Let’s look at the meaning of tolerate. When you tolerate something (or someone), you allow it to exist or occur without consequence or objection. It continues without rebuke. This “turning a blind eye” is detrimental to your wellbeing.
Let’s consider Saraie. Saraie is a wonderfully strong Christian woman with the desire to be an excellent wife to her husband. She’s a full-time third grade public school teacher, a full-time mother of beautiful twin boys, and a loving and devoted wife. God comes first in her life, then her family, then all else. She is loyal to a fault. However, in her desire to continue to grow into a Proverbs 31 woman, she thinks she has to tolerate a lot of crap from her husband: coming home late when he’s not working, his not paying his share of the bills, his not helping with the kids or any of the housework, his not spending time with her on her birthday. She knows that she should not be a quarrelsome wife, however, holding all of her frustration has become harmful to her mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
Saraie had started suffering from high blood pressure, migraine headaches, and depression. She continued to pray and meditate, but still holds her frustration in and continues to tolerate her husband’s poor behavior. She mentioned to him a couple times that his late nights are inappropriate for a married man, that she needs his help with the bills and the kids, that she needs him to cut the grass, pick up his clothes, and take out the trash, and that her birthday only comes once a year so could he please make time for her on that day, but it went in one ear and out the other. And he’s a grown man, so she can’t MAKE him do anything. Besides, shouldn’t he WANT to do these things?
One day Saraie stumbled upon a dvd of a seminar about tolerance (a blessing in disguise). She learned that she has quite a few options and that she can act on any one of them.
She learned that being peaceful does not mean that she had to tolerate crap from anyone, even her husband.
She learned that she could ask him to pick up his clothes and that if he didn’t, it didn’t mean that SHE had to. What it meant was that his clothes just wouldn’t be washed. (Sad…he likes clean clothes.)
She also realized that she and the boys don’t watch a lot of t.v., but her husband does. She asked him to pay the cable bill. He refused. She knows now that she doesn’t have to pay the cable bill. He just won’t be watching cable. As for her options with help with the boys? She decided that just because her husband won’t take care of them didn’t mean that she couldn’t have a little “me” time. She enlisted the help of her mother and sisters to take care of the boys so that she could enjoy an occasional massage or a movie with her friends. Her husband doesn’t like the boys spending so much time with all those women, so he started taking care of them more himself.
Things began to get better for Saraie. She no longer carried the world on her shoulders. She DECIDED to no longer tolerate her husband’s crap. Consequently, her husband has found out that there are starting to be consequences to his actions, so he’s getting his own dose of “behavior modification.”
Saraie’s health has improved. Her blood pressure is back to normal. Her migraine headaches and depression has resolved—all without medication. Saraie is on the right track now. She has learned that tolerating crap will kill her. She has learned that she can peacefully impose consequences to the actions or non-actions of others that don’t support her and/or her marriage. She learned that she doesn’t have to sit quietly and go along with the okey doke.
You don’t have to tolerate crap either.
You don’t have to put up with nonsense. Pray about it and be open when the answer comes. And when the answer does come, be ready to act on it. Life is way too short to tolerate crap. It’s way too short not to be healthy and happy.
If you like this post, check out The Depressed Christian Wife.If you’d like to read more on virtuous living in the 21st century, check out Grown & Virtuous: 28 Simple Lessons To Unveil the Spiritual Diva In You