“Courageous & Unpopular”

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Episode Summary

Get practical tips on building strong friendships without sacrificing who God wants you to be.

Do you ever feel the more courageous you are to live Biblically the more unpopular you become? The Bible tells us this is going to happen to believers. Since so many Christians are nominal, when you make more conservative or Biblical decisions it can backfire relationally with Christian friends. Well, it may be time to be unpopular. Be encouraged to stay the course in this episode.

Main Points From This Episode:

  • Following Jesus isn’t supposed to be easy.
  • The world wants you to be tolerant when we actually aren’t supposed to be open-minded away from Biblical truth. 
  • Sometimes you have to dust off your shoes.
  • Be introspective on how you can build stronger relationships.
  • Always be 100% yourself, otherwise, you attract people using a false you.
  • Tips for building strong relationships.

Scripture From This Episode:

Mark 12:30 – “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

Galatians 1:10 – “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

Philippians 2:1-2 –If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

2 Timothy 3:12 – “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

Romans 6:6 – “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

Romans 12:9 – “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”

Proverbs 27:17 – “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

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Full Transcript:

Note: This is an automated transcript and misspells or grammar errors may be present.

Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcast, a weekly show to equip parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.

Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom.

And I’m Isaac from Resolute Man.

We’ve been married for 21 years and have seen the fruit from raising our eight kids biblically. Based on the raw truth found in the Bible, we can.

No longer let the culture win the hearts of children. Too many children from Christian families are walking away from their faith by age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting and following. Hey, everyone, we’re so glad to have it here on the podcast with us today.

Hey, guys.

How are you doing?

I’m good. We are talking about a topic that, you know, has been inspired because so many of you guys bring this predicament up to Isaac and I, whether it’s in messages on Instagram or in the Parenting Mentor program during the Q&A time, I feel like people get super transparent in there and they pose this predicament, which is it’s very hard to find like minded people and they feel sometimes persecuted even within the Christian community that they’re in for the decisions that they’re making or their stance on certain issues.

So what a weird title, isn’t it courageous and unpopular? We were going to title it courageously. Unpopular. Maybe we will. You’ll find out. But the point is that the more courageous you become in the sense of living biblically in an increasingly fallen world, the more unpopular you’re going to feel at times. Yeah. I mean, I don’t know. There is no, like, simple fix for it, although we are going to give some practical insights in our third point here. But it is it isn’t easy. And the Bible doesn’t promise that it will be easy. In fact, it says something really different than that.

Yeah. So we’re going to go over some scripture with you guys. Hopefully this podcast is extremely encouraging, but before that, we just wanted to say thank you so much for joining us, continuing to join us on a weekly basis. It means so much to Isaac and I. We put a lot into these podcast planning, finding scripture, all the things. And so we really love hearing from you guys. If you have any recommendations for podcast topics, please reach out to us. You can email at Isaac at Craigs Parenting or just reach out to us on social media or in the app messaging, which is actually the best.

And the 10 million legacies movement so important when you share, we know you’re part of it. Give us reviews on iTunes where 80% of people listen or else where it’s great to. In fact, we have a lot of listeners at Courageous Parenting dot com and all the show notes and so forth. There are a lot of free resources to I just want to say that there’s so many aspects to this ministry today that it’s hard to even speak to it all. So very soon we’ll have one place we can give you one URL where you can find everything in the ministry and these that change, plus the coffee, plus some other things that you’ll find out about soon. Important video about to launch is going to be really helpful to really understand why are they doing coffee and why are they doing this and so forth. And I just want you to know that you’re I think you’d be really pleased when you hear this video message or the vision of the ministry that Angie and I do. And I think you’d be really pleased with the whys and probably cause you to think about some of the things in your life, too. So I think that’s going to be really important. We’re proactive thinkers. I think that’s because the Holy Spirit is giving us wisdom ahead of time and decisions we need to make. We see that it’s about a lot of times it’s 2 to 3 years out that we get kind of like the gumption to do something that’s required two or three years down the road. And I just praise the Lord for that. It’s been really.

Awesome. It’s been a regular basis. I feel like even from the beginning of our marriage, we’ve experienced that where we look back and we’re like, Wow, so glad that we started this then. And so you guys were really excited to be running this race with you. And we are. And I hope that you are encouraged. For those of you, especially who are feeling discouraged at the moment, maybe you feel like you’re standing alone and you’re running the race alone. We have done a podcast called Don’t Run the Race Alone. I think it’s in season one or season two, so please go look that up. We are going to go over different scripture. We have a very different message today, but that in conjunction with this would be very, very encouraging for you. But I just want to say, if you are feeling discouraged and like you’re the only one, if you’re feeling alone and if you feel like, man, every decision that I feel like I’m making in life, why is it the hardest decision or the hardest path? Right. I mean, we’ve had this conversation with a few families that go to our church and it’s just it’s walking biblically.

Like Isaac said, it’s not easy and it can be very fruitful at the same time. And so we just would encourage you guys to stay the course. There is a spiritual law of sowing and reaping that no man can escape. And while God is the one who produces the fruit and he’s the one that grows things and brings the increase, and we don’t want to take credit for any of that. The truth is, is that if you don’t do your part, nothing will happen, actually. And so God calls us to partner with him in that process. He calls us to partner with him the great commission in the discipling of our children in and all the things and being a light wherever we are. And we have to do our part so that God has the opportunity to move and be glorified. And so I hope that you guys are encouraged to stay the course, to keep on keeping on if you. Well, because it isn’t easy. So let’s let’s start out, Isaac, maybe for some of those people who are really struggling with finding friends.

Mm hmm.

That can be hard.

Yeah.

Some of you maybe feel more condemned by people than you do feel supported.

Or lifted up. I mean, there’s a lot of wrinkles to that, right? In an interesting way. It’s like we if somebody’s successful, we should be able to fan their flames and be happy for them. Right. If something good happens, there should be a group of people that are way to go, you know, in celebrating that with you. But sometimes it can feel like, well, I don’t want to share that because it might make someone else feel down that that’s not happening for them. Right. There’s other aspects of.

Being.

Being courageous and and making decisions that maybe some people around you haven’t made, but instead being interested about the decision, even when you talk about it in love. And just here’s something we’re learning and something we just decided to do the condemn it or maybe say your legalistic or, you know, make you feel like you’re too extreme or things like that when really you’re just like, Well, I’m just deciding.

To.

Do this kind of simple thing that the Holy Spirit convicted me of. And as I read the Bible, it kind of makes sense. So that can definitely happen and happens all of the time. And let’s start. I think the message, important message is let’s all of us listening be the best. Friends we possibly can towards other people, meaning let’s put the foot forward we want reciprocated to ourselves. And I think that is the step. But I think we need to be introspective sometimes and go, hey, am I one of is it one of these situations where it’s a log in spec issue or is it something where I’m actually trying to be loving and a great friend and nurturing the relationship and I’m not getting that reciprocated? Well, I would say just keep stay the course in that it doesn’t mean you stay the course in relationship in the same way. Right. Because we can only run the race with so many people. There’s a bandwidth issue. But it does mean let’s be the best examples of the things we’re talking about in this episode.

And I do think that there’s you know, as we as we’re diving in here, one of the things that Isaac and I have talked about in parenting mentor program for parents and this need to teach their children to choose friends wisely that starts with us first and modeling that right because we can’t expect our kids to stand strong and to choose wise friends or people who are loving the Lord as their closest friends if we are not doing that. And so we have to recognize that there can’t be hypocrisy within our parenting and how we’re living. Right. And so sometimes when when Isaac’s talking about loving people, he and I are 100% in alignment on this. And what we’re talking about is you can love people, but they can still be in a different category of friendship, meaning maybe you view that friendship as more ministry, or maybe you view that friendship as you’re you’re being a witness because they’re not saved. Or maybe it’s a friendship where you are just where they are a close friend in the Lord, but they aren’t the type that is going to be as iron sharpens iron because they don’t have the spiritual maturity or don’t have the desire or they don’t know how to go deep. Right. And we’re going to talk about those things a little bit later. But being able to, like, categorize in a sense in your head so that you actually have realistic expectations can be very helpful because you wouldn’t, for example, expect a non believer to show love to you in the way that God’s word describes love because they don’t have the Holy Spirit in them. Right. And so you wouldn’t have that expectation of them to give that, but you should give that because you have the Holy Spirit.

It’s so important for your kids to it’s just imagine if you put them in some big group of kids or even a small group of kids, but they don’t understand how to discern and know who to to be more transparent with and who the less because of. Who can you trust and who can you not? And these.

Guys face teacher.

Or if they’re not equipped for that, you may be endorsing something by putting them in a group somewhere, church or elsewhere. And, you know, they’re not discerning. They’re not looking out for these things and they just become friends with whoever is really nice to them. Or later when they, you know, do other things in society, they might just become friends with whoever response to them. And we need to make sure that there’s a difference between loving people well and then building close friendship. And we have to be careful who we build. Close friendship again. We have bandwidth. We, you know, yeah.

I think everybody has a bandwidth based upon like the things that they have going on in their life. Of course, the amount of children they have also is a massive impact. Right. And, you know, other ministries are responsibilities that maybe they have, whether it’s running a business or maybe they’re working really hard to build a business on the side while they have another job. Right. There’s so many different examples. You can figure out what your scenario is, but you have realistic expectations for yourself regarding are you are you spending a little bit of time going shallow with many people and at the end never feeling filled up or feeling like you have like mindedness with anyone because you’re not able to actually invest in just a few friendships that can really go deep and be iron sharpening iron. If that’s you, you need to make some some adjustments in how you’re actually pursuing people.

And I would challenge anybody listening, if that’s your situation, that it’s likely that you’re not being 100% who you are. Yeah, because when you’re living biblically and you’re being 100% who you are, while at the same time being loving towards others, but not holding back your biblical stance on something in a loving way, not holding back on decisions you’re making. Or like, Oh, I better hide this thing I’m doing over here, even though it’s biblical, because I know they’re probably not going to agree with it. And I want to stay in friendship. Well, that’s not real friendship.

No, you’re being fake, actually, if that’s the reality and you can’t build a friendship with someone who’s not being completely who they are.

I want to take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already. Is the date night one sheet. It is a beautiful document you can download that will have some key questions on it for your date night. Just. Get in alignment about what’s most important for your family. No matter what time of year, it’s always important to recalibrate. You can get that by going to courageous parenting and subscribing to our mailing list. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything at courageous parenting dot com. And I also just want to share real quick about the parenting mentor program. So many families are being transformed by going through this. It’s the six week self paced program with live engagement from us and even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it. You can find out more at courageous parenting dot com.

Steve and I realized that we were getting too comfortable with the world’s vision of how to raise our children. But Angie and Isaac have done in creating this is literally phenomenal.

This program provided awesome scripture based teachings and just some really great practical applications.

This class has just really rocked my world. It has given me a vision for not just the different things that we might focus on as parents who are trying to raise our kids biblically, like how our kids are behaving or what we’re doing with discipline, but also the things of the heart. We now have a game plan to how we want to raise our children.

And we have so many answers to the questions that have been in our mind.

It’s not just these hypothetical situations or it’s not just this. Here’s what I think you should do. It’s let me show you where in scripture this is.

Do your legacy a favor and yourself a favor and.

Just do it. One of the best things that we’ve done this year, one of the best investments we’ve made this year, and I could not recommend it more.

We’re no longer fearing dark days ahead, but we’re so excited to raise the lights to be leaders for the next generation.

You know, I think that it’s it’s interesting because in this situation, a lot of the parents are are saying, hey, you know, when it comes to even family members, like they make a choice whether it’s that they’re not going to be watching certain kinds of movies. Right. They’re going to get rid of Disney plus or they’re going to boycott something else. Right. Or they’re anti video games or they’re whatever it is and their families like, wow, you’re too extreme. Or, Oh, that’s legalistic, right? Like that’s one of the things you’ve actually called that word a weapon many times. Would you explain that?

Isaac Well, I just think that when somebody when a Christian disagrees with another Christian and and and they’re disagreeing with someone that’s taking a more conservative approach on something, oftentimes they use the word legalism as a weapon to discount the decision to make look poorly. That other person may be to another friend, a mutual friend or things like that. There’s a natural thing that happens in friendships. It doesn’t need to be this way. Not everybody does this, but the natural thing is you talk poorly or you insinuate something poorly about a mutual friend if you’re having conflict with them to preserve the other relationships around. And that’s not a biblical thing to do, but that is often what happens. And they use that legalistic term versus taking a moment. Now, some people do get legalistic. You should never get legalistic. We don’t want to be like the Pharisees in the Bible. That is the definition of legalism. And Jesus was very opposed to the legalistic Pharisees.

Preaching things and not living them is where Isaac is going at it. But if you’re in a position where you are trying to obey the word and regarding how you’re raising your kids, for example, and you have a biblical conviction on why you’re doing something right, you should never, in a real true friendship, feel like you have to hide part of who you are to be accepted by that person. That’s not friendship. And a lot of times when people feel insecure, especially within the Christian community, right? Because everybody wants to be equal and of sound mind and be all on the same page. That’s what people desire. Truthfully, even you desire that, right? The reality is, is when they rub up against somebody that maybe challenges a decision that they’re making as a parent specifically, because that’s a personal thing. Parenting is personal. We all do our best and we all love our children. Regardless of the decisions that we make. We all love our children just as much as other people love their children. Right? Amen. Yeah. And so because of that, it can be a sensitive topic. So when someone does something that maybe rubs up against them, maybe even in a conviction kind of way, sometimes what people will do is they’ll use the weapon Isaac’s talking about in saying, oh, legalistic or Oh, they’re just super conservative or or or any of these kinds of words, or they’ll persecute a little bit, maybe even make fun so that they feel better and it justifies what they’re doing. Right. And that’s not okay. That’s not biblical. And you want to be surrounded by people who are actually going to rub up against you in a good kind of way, in a way that’s going to spur you on towards good works like the Bible says.

Right. In a way that’s going to actually challenge you to grow in. Your relationship with God and grow in spiritual maturity because you’re leading little ones to the Lord. So you need to be continually growing as well so that you can be leading them somewhere so that they don’t stay stagnant and you don’t stay stagnant. So let’s read some scripture mark. Chapter 12, verse 30 says, And you shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength. I love this. We are just doing a a Q&A time and a teaching time in the parenting mentor program. And I brought this verse up because I really do believe that this verse is one of the core verses that has inspired the courageous parenting mentor program along with Joshua one nine. Right, which says, Be courageous wherever you go for the Lord. Your God goes with you wherever you go. But at the reality, the reality is that this concept of loving the Lord with all of who we are, not half of our heart, not a quarter of our mind, not our mind. Only on Sundays when we’re sitting in church, not half of our strength or our strength on Sundays or when we’re around people that we want to impress. It’s all the time we want to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul, and with all our strength. And when you do that, sometimes people who are not doing that get convicted. At times I get that. But you should never feel like you have to apologize for obeying God, especially when your intention is to love the Lord, your God with your heart, mind, soul and strength.

Amen. And I would say that we shouldn’t be seeking popularity. And you’re like, Amen, amen. You’re probably thinking in your head, but how often are we actually subconsciously seeking popularity when we’re out in groups, when we’re at events, when we’re thinking about our friendships, when we look at social media and we look at someone else, maybe with lots of friends around them and these glorious perfect pictures and events and things that you’re not at or weren’t invited to or whatever the case may be. Are you seeking popularity? And I would say maybe, maybe not. I hope not. I really want we want to seek as deep friendship. We want to have good friends. And if it’s that desire, that’s wonderful. But we don’t want our kids to seek popularity either, because there’s no way to be popular and be biblical when the world is falling apart from a spiritual perspective. So if you’re if you’re desiring popularity and lots of friends in this really amazing life with massive number, lots of number of connections, then you’re setting your kids up for something that’s going to be even more difficult when the world is even more different when they launch in the future. It says right here in Galatians 110 four, I am now seeking the approval of man or of God. Question Mark Or am I trying to please man question mark. If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. We’re actually not supposed to please, man.

We are not to ever try to please. Man in a way that moves us away from biblical truth, causes us to hide the light of Christ or anything like that, where to please God. And so what does God want for us? That’s the most important question. It’s the most important question you want your kids to care about in their own lives as they grow older. So I hope they experientially witness you in some form or fashion that you are asking that question versus getting sad about being alone for whatever reason. And I would encourage you to stay the course and maybe the aloneness is because you’re trying to ride both lines still. And this is really interesting. I was just thinking about my previous career actually, and there is no way I was outspoken for biblical truth. I would share scripture, I’d run these events or speak in front of 1000 people or whatever. I would have lots of managers with offices around a couple of states, and a lot of them weren’t believers. And it was it was okay back then. Like, I could be a strong Christian and do that today if I was doing exactly the same way. I’m not talking about being resolute, man, and every day being super outspoken. I’m talking just even the way I did it back then. I would not it would not be it would not work. The world has changed. If I spoke scripture in front of a thousand young adults in my speech.

Like you used.

To like I used to that one thing, I’ll be blasted today. And so what would I do if I was still there? I thought about this earlier today. If I was still there, I would move on because that was the. Reason I was there. The reason I was there is because God told me to be there, to be a light to these young adults and to help them and equip them in entrepreneurship, but also life skills and introduce them to the spiritual truth that there is a God through Jesus. And I think that because that was my purpose, that I would walk away from that in a heartbeat because it wouldn’t work anymore. I would have had to dumbed down my influence without the spiritual stuff, and that just wouldn’t have been appealing to me. And so how I think of that example and I go, How often are we not fully ourselves just because of our sphere of influence that we’ve cultivated? And I just think it’s not supposed to be easy and actually we’re going to be unpopular with certain people and we need to embrace that. We need to embrace that we are going to be unpopular and it’s okay.

I would also say to you that while you’re desiring unity and like mindedness with people, that is something that God does desire of his people. And so you standing firm and being courageous on issues that should not even be issues that create division, in my opinion. I’m like literally baffled. Maybe if you if you’re listening and you’re like, has the world gone mad? Has what has happened in this world that people, Christians are even, like swinging on this issue? This is like wild, right? Have you ever thought that have you have you felt that way? If you have thought that the truth is, is that what you’re desiring inside is a biblical thing. I want to read to you from Philippians chapter two, verse one and two. It says, So if there is any encouragement in Christ, see, I hope that you are encouraged in Christ. So if there’s any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. This it says Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility, count others more significant than yourselves. And then it just continues on and in a biblical fashion of how we’re supposed to treat other people right, not looking to our own interests, but also to the interests of others having this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, God wants us to actually be in alignment with each other on the things that matter most.

He wants he doesn’t want Christians shooting friendly fire at other Christians who are more conservative, and he doesn’t want Christians who are more conservative shooting arrows at other people, but instead loving them up, loving them into walking in a more righteous way. And when I say that, I what I mean by that is to we are supposed to challenge one another. We talk about this all the time, this concept of iron, sharpening iron. What else is there a purpose in friendship for? You know, Gary Thomas says in his book Sacred Marriage, that marriage is not about making you happy. It’s about making you holy. And in the in reality, that is the same concept that we need to see that God’s purpose is for friendship. He gave us friends, and it’s not just to make us happy. Does that mean that we enjoy company with one another? Yes, just as much as we enjoy being married. Right. But the truth is, is it’s actually supposed to be creating an accountability, helping us to grow in spiritual maturity, to grow in our love for God, to continue to spur one another on towards being a light.

Right, walking through the hard times together. Because guess what? This message of like, oh, if you’re a Christian, life’s going to be easy. That’s actually false. It is false. Life still happens to Christians and yes, God blesses those who love him. That’s right. He does. But it doesn’t mean that if you’re walking through a hard time where you’re maybe not experiencing as much fruitfulness in your life, sometimes we need to I think we always need to be introspective. Right, and go, okay, is there anything in me, Lord, that I need to learn from this hardship? Did I make a bad decision? Am I reaping what I sowed? Like, we need to be honest, right? We look at all these different scriptures, but then at the end of that introspection, if we have searched our own heart and we’ve said, Lord, search my heart, oh, God, show me if there’s any wayward way in me if there’s nothing. What we need to recognize is that life is hard sometimes. But praise God that He walks with us through it.

Mm hmm.

It’s so he can have an opportunity to be glorified, so you can grow. Because sometimes growth doesn’t happen on the mountaintops when everything’s easy, it happens in the valleys. Right. And so we need to recognize and look back. Maybe if you look back for a second, you see where you’ve come from. You think about the hard remember the hard times that you walked, right? Whether it was a loss of a job or a loss of a child or or death of a family member or maybe sickness or suffering of some kind or. You guys. We’ve all experienced those different things in our life. And I bet if you’re honest and you clung to the Lord during those times, you would agree that those were some of the most strength biblical relationship building times you’ve ever experienced in your walk with God. Praise Him for that. So we need to be like walking and fellowship with people, being transparent about those times, because if we’re like walking through a season of fruitfulness and where we want to rejoice, the Bible says to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. But a lot of times people are much, much better at mourning. Right? They’re much better when people are going through a hard time, because when it comes to really rejoicing with people, when things are going well, sometimes people get competitive and it ruins that opportunity for truly walking in biblical fellowship together and rejoicing with one another and saying, Hey, good job, keep going like you’re in a race, right? And you’re about to pass the baton and you’re like, Keep going to the finish line. You can do.

It. That’s what it’s supposed to be like. Yeah. Cheering each other on, encouraging. But you can’t do that if you’re not willing to be sharpened or if you’re not willing to help sharpen someone else. See if you’re friends with other believers. We are supposed to do that, right? Super important. Second, Timothy 312 says, Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ, Jesus will be persecuted. So all who desire to live a godly life. If you’re not persecuted, you might ask yourself about that if you don’t feel any persecution as a Christian. You might not be letting people know you’re a Christian. And I’m talking about more than the word I’m a Christian. Letting them know by how you live your life.

By being courageous.

If you’re courageous, as the Bible tells us to be, if we’re loving with truth. God talks about how words to be loving to others all over the place. But he also talks about how to stand for truth, how to evangelize and share the truth, how the purpose of life is the end of Matthew. Matthew 28 The Great Commission make disciples of all nations. See if we’re a quiet Christian. I’m not talking. You’re introverted. I’m introverted. But if you’re a quiet Christian, me, I keep that hidden. It’s personal. No, no, no. Relationship with Jesus is not. It is personal and it’s meant to be shared. And if we’re not sharpening the believers around us, if we’re not sharpening each other, the whole group gets a little less sharp and a little more dull and a little less useful for God. Don’t we want to be useful for God? Don’t want our relationships to stir up more usefulness for the for our Creator, for the God we love? I think that is so, so important. So just remember persecution, hardships. God says we’re to expect those. He says all will be persecuted. Mm hmm. I think that’s. That’s really interesting. Interesting. But I think we should talk a little bit more about truth and love.

Yeah. So, you know, this concept of tolerance. So this is this is something that’s going around. It’s been going around for quite a long time. This concept of how Christians are not tolerant. Have you been accused of that before? Or maybe you have been accused of worse things? Maybe you’ve been called a bigot for the beliefs that you have on certain issues which you hold firmly to them, because your belief is based upon your worldview, which is formed by your faith in Scripture. Right. And the truth is, is there is a movement to try to get people to be more tolerant. We see it every day. It’s everywhere to make it acceptable. Tolerance is really accepting sin. Accepting sin. Did Jesus accept sin? No, he actually didn’t. A lot of people say that he didn’t condemn people. There’s a scripture that says that for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Yes, but for those who are in Christ Jesus, who are walking with the Spirit activated in them, are not going to give way to their flesh either. Right. Interesting how those two colors are correlated. Right. We need to recognize all of what the word says. When Jesus went and was ministering to Mary Magdalene, what did he say? He said, go and sin no more. Right. When he healed people, he would say, Get up and take your mat and walk and sin no more. He literally over and over again was healing people where healing really needed to happen at a spiritual level.

But here’s what happens today. Someone buys a new mat for him and then buys him something else and then doesn’t encourage anything good, any change in their life.

Right. Because that’s what being tolerant and accepting them. But in reality, that may feel good to the person for a brief while, but there’s literally no long term change happening in that person’s life. Real love is when you help them up and you say, Hey, buddy, this is really ripping something really bad in you and I’m scared for you. And there’s this other path towards healing and life, let me tell you about it. And you walk with them through that. But that takes long suffering. That takes truly being willing to go the extra mile. That takes me in the Good Samaritan, actually. And most people who are shouting the tolerance at the narrative are not willing to actually go the extra mile if you really are honest. And so when it comes to tolerance issues, it was interesting. I was just having a conversation with like minded sister in Christ and she brought up this topic that I just want to put it out there for you guys. You can contemplate this. This is something that’s been stirring in my mind, have been encouraging me lately is this concept of how being open minded is actually not a biblical concept? Oh, whoa. What did I just say? So think about this for a second. If we as believers are told to use the Bible as our filter for everything in the world, everything we read, everything we hear, everything we learn, everything, everything right. We we filter things through the Word of God as courageous biblical Christians. If we are doing that, then what is the filter going to look like? Like, if you think of a filter, it has like a mesh screen, right? And depending on your filter that’s there, it’ll determine how big your holes are that things can fit through.

And when it comes to Scripture, God says that His way is what does he say? It’s large. No, he says it’s narrow, actually. And so when we’re reading the word of God and we recognize, yes, that Jesus came for the lawless. Yes, he did. He came to save sinners for which we all are sinners, actually. But he has a way, a guidebook for us, for living that when we do live this way, even though like making the decisions that we make, if we seek God’s word and we try to obey His word, our decisions will make the what we reap will be a little bit easier in some circumstances. In some circumstances. But when it comes to persecution, it’s. Going to be harder. Do you see why we’re saying that? It’s not easy to be courageous. I don’t want you to walk away thinking that if you’re a new believer that walking with Jesus is going to be this, like this is going to be way harder. Because the truth is, is that God’s word is our guidebook. And if we obey it, our life will go better for us. It’s kind of like children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right that you may live long in the land, that the Lord Thy God have to give it thee right? Like there’s this element of blessing that comes when we are choosing to walk and righteousness. That is true, right? When we make wise decisions on friendships, then we’re less likely to be led astray.

That’s true. So we’re not supposed to be open minded about things that are biblical, meaning it is definitive what the Bible says about certain things. And so let’s just bring up the big three that are being used by the enemy to confuse Christians and to create division amongst believers. It is marriage, gender and sex. So those three things are the areas that are being chosen to create division, I believe, by the enemy and used by many people, including believers. And we’re not to be open minded about those issues in in a way that moves away from biblical truth on those issues.

Right. Our filter for our mind is a screen, and it’s the word of God. And we need to just recognize that we have to choose to filter things through the word and not through the world. Romans six six says We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin for one who has died has been set free from sin. Guys, that’s the truth of the Gospel, and that’s what the world needs. And sometimes Christians who’ve been raised in the church need to be reminded of this that Jesus sets us free, that our old self is crucified, that we can walk as a new creation in Christ. And when we walk this way, yeah, sometimes people are going to say things or maybe it’s going to feel unpopular. But the truth is, is you never know who’s watching and for what purpose. God has allowed it to be watched, but there will be a fruit one day. God has the opportunity if you let him use your life by standing firm.

That’s so important. Oftentimes the people that are open minded and change what the Bible says and live in certain ways or people that don’t actually read the Bible very often. Right. So that’s an important thing to think about. Romans 12 nine says Let love be genuine, abhor what is evil. Hold fast to what is good. Love that going on. It says love one another with brotherly affection. I do one another and showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. And it goes on, actually. Actually, probably very good. Yes. So it says rejoice and hope, be patient and tribulation. So what we’re talking about, be constant in prayer, contribute to these the saints, and seek to show hospitality. There is the equation for good friendship right there. Hospitality, having people in your house.

Being trained for others.

Not being down if there’s tribulation or challenge, but being patient, trusting the Lord. Not a lot of times when we’re not patient and tribulation or challenge, we cut corners. We make, you know, we go, well, you know, I can’t figure this out, so I’m just going to stop being so biblical around this friend to try and build a friendship and, you know, these kinds of things. And I would just say, well, how does it feel not to be yourself? I mean, I understand Paul says be what people need to be said a little different scripture he didn’t say ever deviate from from biblical truth he never did. But what what it is when you’re when you’re witnessing to somebody and when you’re presenting something and relationally connecting with people, maybe where they’re at, but it can’t stay there. Right. You have to still be 100% yourself and you have to move to being 100 even more truly yourself as fast as possible in the entire time. But he’s just saying be what people need right. To build relationship in the beginning, but it can’t stay there. How often does it just stay there and it gets stagnant. You get frustrated and you don’t have deep relationships and you have all these people you know well, you need 100% who you are, right?

Which is actually our first point when it comes to building your tribe. So we just want to end with encouraging you guys on some things that we’ve recognized have helped us over the years with building like minded fellowship with people who are willing to grow, who we just are so thankful for in our life. The first thing is to be 100% who you are. Because the truth is, is the people who are going to be most like minded will be attracted to you if like the real you, if you are showing them 100% you. Does that make sense? If you’re not, you’re going to attract a different kind of sheep, if you know what I mean. And so you need to be 100% who you are, which means you need to be encouraged to be who you are in Christ. Remember that Romans six six verse that I talked about. The old has been crucified, the new has come. We need a walk in the newness of life and in the joy of the Lord. And then that will attract those kinds of people who are also that actually we need to be what we want. Right. And so be 100% who you are. The second thing is to dust off your shoes. I know that this could be taken wrong, so I just want to be really clear about this.

Isaac mentioned bandwidth and we kind of talked about that very, very briefly and quickly. And so just to remind you that every family, every person has very different bandwidth based upon their capacity and what they can handle, what God has already placed in their life. So clearly, you’re not going to put friendships above your first jurisdiction’s, which is your marriage and your kids. And depending on how many children you have and how time intensive it is, like if you’re homeschooling or different things like that, your lifestyle choices greatly impact what is realistic for you as far as how many friends you have. And the goal should never be many people. As many people as possible. An inch deep. No, no, no. You need to have a few very close confidence that you can count on that. They can count on you that you invest in. So if if at all, you’re like in a relationship and things are just you can’t grow like you’re being yourself and you feel like you’re always bringing the challenge and they’re not like you can still stay friends with them. But like as far as them being maybe one of the closest ones, you kind of got to dust your shoes off and just don’t give up and pray for those biblical friendships because God will bring them into your life.

It’s so true and we do need to be introspective at the same time. If you ever are having a difficult time in relationships, we do need to be mindful that we’re not perfect. We do need to look and ask God to reveal to us any areas we can improve to make connecting with people better. Maybe we’re guarded in our relationships because we’ve been hurt before, so we’re not putting that foot forth, that warmth force, that hospitality forth that needs to be there to to kindle relationships. Maybe we don’t pursue people who are strong, even though we want to have relationships to those people because we’re too were to guard it and were to afraid. Maybe fear is driving us away from cultivating friendships with people who appear to be strong. But really you are strong, but you have fear holding you back. So do you think about what are the things that are holding you back from really building your tribe? A tribe I like. That word because tribe contemplates, you know, family. It contemplates, you know, locking arms and going to battle together and and running the race together and fanning each other’s flames and being there for each other and these kinds of things. What is your tribe look like right now? Maybe do a little audit and think about it.

Maybe do some journaling, maybe have a marriage conversation. What does our tribe look like? What do we want our tribe to look like? Yeah, maybe we haven’t really had some vision for what kind of tribe you want to build around you and your children. Because remember, and we’ve said this over and over again, it’s not just those you’re building relationships with. Your kids are going to become friends with each other. And we want to make sure that that’s good for your kids. Right? So all those things to think about and it is really, really important that we’re running the race. Peer relationships when kids are young are so influential, it is unbelievably influential. And I think that has been a big challenge to why so many Christian kids are leaving the faith when they graduate and leave the home is because they’ve been peers with people that really in not all cases, but many cases doesn’t take too many wolves and sheep’s clothing to steer those impressionable kids a different direction. And we go way, way, way, but my kids are going to be alight. Well, how many of those motivated parents where my kids are going to be a light became the people that need a light.

Right. I think, too, that there’s been when I look back on just what I’ve witnessed over the years regarding parenting, I think that a lot of parents also make the mistake to put a higher priority on creating friendships for their children versus cultivating the friendships within their kids like to one another. And the one encouragement that I really, really hope that you gather from this is that when you’re building your tribe, don’t underestimate the power of the discipleship that you are doing with your children, because one day they’re going to grow up and they are going to, you know, Lord willing, they get saved. They will be a sister or brother in Christ, not just your child. And those friendships are actually going to be the ones that you’re going to want to invest in the most and spend the most time with because there is like mindedness because they were raised by you.

So they’re.

Going to be.

More important than your current friends.

Right, in.

Terms of friendship.

But you don’t want it. So this is the thing. Like when Isaac was talking about vision, I was like, amen. Because the truth is, is when you think about what your future is going to be as a family and ten years, 15 years, 20 years, let me just bring this up. A lot of people end up experiencing what is portrayed in movies where their families only get together during holidays. And usually there’s one or two of the kids that it’s their only their by obligation. They’re not there because they want to be there. They’re not there because they’re friends with everybody. They’re only there because they only see each other at holidays and they only allow the the parents into their lives, on their terms when they want it and they have their own life going over here, all the rest, and it doesn’t even look the same. That is not the kind of culture that you want to cultivate in your family. That’s that’s not raising or building your tribe. And God put these people in your life first and foremost. So you’re going to dedicate 20 years or more, 20 plus years to raising your children. What for them to just go off and not have a part in your life, not have a part in each other’s lives? What a waste. So, guys, when it comes to building your tribe, do not neglect or underestimate the power of building strong relationships between your kids as siblings, but also raising them up in a courageous fashion with courageous biblical convictions so that when they grow up, you see eye to eye. You’re like minded and you want to spend time together because it’s refreshing to actually be around one another. You don’t have to try hard. You already know you agree on the most important things and it’s just fun and it’s lively and it’s challenging in a good way. So then what you want?

So then how important is it that the kids that are hanging out with your children are like minded? How important is it for you to model being a courageous parent and to pay attention to these things? And what deep relationships? How important is it to model being 100% who you are all of the time? It is vital to do that. And if you’re not doing that for the sake of keeping friendships, that is a tough proposition. You’ve got to be who you are. You’ve got to be loving to others, but you’ve got to be patient and tribulation and you’ve got to kind of embrace that. If you’re going to be a biblical Christian, you’re going to be persecuted. And a lot of times it’s friendly fire. And you know what? You just have to embrace that because the Bible says can happen to everyone for Christ.

And you know what, guys? There is an encouragement in that when you experience those kind of persecutions, those sufferings, those broken hearts, if you will, you actually get to experience God in a new kind of way to see things, just a glimpse through what he experienced when he was here. And your appreciation for what Jesus did for you will grow so much more and you’ll grow in your relationship with Him in a really unique and special way. And so we just want to encourage you guys to continue to be courageous, even when it’s not popular, and know that at the end of the day, really, the only person that you’re trying to please is the Lord.

Amen.

Thanks for joining us. Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. For more resources, go to. Courageous parenting and courageous mom. For free online workshops, blog posts and best selling courses. Also, we wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting mentor program. Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week we release a video with a downloadable parenting packet to make it easy for you to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.

This is an incredible self-paced program where we cover everything from obedience training to overcoming mistakes most Christians are making. But more than that, it’s a supportive community. You’ll have access to our private online group, Live Webcasts, and the courageous parenting text message line where Angie and I can send you weekly encouragement straight to your phone.

If you’re interested in joining our next online parenting mentor program. Secure your spot now at CourageousParenting.com

Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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