Bushwack or Persevere Most religious groups will tell you that it is wrong to leave when things get tough or if you think you have stagnated. This is common advise. And they all give similar rationale (albeit in different theological/ideological clothes). But there should be clear measures to understand when enough is enough. I tell patients of mine who I start on medications, when to expect results and what the results should look like BEFORE starting. When the go to Chiropractors for some pain, I tell them that if they don't see improvement after three treatments, they should stop no matter what rationale the Chiropractor gives. But in medicine, we have more concrete ways of measuring. Since the religious person is using internal subjective measures, it can be difficult. And if that person has a history of allow abuse on themselves, they are very vulnerable. Perhaps this is an unavoidable ugly truth. You analogies are useful and interesting, but having been exposed to many different groups, I can hear the same voices using the same analogies. Argument from analogy is one of the lowest forms of evidence, though a great tool for persuasion. Jesus spoke by analogy and 1000s of years of preaching have benefited from the flexibility of analogy to be used anyway the preacher so desires.