how do christians handle narcissists

Would Jesus go No Contact?

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Forgiveness is one of the greatest blessings we can give to others.  In relationships, couples who forgive each other are happier than those who don’t.  Studies show that forgiving makes you healthier, happier, and stronger.  Holding a grudge is bad for your blood pressure, causes anxiety and can reduce your life expectancy. It affects you, not the offender, who has probably forgotten all about what’s making you miserable and bitter.

But what happens if we are wronged and the person does not admit wrong, doesn’t apologize, or turn away from the behavior? Are we required to forgive an emotionally abusive spouse who clearly has no intent to change?  Would Jesus turn the other cheek to a Narcissist, or would he implement No Contact?

How do Christians handle narcissists?

There is a general misconception that being spiritual and/or a good Christian means we should give abusers the benefit of the doubt.  The belief is that we are supposed to grant unconditional love if we expect to be forgiven.  However, the Bible is full of scripture that warns us against people who love themselves and commit abuse and other deceitful, immoral acts without remorse.  Matthew 18:17 tells us precisely how to deal with such behaviors:

“Let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

Jesus’ message is clear. The Jews hated gentiles and tax collectors, and considered them thieves and pagans. They kept away from them as much as possible. Hence, Jesus is plainly telling us that we should avoid such people.

2 Timothy 3 gives us further instructions regarding how we should deal with Narcissists:

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unfeeling, uncooperative, slanderous, degenerate, brutal, hateful of what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, and lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. They will hold to an outward form of godliness but deny its power. Stay away from such people. For some of these men go into homes and deceive women. These women are always studying but are never able to arrive at a full knowledge of the truth. The men are depraved in mind and their faith is a counterfeit.”

Dani Moss, author of the blog Because It Matters, further analyzes typical abusive behaviors and how they’re addressed in the Bible:

I Tim. 5:8 says a man who does not provide for his family (provision = financial, spiritual, emotional protection and leadership) has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. God calls an unrepentant abusive spouse an unbeliever.  I Cor. 5:11 says believers are not to associate with, are not even to eat with, a person who is verbally abusive (“railer”). And I Cor. 7:13-15 says that if an unbelieving spouse removes (walks away from the marriage covenant – which can include staying in the house but leaving the relationship) himself from the marriage, the believing wife is to let him go. It may seem backwards for the believing wife to leave – but we have to remember that the “leaving” happens when a spouse does violence to his house (Mal. 2:13-16). The believing wife who removes to safety is not the one who abandoned the relationship.

Scripture and Narcissism FAQ

  • My Narcissistic spouse cheated.  Should I forgive them or go No Contact?  Forgiveness and going No Contact are two separate concepts.  You can forgive someone without maintaining the relationship or even informing them of your forgiveness.  Further, forgiveness doesn’t mean there are no consequences.  It simply means we don’t seek revenge or hang onto bitterness.  Regarding infidelity, if your spouse cheats consistently, the Bible clearly says that is grounds for a divorce.
  • What about emotional, physical, or sexual abuse?  It would be wise to avoid any further contact with them. The Bible never commands us to spend time with people in which our safety is threatened, or if we feel distressed around them.
  • No Contact seems cruel.  Isn’t there another way to resolve the issue?  This is a common reaction to people who face the reality that No Contact is the only way to move on.  It’s important to remember that No Contact isn’t meant to be a form of revenge towards the Narcissist.  It’s an act of self-love so that you can detach from the toxic relationship and go on to heal.  It’s equally as important to remember that for your thoughts of wanting to be fair, the Narcissist is planning ways to deceive and manipulate you.

A Collection of Biblical Quotes Related to Narcissism

Proverbs 23:9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

Proverbs 26:11  As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.

        Proverbs 9:7,8  He that reproves a scorner gets to himself shame: and he that rebukes …

2 Corinthians 11:20 You put up with it when someone enslaves you, takes everything you have, takes advantage of you, takes control of everything, and slaps you in the face.

Psalms 1:1  Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the wicked, and stands not in the way of sinners, and sits not in the seat of scorners.

        Proverbs 16:22 Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it, but the punishment of fools is their folly.

Matthew 15:14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.

Mark 7:10-13  Moses gave you this law from God: ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death. (Narcissists are often very disrespectful towards their parents).

God commands us to forgive.  We are blessed when we forgive. Forgiveness means letting go of anger and resentment, and not retaliating. It doesn’t mean we always forget. It doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences, nor should that things remain the same. There’s no question that it is wise for Christians to limit activity with people who are engaging in destructive behavior, and that includes going No Contact with Narcissists.

How To Get Started On Healing Your Life After Narcissistic Abuse

Join the Free Beginner’s Healing Roadmap and Email Mini-Course and learn:

  1. Could the narcissist in your life be different from the others?
  2. The biggest myth about healing from narcissistic abuse
  3. How do narcissists instinctively, unerringly know how to hurt others?

+ so much more!

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If you’re ready to break free and get started on the stages of healing after narcissistic abuse NOW, there’s only ONE way to do it: Let me show you how to forget the narcissist and move on.

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Kristine McIntyre says December 7, 2021

what if the narcissist your parent? I just cant with my mother , she had NO filter, she lies constantly, she never apologizes, she has stolen from me, smeared my name, I had to go NO contact

Tamara says September 4, 2019

My husband and I raised 4 sons in a Christian home. We spent time with them, we loved them, had meals (and prayer) around the dinner table. 3 of them adore spending time with us, yet the married oldest son cannot relate to us with anything other than anger, control, and manipulation. He has 2 young children (3 and 5 year old boys that love us). My husband and I have been married 39 years, and we are Christ-followers.

In recent years, our relationship has become extremely volatile (particularly our son and me). Our most recent trip ended with neither he or his wife speaking to us, and ultimatums that we probably can’t live with. There is no discussion of the issues. I have offered to do virtual counseling/therapy, read books, meet with their pastor to no avail. Time with the children is threatened on a regular basis.

We are both feeling like they are moving towards this “go no contact” trend (that we didn’t know existed until this morning), and we are very concerned. You’re putting out approval for this “solution” but not qualifying what makes it an acceptable option for Christians. We are NOT abusive parents!!! Our son is controlling, and treats us as though he is the parent and we are the children. We take care to support their parenting, we offer help and encouragement when we visit, and really don’t expect much in return.

I’m pretty sure they’re looking on sites like this to confirm their plan as believers. I’m scared to death. I appreciate the importance of limited or no contact with abusive people, but where in this post do you advise against this extreme step in the cases of situations like ours? You are not the only source out there that is taking this approach, and I am beyond worried that your advice will provide ammunition against us.

    kim angus says November 11, 2020

    I have read your post and hear your heartache. I feel that maybe you have take it the wrong way. It is more that you go no contact with your son. That you set strong boundaries. Your son is abusing you. It is only when we set the boundary of what we won’t tolerate that he will know youbare serious. Unfortunately it will probably get worse before it gets better. I would seek good Christian counselling because this is hard and pray that God will lead you. Know this truth though children are a gift to us. God created your son he loves him and I am sure you are praying for him. Let go it is hard set boundaries and leave him to the Lord. In doing this you are making him accountable for his actions

Ciarri Winter says August 18, 2019

You didn’t mention Narcissistic parents who destroy their children’s lives, self-image, opportunities etc etc.

    Jenn says November 21, 2019

    Thanks for mentioning that Ciarri. I thought the same.

Nancy says April 3, 2019

I thank God that I came to your website tonight!! I have not one narcissist, my husband, but my daughter also. I can’t wait to go no contact ( I hope to be divorced this summer – it’s been almost 3 years since I filed !!!) but I am being financially abused in addition to verbal, mental and spiritual. I have No access to Any marital funds. Everything is in his name. I have to stay here until the assets are divided. It is extremely difficult to live in the marital home with these abusive people. Can you help me to survive?

Agape Moms says December 19, 2018

It is a tragedy that so many women are advised to stay in abusive relationships when the Bible guides us to avoid evil people. We have referenced your post here in our post on 5 Tips to Going No Contact as a Biblical Way to Deal with Abuse at Thank you for all you are doing to create awareness!

pamela j biggerstaff says July 30, 2018

Hi. Kim I just recently have done my no contact with my EX I am growing so much just in the 4 weeks of my no contact and years to after. I am wanting to have a support group in my church. Where can I get some formats to lead.

fervent says May 31, 2018

I’m so grateful to see you wrote on this topic. My ex-husband was toxic during our marriage and continues to be toxic…even 8 years later. The no-contact issue is one I struggle with. We have a daughter who is now 9 years old. While she has always fussed about not wanting to go with her dad, the older she gets, the more she is able to put all the pieces of the puzzle together and realize WHY. Court-orders require her to spend time with him, regardless of his toxicity. He is a master manipulator and proved so in the courtroom as well as subsequent hearings related to child support modifications. I have often asked this exact question – would Jesus go no contact? If it were not for our child, I would have ZERO contact. However, in trying to properly raise a young daughter, I have prayed and asked for guidance endlessly on how to communicate with my ex and how to teach my daughter how to honor her father but at the same time keep herself safe when she is with him. It’s a very delicate dance! Any suggestions are welcome on how to deal with such a situation when the court doesn’t acknowledge parental toxicity and innocent children are forced to spend unsupervised time alone with a toxic parent.

Holly says July 28, 2016

I just have one issue with your article. You criticized narc children disobeying their parents, but did not say anything in support of children of narc parents. I’m sure there are narc children who are disrespectful when they should not be, but there are also narc parents who use the 5th commandment as justification for their authority to abuse and control their children.

Under the right circumstances, it is justifiable for children to disobey parents. For example, when Saul wanted to kill David, Saul’s son Johnathan sides with David. Also, the father in the movie “War Horse” should have paid more attention to how it would affect his son when he sold the horse. Respect for parents is often over-emphasized at the expense of respect for the well-being of children and used to justify child abuse. If a controlling parent is trying to force children into doing something that is dangerous to their safety or well-being, the child should be completely justified in disobeying.

The bible also says not to frustrate, embitter, exasperate, or provoke your children. Respect should not be one-sided and there should be more acknowledgement and support for children of narc parents as well.

    Charity says November 5, 2018

    I would like the author to speak to this as well. I too am the child of a narcissist, who uses the 5th commandment in exactly the way you describe. What, then, are we to do? I see lots of advice for Christian spouses of narcissists, but not the children.

Michelle says January 22, 2016

What if the narcissist is your daughter in law? My son can’t yet see her controlling ways. And can a narc ever repent?

    Kim Saeed says January 22, 2016

    Michelle, thanks for reaching out with your questions. Most people who’ve become a target of this type of abuse are usually already sucked in by the time it becomes apparent that they are with a narcissist. In most cases, the person won’t leave until the need for change is greater than their desire to stay. As far as a narc repenting — I’ve never seen it happen, at least not in a sincere context.

    sharon says July 23, 2017

    hi michelle,i also got an narcissistic daughter -law sh is one evil woman i have no contact with my son as she is jealous and controlling i have broken my heart over this h doesnt seem to think anything is wrong he his blinded to her awful behavoiur and as changed he seems to be manipulated and be afraid of her im in despair and hope one day he will see through her and leave i pray he will!

Katie says January 11, 2016

Excellent article! Very powerful and well written. Useful for those who are abused and their significant other keeps them trapped with religion.

secretangel says July 22, 2014

This is an awesome post. There is a big difference in forgiveness and “no contact”. I forgave him but the healing truly came with the “no contact” because he no longer had a chance to wound me again. I hope you don’t mind that I reblog this.

    Kim Saeed says July 22, 2014

    Secret Angel, I do not mind at all. Thank you for your insight and for helping me spread awareness that No Contact is the first and only step to true healing. <3

      secretangel says July 24, 2014

      Amen. You can not heal when you keep getting stabbed… If you don’t mind, may I link this to a posting later? I really appreciate your support.

        Kim Saeed says July 25, 2014

        Indeed, and thank you for joining me in spreading awareness.

        Blessings and light to you <3

          secretangel says July 25, 2014

          Thanks Kim. You are a blessing to many!!

Kathy Lee says July 18, 2014

While Christianity is not my religion, I was raised in the church and aware of much misogyny perpetuated there. About ten years ago, in my area, we had a local pastor of a very huge and well respected church, he used to have a weekly newspaper question and answer column. A woman wrote in and asked how to deal with her abusive husband. This pastor responded that she should “submit” to the abusive man and “let God handle the rest”. Many of us were appalled at that answer and he was bombarded by many letters, which the newspaper graciously published. Ironically, that pastor recently resigned, stating that he was a womanizer and could no longer continue his reign as pastor. So….I am happy to see Biblical references that say that no one has to submit to abuse or stay with the abuser. Too many women feel obligated to stay and, hence are trapped, because of the heavy indoctrination of the church and the misogyny that exists there and sadly some women end up being killed at the hands of the abuser .My friends recently lost their daughter to domestic violence. Abuse, in any form, is horrific. So, thank you for taking time to explore this topic in relation to the Bible and thank you for the work you do to educate people about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Sonya Jones says July 9, 2014

Kim, I am so weak and needy, the hurt I feel is mammoth, but the pain I feel wen I break up with my Narc is even worse. I feel like I can’t live with or without him. I often feel I would be better off dead, cos the pain is too much to bare. I’m trapped in such a dark place and I’m so scared. Nothing can help me.. I’m just too weak and vulnerable.. I just want to go to sleep and never wake up. Xxx Sonya from Australia xxx

    xuxa says June 8, 2015

    i know the feeling well. i am feeling this now from a 14 year relationship and left with 7 kids. but there is hope in us reading post like these and trusting in God. hang in there, you are not alone.

    xuxa says June 8, 2015

    I know the feeling so well. My narc left me with 7 kids from a 14 year relationship. You are not alone.

      Patico says June 22, 2018

      I have 6 after 20 years but what I’m noticing is this: often narcs isolate their wives who end up having many children, maybe because we are so lonely in the marriage and usually isolated. But let’s not forget that children are a blessing from the Lord. Also, Psalm 127: 4,5 says:
      Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are children born in one’s youth. 5Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. He will not be put to shame when he confronts the enemies at the gate.

      Now my kids are starting to see the truth and slowly my ex is having to “contend” with them. In the end, the big band of us are stronger then the one. It takes time but together we are stronger than I would have been alone.

Cathy says July 9, 2014

Adding to the list…
How about this passage: “and a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Matthew 10:36

AND… “when my father and other forsake me then the Lord will take me up” Psalms 27:10

    Kim Saeed says July 9, 2014

    Thanks for your input 🙂

Maria says July 9, 2014

I am struggling to forgive my ex-Narc and want to let go of my anger and resentment toward him as you state here but it is so hard to do so since he never apologized, never owned, and never took responsibility for his heartless actions toward me. Any suggestions on how to overcome that need for an apology? Also, more painful is that I actually did retaliate and did seek revenge (all ended up backfiring on me of course) and so I also am now trying to forgive myself for that; behaviors which are so out of character for me and so shameful. I felt like he pushed my buttons so hard that I eventually just snapped and couldn’t control my logical mind which knows that attempts at revenge will never bring me peace or comfort. Any suggestions on how to forgive myself too? Thank you.

    Anonymous says January 21, 2016

    I fully understand..Within my family system is my mother (covert/malignant narcissist) & after years of being scapegoated by her & she having her puppets (my “flying monkey” siblings, aunt, etc) attack me after doing her bidding, I snapped. After finally understanding the scope of the damage she has caused, all while the family/community believes she is a saint has caused such intense PTSD reactions within me. When people perpetrate such evil, I suppose its normal to get angry but, I guess for me I just need to stay away from them until I have more healing under my belt bc when I get angry it just gives my narc mother more ammunition to use against me…. Good Luck & hang in there:))

marilyndikkers says July 8, 2014

Thanks for the many good points you made. An important distinction to remember is that forgiveness does not mean reconciliation. We can forgive the abusive behavior, but if the behavior is unchanged, we are not called to reconcile and stay in the abusive relationship.

    Kim Saeed says July 9, 2014

    Thanks for you comment, Marilyn 🙂

Exit 4A says July 8, 2014

I’m late to the party. What a phenomenal post. Thank you! I wrote my own take on narcissism recently ( but I really enjoyed your quotes from the Holy Book. Not one I’ve ever read. I might have to lift one or two of those passages for a future blog post on the “rich and entitled.” Thanks for opening my eyes!

Susan Irene Fox says July 8, 2014

Great post, Kim. I’m saving this one in bookmarks. Bless you.

Lighting a Candlem232 says July 8, 2014

Very helpful and freeing. Thanks!

    Kim Saeed says July 9, 2014

    You’re very welcome. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

armyofangels2013 says July 8, 2014

Reblogged this on Army of Angels and commented:
This is a great collection of scripture to share with women who are enduring abuse, or think that they are suppose to return to a life of being abused because of what has been taught, in isolation; about forgiving, divorce, being submissive……

armyofangels2013 says July 8, 2014

Very well written! In wanting to do “the right thing” per scripture, many (myself included), stayed in abusive relationships believing that there was something I was doing wrong. Self-reflection and condemnation of self became a way of life with a narcissistic spouse. One of the defining moments of emptiness came after the discard, when NN was trying to lure me back. He said,”I’m sorry”… When I asked what he was sorry for, he replied that he didn’t know!… Then he said “anything that you think I’ve done”…. Wow…no thank you.

Susan says July 8, 2014

Thank you so much for this well written accurate piece. You are providing so many of us with the knowledge and self-esteem to get away from these awful people. I forgive from a distance, I do it for myself. Thank you.


betternotbroken says July 7, 2014

Forgiveness does not mean having to continue to endure what you are forgiving. It took me decades to learn that. This was a powerful post. I believe, rather I know, you can forgive and have no contact. I have done it, and it has helped my healing immensely. Two separate issues, just like you said. I forgive you and I leave you, just like Maya Angelou said.

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