On Tolerance, Intolerance and Absolute Truth

by SomeGirl on June 1, 2011 · 15 comments

We were out playing in the yard the other day when my oldest son went upstairs to his room. He opened the window and let down a rope with a hook on it to have a little fun with his brother and fetch a few items. They played around a bit, my oldest one directing my youngest one and my youngest laughing and chasing the rope.


Then, my littlest guy disappeared and I heard his voice coming from the window above my head. I have no pictures of that because my arms were up in the air waving at my oldest one to lower the window and my youngest one to get down from the stool… I was a little frantic in my directions and firm in my tone as it took a minute to get the message across to both parties.

As I made these instructions and told my littlest one he could not lean out the window from so high because he could fall and get hurt, he became upset. He didn’t like what I had said and he didn’t want it to be that way. He was mad that I wasn’t tolerating his behavior and that I was unwilling to let him do what he desired.

Still, I was firm in my decision and did not support his desire to lean out the second story window.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my son. I am kind to him; patient with him. I respect his opinions and like to support his desire to try new things. I tolerate much of what he does, even when it’s not that good.

But, you see, I know a truth he doesn’t know… If his little body leans too far out that second story window, he will fall to the ground and injure himself.

He may argue that he won’t. He may not believe that what I say is true. He may think I’m narrow-minded and that he is a good kid who would never fall and get hurt. But that doesn’t change the truth: The law of gravity is at work whether he would like to accept it or not.

I can be absolutely sure that if he were to fall out that window he would fall straight to the ground. There is no chance, whatsoever, that he’d float up to the sky or flap his arms and fly to safety. Gravity pulling him down to the ground, at a rate faster than this momma’s heart can bear to think about, is an absolute truth. Still, he doesn’t yet know or believe that to be the case.

It doesn’t change my love for him. I tolerated his crying. I understood his frustration. But, there was no way I was going to stay quiet and let him lean out that window… I love him WAY too much to just sit back and do nothing.

I guess he might say I was being intolerant or narrow minded, but I’m okay with that.

Something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately… more to come soon. :)

(If you haven’t already, please check out Monday’s post to see where a lot of these thoughts are coming from and where they’re going: Christians, Pagans and Witches… Oh My!)




Fantastic post, Michelle! Really fantastic!

Ashley Pichea

I love where this is headed! :)


You. are. awesome.

And I totally agree. TOTALLY.

Veronica @ A Quiet Heart

I have been called narrow-minded and intolerant a few times myself. :) (This is a PERFECT analogy!!!)


YOU are a blessing! :-)


I submitted a link, but yet again, under name I thought it meant my name! Sorry!

Christine- Fruit in Season

Great post- I love this analogy. My post today came from ruminations on this same topic as well as other things over the past 6 months- Rob Bell, homeschool convention controversies, etc. There are so many angles to this discussion… thanks for hosting. This is my first time linking up!

Cranberry Morning

Great post! As I commented on another blog, ‘If only we would learn that following God’s Law will make us HAPPY and FREE’ for He knows the truths that we can’t always see. Good reason to ‘trust and obey.’

Kathy Balman

Great post! I linked up for the 1st time go easy on me everyone, I am not sure how thought provoking it is?

Christin @ Joyful Mothering

LOVE it and know exactly where you’re going, my friend. :) Excellent illustration!

Susan Jones

I listened to a sermon today that said two things we need to teach our kids are intolerance and discrimination. To discriminate between right and wrong and to be intolerant to things that are wrong. The two don’t always make people happy, but like you said, if we love them enough, we’ll be more intolerant and discriminating. Love you my sweet friend! I love that you’re always thinking and causing others to think!


Two quotes that come to mind and that the kids and i have been exploring all year as we have studied Psalm 119 and some apolgetics stuff:
1) “I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out Your precepts. ” Psalm 119:45 Psalm 119 is an interesting Psalm to read while having absolute truth on your brain. Try it, you’ll be surprised at what pops out at you!

2) “You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own truth.” I’m sorry I don’t know who said it, but it’s come in handy while raising kids! :-)

Also, you might be very interested in seeing the 5 part series on You Tube by Vodie Bauchman entitled “Why I choose to Belive the Bible.” It lasts about 50 minutes total and is like drinking from a fire hydrant because it is so full of great information. But, added to that, it’s also presented in a VERY easy to understand, layman’s way that is entertaining to watch as a bonus. Hope you get a chance to watch it!

ali @ an ordinary mom

Excellent analogy!

(Question- do you guys not have screens in the windows down there? My kids would have to take down a screen, or tear through it, to lean out any of our windows… and it would freak me out if they did!)


Great post. As always. I’m always saying that, aren’t I?


That’s a very good example – thanks very much. I also think about Christ’s example of balancing truth and tolerance in how he dealt with the woman taken in adultery. He said, “Neither do I condemn thee.” but then balanced that with what was likely hard to hear truth – “Go, and sin no more”. Thanks again for your post – it’s a great lesson for us all.

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