Family relationships can be complicated, and sometimes circumstances may call for difficult decisions regarding our ties with loved ones.
The Bible addresses the complexities of familial bonds and provides guidance on when it may be necessary to cut off or distance oneself from certain family members. In this article, we explore Bible verses that offer wisdom and insight in navigating these challenging situations.
Bible Verses About Cut Off Family Ties
1 Corinthians 5:11
“But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber. Do not even eat with such a one.”
The Apostle Paul, in this verse, highlights the importance of breaking ties with individuals who lead destructive lifestyles. By disassociating from such people, one safeguards their spiritual journey, even if those individuals bear the title of ‘brother’ or ‘sister’.
“For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.”
Jesus, in these verses, emphasizes the potential division that faith might bring within a family. The primary loyalty, according to Him, should be towards spiritual truth and righteousness, even if it means conflict within the family.
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.”
On an initial read, this verse may seem shocking. Yet, within its context, Jesus prompts us to prioritize divine principles above familial love. The word ‘hate’ is less about resentment and more about placing God at the top of one’s hierarchy of relationships.
2 Thessalonians 3:6
“Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.”
This verse advises against association with those refusing to live according to Christian teachings. It’s a call to action, stating that even when familial ties are involved, they should not deter one from the path of righteousness.
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”
This passage demonstrates Jesus’ instructions on dealing with a sinning brother or sister. Before severing ties, there’s a moral obligation to confront the person and attempt reconciliation. But if they persist, further steps may be necessary.
“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.”
The apostle Paul warns against individuals within the community who cause discord and deviate from sound teachings. Even if these individuals are family, they should be avoided to maintain spiritual integrity.
1 Timothy 5:8
“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Paul emphasizes the need to care for one’s family here. However, if the family turns away from faith, one must prioritize spiritual welfare above physical sustenance.
2 Corinthians 6:14
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
A strong suggestion is made here to avoid relationships that compromise Christian principles. If a family member falls into the category of an ‘unbeliever’, one should reconsider the connection to maintain their spiritual path.
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
This verse encourages standing up against wrongdoing, even if it exists within the family. Partaking in or ignoring such acts is not acceptable; rather, they must be exposed and dealt with.
Also Read: 25 Bible Verses about Imperfection (With Commentary)
“As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him.”
Here, Paul advises a clear approach towards those causing discord. After repeated warnings, if the person continues to sow discord, cutting ties becomes a viable option.
“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered.”
In this verse, wisdom is shared about avoiding relationships with individuals prone to anger. This advice remains applicable even when the person in question is a family member.
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
Wisdom and folly are contrasting paths in life, and this verse underlines the significance of selecting one’s associates carefully. If family members choose folly, it may become necessary to distance oneself to avoid adverse effects.
“And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”
A metaphorical verse, Jesus insists on the necessity of separating from elements causing spiritual harm. If a familial relationship leads one to stumble in their faith, it might be best to sever that bond.
1 Corinthians 15:33
“Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.”
Here, Paul articulates the potential harm of unwholesome company, which can corrupt a person’s moral fabric. This applies even if the ‘bad company’ includes family members.
“A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”
Paul uses the metaphor of leaven to illustrate how a small influence can permeate and affect an entire group. In familial context, if one member’s actions corrupt the spiritual wellbeing of others, it may necessitate distancing.
2 John 1:10-11
“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.”
John advises against hospitality or connection with individuals who reject Christian teachings. Even when those individuals are family members, one must prioritize their spiritual principles.
“Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.”
This proverb provides wisdom about avoiding those lacking in wisdom or insight. If a family member persists in folly, it might be necessary to create distance for one’s own spiritual wellbeing.
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.”
This Psalm highlights the blessing in not aligning oneself with the wicked or those who mock righteousness. When a family member chooses a path contrary to your own, this verse offers guidance.
“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.”
This verse imparts that fearing others, including family, can lead to a trap. Trusting in God and following His directives, even if they include distancing from family, ensures safety.
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”
This promise from Jesus confirms that forsaking worldly ties for the sake of faith has divine reward. Sometimes, this can involve leaving behind family for the pursuit of spiritual truth.