25 Bible Verses About Walking Away From Family (Explained)

Family relationships can be some of the most fulfilling and yet the most challenging aspects of our lives. Sometimes, circumstances lead us to consider walking away from these relationships, whether temporarily or permanently. But what does the Bible say about such decisions? Let’s explore some verses that shed light on walking away from family and the complexities involved.

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Bible Verses About Walking Away From Family

Luke 14:26

“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.”

This verse is a strong reminder of the commitment required to follow Jesus. While it may seem extreme to “hate” one’s own family, it emphasizes the priority of our relationship with God. Choosing to follow Christ may sometimes require us to make difficult decisions and even distance ourselves from our loved ones.

However, it is essential to note that this verse does not promote hatred towards family members. Instead, it highlights the need to prioritize our obedience to God above all else, even familial ties.

Genesis 12:1-4

“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him.”

In this passage, we see Abraham (previously Abram) being called by God to leave his family and homeland to embark on a journey of faith. Despite the uncertainty and the separation it brought, Abraham’s obedience to God’s call resulted in blessings and the fulfillment of God’s promises.

Walking away from family can sometimes be part of God’s plan for our lives. It requires trust in God’s leading and the willingness to step out in faith, knowing that He has a greater purpose and blessing in store for us.

Matthew 19:29

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”

Jesus acknowledges the sacrifices that may arise when choosing to follow Him. He assures those who leave behind their families for His sake that they will be rewarded, not only in this life but also in eternity.

This verse reassures us that even if we have to walk away from our families, we can trust God to provide us with spiritual family and a community of believers who will support and love us as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Luke 9:59-62

“He said to another man, ‘Follow me.’ But he replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ Still another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.’ Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'”

These verses illustrate the urgency and commitment required to follow Jesus. The responses of the two individuals demonstrate their hesitation and desire to prioritize familial duties over discipleship.

Jesus cautions against being weighed down by worldly obligations and distractions, emphasizing the necessity of fully surrendering our lives and focusing on the Kingdom of God. Walking away from family may involve letting go of certain responsibilities and attachments that hinder us from fully embracing the call of discipleship.

1 Corinthians 7:15

“But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.”

Walking away from family may also be necessary in situations where our allegiance to Christ conflicts with the beliefs or actions of our loved ones. This verse addresses the scenario of an unbelieving spouse choosing to leave the relationship.

While separation and divorce are not ideal, this passage acknowledges that there are times when it is unavoidable. In such circumstances, believers are encouraged to prioritize peace and trust that God’s calling for their lives remains unchanged.

Matthew 10:34-37

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

Jesus’ words here may initially seem contradictory, as He is often referred to as the Prince of Peace. However, He clarifies that while His ultimate mission is to reconcile humanity with God, the message of the Gospel can divide households and create tension within families.

This passage highlights the intensity of the choice between loving and following Christ above all else or prioritizing familial relationships. It is a reminder that walking away from family may be necessary when faced with the conflict between following Jesus or compromising our faith.

Mark 3:31-35

“Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.’ ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.'”

In this encounter, Jesus expands the definition of family beyond biological ties. He emphasizes that doing God’s will takes precedence over blood relationships.

Walking away from family, or even redefining our understanding of family, can be challenging but necessary in order to fully align ourselves with God’s purpose for our lives. Embracing the family of believers and the community of Christians becomes vital as we prioritize our relationship with Jesus.

Ruth 1:14-17

“At this, they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her. ‘Look,’ said Naomi, ‘your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.’ But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.'”

The story of Ruth and Naomi demonstrates the deep bond and commitment that can exist within family relationships. Despite Naomi’s suggestion for Ruth to return to her family, Ruth chooses to forsake her own people and stay with her mother-in-law, embracing Naomi’s God as her own.

Walking away from family does not always mean leaving them physically. It can also involve a shift in priorities and attachments, choosing to align ourselves with the values and beliefs of those who belong to God’s family. Ruth’s loyalty and faith reveal the beauty of true family bonds formed through love and devotion to God.

2 Timothy 1:3-5

“I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”

Paul’s words to Timothy acknowledge the influence and legacy of faith passed down through generations within a family. The faith of Timothy’s grandmother and mother played a significant role in his own walk with God.

While walking away from family may sometimes be necessary or required, we should also recognize the blessing of having a family that supports and nurtures our faith. If possible, we should seek to encourage and strengthen one another, passing down a heritage of faith to future generations.

Proverbs 22:6

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

This proverb highlights the importance of raising children in the way of the Lord. Investing in their spiritual upbringing can shape their lives and ultimately contribute to their lifelong commitment to God.

Walking away from family does not mean neglecting our responsibilities as parents or caregivers. Rather, it may imply a determination to instill a faith-filled foundation in the lives of our children, ensuring that they are equipped to make their own choices for Christ as they grow older.

Matthew 19:5

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

Marriage is a sacred institution ordained by God. This verse emphasizes the establishment of a new family unit through the marriage covenant, with the husband leaving his parents and being joined to his wife.

While walking away from our family of origin is not synonymous with rejecting or abandoning them, it signifies the transition from one stage of life to another. The commitment to our spouse and the formation of a new family unit often require us to redefine our priorities and boundaries within our family relationships.

Deuteronomy 13:6-10

“If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and worship other gods’ (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

This passage may initially seem shocking and difficult to comprehend. It presents an extreme situation involving the enticement to worship false gods by a close family member or friend.

While these verses should not be taken as a prescription for our actions today, they serve as a reminder of the absolute commitment we are called to have toward God. Walking away from family is not about condemning or harming them, but about preserving and protecting our own relationship with the one true God.

Genesis 19:14

“So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, ‘Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!’ But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.”

This verse recounts the moment when Lot, along with his wife and daughters, were instructed to flee from the city of Sodom before its destruction. Despite their relationship, Lot’s sons-in-law did not take his warning seriously.

Walking away from family can at times be a cry to urge them to acknowledge the seriousness of our faith and the imminent judgment that may befall them if they choose not to believe. It expresses our desire for our loved ones to recognize the importance of their relationship with God and to make the choice to follow Him.

Matthew 10:36-37

“a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

These verses once again emphasize the potential conflict that can arise within families due to differing beliefs and commitments.

Walking away from family may involve sacrificing the desire for their approval or acceptance when it conflicts with our love and dedication to Jesus. It calls us to prioritize our devotion to Him above any other relationship.

Acts 7:2-4

“To this he replied: ‘Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.'”

In Stephen’s speech, he recounts the call of Abraham to leave his country and people to follow God to an unknown land. This act of obedience set in motion God’s plan for the countless descendants of Abraham, who would become the nation of Israel.

Walking away from family may be a part of God’s larger plan for our lives and the fulfillment of His purposes. Just as Abraham’s faithfulness led to the establishment of a great nation, our obedience and willingness to leave behind familiar environments can contribute to God’s redemptive work in the world.

1 Samuel 20:30-31

“Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, ‘You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!'”

This passage depicts the strained relationship between Jonathan, son of King Saul, and his father due to Jonathan’s loyalty and friendship with David, who would later become Israel’s greatest king.

Walking away from family may involve facing opposition, rejection, or even persecution from those closest to us. The choice to uphold our faith and follow Jesus can sometimes disrupt family dynamics and result in strained relationships.

Matthew 10:21-22

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

Jesus forewarns His disciples of the potential hostility and division that can arise within families as a result of their commitment to following Him.

Walking away from family can include enduring persecution or rejection from loved ones who do not share our faith. These verses remind us that the cost of discipleship may be high, but those who stand firm in their devotion to Christ will ultimately experience salvation and eternal life.

Joshua 24:15

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua’s declaration is a powerful testament to his commitment to serving God, even if it meant standing apart from the practices and beliefs of his own ancestors.

Walking away from family may require making difficult decisions that challenge societal norms and cultural expectations. Yet, Joshua’s stand for his household’s commitment to serving the Lord serves as an inspiring example for us to prioritize and lead our families in faithfulness to God.

Ephesians 5:31

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

In this passage, the apostle Paul echoes the words of Jesus in affirming the establishment of a new family unit through marriage. It signifies the union between husband and wife, where they become one entity.

Walking away from family recognizes the importance of building a strong and unified marital relationship. It entails nurturing and protecting the bond between husband and wife, thereby creating a solid foundation for a healthy family structure.

Proverbs 27:9

“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.”

This verse highlights the value and significance of close friendships and the impact they can have on our lives.

Walking away from family may lead to forming new relationships and bonds. Investing in friendships with like-minded believers can provide guidance, encouragement, and support as we navigate the challenges and decisions that come with following Jesus.

2 Corinthians 6:17-18

“Therefore, ‘Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’ And, ‘I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.'”

Paul quotes Old Testament Scriptures to remind the Corinthians of their call to be set apart from the world and to embrace their identity as children of God.

Walking away from family may involve distancing ourselves from worldly influences or lifestyles that contradict our devotion to Christ. In doing so, we can fully experience the intimate relationship and fatherly love that God offers to His children.

Proverbs 1:8-9

> “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.”

This proverb emphasizes the value of parental wisdom and guidance. It encourages children to heed the teachings of their parents, recognizing the positive impact it can have on their lives.

Walking away from family does not imply disregarding or dishonoring the wisdom and advice of our parents. Instead, it calls us to discern between worldly influences and the godly teachings they have imparted to us, embracing the truths that align with God’s Word.