to remain together as families.  

Men sadly do one of two things when it comes to ungodly family: You suddenly erupt, or you silently endure. If you erupt, you’ve lost your authority because, most likely, you’ve become angry and ungodly in your response. If you silently endure it, you’re going to be miserable and witness how painful it is for all the people under your authority to be suffering because of your passivity. You’ll witness your wife’s eroding joy and your children’s diminishing health and happiness. Then, God forbid, once your grandchildren are born, you’ll start to see it as a generational curse now infecting and affecting generations of your family who have been trained by your example to tolerate dysfunction. As a man, you cannot silently suffer and must not angrily respond. Wisely, figure out what it looks like for your family to live Heaven down, not Hell up. Look at what you’re tolerating that’s contradicting what you’re teaching.  

Be firm in the decisions and conversations you need to have, remaining loving under the Spirit’s control, but use your God-given dominion and authority to love and lead your family. (As an aside, I have an entire sermon series and workbook at called Leave and Cleave to help you in this process.) Not only do we need to stop tolerating, but we sometimes need to start pivoting, and that’s what tomorrow’s devo will examine.  

What are you tolerating from ungodly extended family and what boundaries do you need to create to protect your immediate family?

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