We were taught to love, love, love. And forgive, forgive, forgive.

But no-one ever showed us all the Bible verses telling us to get away from, have nothing to do with, and refuse to even eat with abusive, unfaithful, swindling, jealous, money-obsessed, boastful, arrogant, immoral, envious, or unloving people who use empty words.

I found many such verses in the New Testament alone. They tell us to get away and stay away.


So it must be possible to LOVE and STAY AWAY from destructive people at the same time. We are called to protect ourselves by getting away.


1.  We should not associate with people who claim to be Christians but are immoral. Not even to eat with them.

1 Cor 5:11-12 (NIV)
But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
2. We are not to be partners with Christians who have even a hint of sexual immorality, impurity, or greed. Such Christians are deceivers. They aren't going to inherit the Kingdom of God.
We hear the verse about not be "unequally yoked" all the time, but this verse says we shouldn't be partners with Christians who do such things.
Eph 5:3-7 NIV
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
3. We can and must talk about our spouse's bad behavior. It is not slander. This passage said that we must expose it and why.
Eph 5:11-13 NIV
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
4. We can call a spade a spade. We can call bad behavior out, just the way the Bible does. We are to have nothing to do with such people.
2 Tim 3:1-5 NIV
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
5.  Those who do not provide for their own family are the same as those who reject the faith.
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. —1 Timothy 5:8

We can love them, forgive them, and still follow the biblical commands to get away from them. We are not called to hate them. We can take our half of the family assets. We can divorce (or separate) and walk away. Perhaps they will learn from the consequences of their own sinful behavior when they lose a spouse.

Of course there are people who will say, "These verses don't apply to marriage and divorce." The logical response is: "Why not?" It is completely reasonable to believe these verses apply to marriage too.


  • This behavior is so bad that Christians are to be thrown out of the church according to 1 Cor 5:11-12 and Eph 5:3-7. If God wants the church to reject them, how can you ask a spouse to tolerate more than God does?


  • If in God's eyes, this person does not inherit the Kingdom of God, then they are an unbeliever.


  • Jesus taught that marriage doesn't exist in heaven. One day we all stand before the Lord singly as individuals, whether you had a good marriage or a bad one.


  • Those who have abandoned their obligations to their spouse are also considered to have denied their faith, and are even worse than unbelievers. That situation falls into 1 Corinthians 7:15: abandonment by an unbeliever.


  • In Exodus 21:9-11, a husband who reduced or didn't provide food, clothing, and marital rights to his wife was required to let her go free (presumably to marry someone who cared for her better). Wives couldn't be demoted to concubine status or slave status. The husband only had two choices: care for her properly, or let her go.

Are you going through a life-saving divorce? I’d like to invite you to my private Facebook group, "Life-Saving Divorce for Separated or Divorced Christians." Just click the link and ANSWER the 3 QUESTIONS. This is a group for women and men of faith who have walked this path, or are considering it. Supporters and people helpers are also welcome.


Start Here


Physical and Emotional Abuse & Infidelity


God Allows Divorce to Protect Victims

Does God Hate Divorce? No, Most English Bible Translations Don’t Say That


How to Find a Good Supportive Church


Divorce Saves Lives: The Surprising (Wonderful!) Truth About Divorce Nobody Told You

Will I Ever Find Love Again? Dating After Divorce: Good News

Finding Happiness and Health After Divorce


Thriving After Divorce: These Christians Tell their Stories

Self-Doubt, Second-Guessing Ourselves, and Gaslighting


Children and Divorce: Researchers Give Hope


High Conflict Divorce and Parenting


Recommended Reading List and Free Resources for Christians and Other People of Faith


Common Myths






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