Imagine a remote village that practices some really troubling rituals; one of which is the disgusting act of female circumcision. You feel compelled to help these girls and so you become a missionary to the society.
How can you maximise your chances to help these girls?
Do you barge into the village and proclaim how they are barbaric and need to change their ways? Or do you join the community? You love them when they need love, help them when they need help. You find they all wake up together, eat together, and work together. Their sense of community reflects the gospel much more closely than western society; and you affirm all this good you see.
At this point it would appear to them like you condone everything they do, but really you are grieved every day as you patiently prepare them for a day when you can reveal how you truly feel.
Imagine what they would see as they reflect on your time with them now they know? They see how painful it must’ve been for you to live with what they were doing.
Maybe, just maybe, we could think of God’s approach to his people in this way.