The FAT Principles of marriage – TOLERANCE (Part 3)

Tolerance in marriage is the secret of many marriages that are surviving and moving into bliss today. For marriages that have broken apart, most have been hinged on the irreconcilable difference. Meaning the couple are unable to accept their differences and cannot even tolerate one another. We are by nature different, each person designed by God.

We have different experiences growing up and we are shaped by the different environment and household we grew with. Therefore, couples should expect they are going to have differences. It is the recognition, awareness, and the ability to accept and work with this in mind that is crucial to the survival of their marriage. Even though we need to learn to tolerate each other, the ideal in any marriage is for couples to move from tolerance to acceptance and this is where thriving begins. 


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As defined in the dictionary, tolerance is the ability and willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs that are different from your own, even if you disagree with or disapprove of them. It is the ability to bear something unpleasant or annoying or to keep going despite difficulties. Tolerance means you put up with, you go along with, you stick with and turn a blind eye to events and circumstances you may not be comfortable with. 

In marriage, couples are going to have annoying behaviours and you will have to bear with one another

You cannot fully know your spouse during courtship and so you will find out their idiosyncrasies and eccentricity, peculiarities and irks only when you get married. Little things, ideas and behaviours that bothers you, which you may only be finding out when you are married. 

For example, some women love to moisturise their skin and indulge it in oils and lotions of all kind, if I see a skin that is rough or white because of lack of moisturising, it annoys me a lot. However, some men also moisturise their skin and yet other many charming princes may not like to moisturise their bodies as well as women too. Some people wear socks to bed! Snoring, mouth and body odour, the way people eat! Neatness in your house may be different from another person’s idea of neatness. I am obsessed with clean toilets and if I see a speck it must go. Lifestyle and choices, you will make may be different from your spouse, if you cannot tolerate and accept them, then there will be an issue in the marriage. You may have to tolerate her family, her friends, and other people in your spouse’s life. If you equip yourself with this knowledge and be intentional about it, your marriage will move quickly into understanding and wisdom.

Two things happen when couples refuse to acknowledge or tolerate their differences. 


Anger bitterness and poison that begins to erode their love for each other. If not dealt with it will lead to the ruin of their marriage. When you resent your spouse, everything they do begins to irritate you, you will not find anything positive, but the negatives will be exaggerated. If you cannot see any good in your spouse today, you should check that you have not harboured resentment over the years due to behaviours and attitudes you may have refused to accept or tolerate and possibly want to change. 

Control and abuse

Result and will be inevitable if one partner is trying to change the other. We are all aware and should know that one person cannot change another person. We can influence and help people grow out of a bad and annoying habit, but the change comes from within the person. A positive change is achieved through love. Look at the example of our Lord Jesus Christ. God has the power to change anyone, but He chooses to love us and wait for us to turn our hearts to Him because He first loves us. Any draconian means of forcing a change in one’s partner will not result in true love even if achieved. 

Principles of Marriage: ACCEPTANCE (Part 2)

Recently, as I was listening to one of the marriage counselling programmes, a man asked a question, which many people may have asked in the past. He said the l …Read More


A good way to become a more tolerant person is to educate yourself more deeply about other people and cultures. 

Often when people display a lack of tolerance for somebody, it is in part because they feel alienated or uncertain about what the other person is doing or saying.

Lack of understanding or refusal to understand the differences we bring to the marriage. Frustration and having a small view of their world. Intolerance breeds hatred, hatred leads to distrust, distrust causes disunity. That is why the bible admonished that we should “always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love” – Ephesians 4:2. Make allowance for each other’s faults in your marriage, marriage is a marathon and not a sprint, so do not for a moment think short term and expect your partner to change. 

The serenity prayer should be your guide if you are desiring a peaceful and happy marriage. 

Serenity Prayer- God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Stress tolerance is the capacity to endure pressure or uncertainty without becoming negative, hopeless, bitter, or hostile toward yourself or others. People with strong stress tolerance can withstand and may even thrive in high-pressure situations. Why do organisations ask for this skill during job interviews? How well do you cope with stress or work under pressure? It is because you need to be able to continue to work productively, even if your colleagues and office environment are hostile. You cannot refuse to work and cooperate in a work environment due to stress; it is, therefore, important that you develop the skill of tolerance. 

How do I become a tolerant husband or wife you may ask? Below are ways to develop and become a more tolerant spouse. Have healthy self-esteem – know who you are and have a conviction of who you are. Form your own opinions and make that positive. The more comfortable you feel with yourself and your opinions, the less defensive you will be. Oftentimes, people have trouble tolerating opinions that threaten their worldview. Being more comfortable with yourself, and how you see the world, can lead to more positive interactions with people different than you.

Opinions are cheap, convictions are real – do not take people’s opinion as personal, learn to be objective it is easier to be tolerant of opinions if you can see them objectively. Try to see your spouse’s opinion as separate from how they judge you and your character. This will help you to be able to disagree with people but tolerate these disagreements. Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 – Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you have cursed others.

The Golden Rule – do unto others what you want them to do you. Whenever you feel intolerant to another person’s opinion, pause, and reflect on the Golden Rule. Just as you would expect someone to consider your perspective without judging you, extend this same courtesy to someone else.

Refrain from being judgmental – be more open and less disapproving, the bible says “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37.

Tolerance is the key to becoming an understanding spouse. When you understand and your partner knows you will understand, it becomes the force that holds your marriage together for decades. If you as husband and wife can understand each other, then it is far easier for you to avoid problems in your marital relationship. Thus, your love becomes stronger and lasts longer. 

As you can see, tolerance is the force that helps you reinforce your relationships, and eventually, it will transform into acceptance which turns into a long-lasting marriage. Now all that we have said cannot be achieved without the help of the Holy Spirit, they are fruits of the Holy Spirit. For example, if you love as Jesus commanded, you can never live in unforgiveness nor refuse to tolerate your spouse. With the help of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to persevere, be gentle and kind, you will accept and tolerate people. 

Therefore, if you are struggling in this area, you need the help of the Holy Spirit and you need Jesus in your life to have that peaceful and blissful marriage.

Say this simple salvation prayer with me: Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Saviour.

Please let me know in the comment if you are blessed.

Are you longing for inspiration for your life and marriage? Learning new skills and acquiring knowledge can greatly improve your relationship with your spouse. When you know better, you can do better and make a big difference in your relationship. Subscribe to updates from Abi here!

Abi Apalara loves sharing insightful information that helps couples flourish in life and their marriage relationship. I have enjoyed both good marital pleasures and challenging times in my marriage. I came to realise, the points where I missed it, were areas I lacked information on how to.

Making it up along the way, only meant I was going the wrong way. Desperately seeking to get back into marital bliss, I started exploring and reading about those areas of challenge. I also reached out to counselors and began to see what I was missing.
After a surprising move into relationship study, I have found peace of mind and happy with my marriage. I have authored the book Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus realty to share my experience and encourage men and women to work on their
marriages, by seeking knowledge and apply it to their marriage relationship.

My latest book, Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus reality focuses on discovering some of the unrealistic expectations we bring into a marriage. It comes with practical advice and a guide on how to get it right before and after getting married. You can also preorder the book here