Feb 11


What is an orphan? A “literal” orphan is someone who has lost one or both parents. A “spiritual” orphan is someone who has been rejected or abandoned by his father causing a deep “father” wound in his heart. Significant father wounds cause every orphan to conclude that no one loves him and that he is on his own. Every orphan carries within himself “structures” or walls of protection that guard his heart form being hurt again. These “structures” are a complex combination of lies and vows (see below) that the orphan builds, over years, in response to the “father” wounds in his heart. These lies and vows keep the orphan from knowing God as Father and His people, the church, as his family. As a result, the believer who has been orphaned by his father ministers “for” Father God instead of “from” Father God. The fruit of living life this way is ongoing frustration, anger and isolation because an orphan is not able to function as a “son” or “daughter” who knows he/she is unconditionally loved and accepted by Father God.

How do I overcome the orphan stronghold?

To overcome the orphan stronghold the orphan must forgive his father’s failure to “father” him. Whether his dad abandoned him; committed adultery; divorced his mother; rejected him or was too busy working to spend time with him the orphan needs to be encouraged to forgive his father and repent to God for any anger, bitterness or unforgiveness in his heart towards him.

Secondly, an orphan must renounce all the lies he has believed about God, himself and others as the result of being orphaned.

Lies such as:

  • God doesn’t love me!
  • I am not worthy to receive from God!
  • I don’t belong!
  • I am a bad person!
  • No one cares about me!
  • My feelings don’t matter!
  • No one wants to be my friend!
  • I don’t have what it takes to be a man!
  • As a woman I am not attractive!
  • There is no such thing as a happy family!
  • I have no future or purpose!
  • To best way to avoid more hurt is to isolate myself!
  • If you knew the real me you would reject me!
  • Significant people in my life are not there for me when I need their help!
  • My value is in what I do. I am valuable because I do good for others!
  • Even when I do or give my best, it is not good enough!
  • I must meet certain standards to feel good about myself!
  • I am what I am! I cannot change!

Thirdly, orphans need to renounce the vows (inner directives such as: “I will never. . .” or “I will always. . .”) that have kept them in bondage for years. Vows such as:

  • I will never let anyone in authority, such as a father, hurt me!
  • I will never get credit for what I do!
  • I will never be accepted for who I really am!
  • I will not allow people to get too close to me because in the end they will reject me!
  • I will always drift from job to job. I will never be successful!
  • I will always be lonely!
  • I will always have to figure things out on my own!
  • I will never be able to give or receive love or have satisfying relationships with anyone!
  • I must be very guarded about what I say or do because it will be used against me!

Fourthly, orphans need family! This is why inviting an orphan to be a part of your family or small group is essential. It is not enough for an orphan to forgive his dad, renounce his anger and the lies and vows he has operated by since childhood. An orphan needs to experience the ebb and flow of family life. He needs to experience what it means to relate to others in a safe environment to soften his fear of rejection and abandonment. He needs to experience unconditional love and acknowledge that he needs others in his life.

Finally, an orphan needs the blessing of a “spiritual” father and mother who can identify with the sins of his parents by standing in their place and asking him for forgiveness. The orphan needs fathers and mothers in the family of God to spend time with him because he believes that no one loves him. In essence, the orphan needs to renounce the lie that he is an orphan and be encouraged to receive God’s unconditional love and acceptance for him as a son.