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Shun the Sinner

Updated: Aug 13, 2019

By Dr. David Clarke, Ph.D

The Big Idea

When your sinning husband has not repented after the first three steps of the Matthew 18:15-17 confrontation process, it's time to shun him. 

The Teaching

You confronted your husband about his choice to not schedule Couple Talk Times and learn how to communicate with you.  He ignored you.  Strike One.  Your one or two witnesses confronted him.  He ignored them.  Strike Two.  If your church leaders confronted him, he ignored them.  Strike Three.  

Clearly, he is in serious sin.  He could care less about your need to emotionally connect as a couple.  He is beyond stubborn.  Here is the next step in the Matthew 18 process:

       ". . . and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you         would a pagan or a tax collector." (verse 17)

What does this mean?  It means to shun him. To have nothing to do with him.  To act as if he does not exist.  So, start-right now-living your life as if you don't know him.  Say nothing to him-not good morning, not pass the mustard.  Far from begging him to talk to you, you say nothing to him.  Unless it is an emergency, you are done communicating with him. 

Do nothing for him.  No laundry for him, no cooking meals for him, no physical touch of any kind, no chores for him.  Don't ask him to do anything for you.  If he sits down at the table with the family to eat, ignore him.  Do not go anywhere in a car with him.  Do not sit with him anywhere-at church, at the kids' events, in your living room. 

Before you begin shunning, tell the kids what you are doing and why.  Explain that dad is sinning, you have tried the other Matthew 18 steps with no success and so now you are following the last step. Don't ask them to shun dad; this is what you are doing.