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The Boiled Frog Syndrome



The following metaphor is a powerful example of how a person can be unaware of how the increasing abuse or someone’s unhealthy behavior in a relationship can make it an unhealthy, abusive, or toxic environment. The person tolerates and adjusts to the other person’s behavior and takes on the perception that it is “normal” and acceptable.


If you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will instinctually try to climb out.

However, if you gently place it in a pot of lukewarm water and turn the heat on low, it will float there calmly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog is uncomfortable yet unaware of the deadly changing environment. Before long, the frog boils to death.


The longer the abuse or unhealthy behavior is allowed to continue, the more the abuse or unhealthy behavior becomes accepted, rationalized, and thought of as “normal” or “not that bad.” This prolongs and even intensifies an unhealthy, dysfunctional relationship. For the person trying to love the person engaging in the abusive or unhealthy behavior, the end result is death…death of hope, death of peace, death of an accurate self-worth and many more things. Don’t be like the frog...confront what needs to be confronted and stop living in boiling water that could harm and/or kill what God wants for you.


Ephesians 4:14-15

“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the Truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”