“ORPHAN” Thinking – Part 1

Hope, Healing & Freedom Podcast : Ep 40


What would your life be like if you had no fear?

Today’s verse is John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:”

I’m Lee Whitman and today I want to talk about a stronghold that might be stealing from you every day. Today I am going to talk about living our Christian life as an orphan.

What if you could live your life without fear? No fear of what others thought about you. No fear of opening your heart to truly experience the depth of God’s love so that you could live in that love and give that love away to the next person you met?

What would your marriage be like? What would your family be like? How about your relationships with others? What if you were not afraid to trust, or to become vulnerable, to reach out and touch others, and let them touch you? What would church be like if we had no fear?

Let me ask you this: do you wake up every morning feeling like a son who is secure and confident of your Heavenly Fathers love, and live your life for the joy of giving that love away to others? Or, do you get up every day and feel like a slave, struggling constantly with fears of failure or rejection, unable to trust, wondering what you have to do to appease the master today?

I am taking much of this message from the writing and teaching of Jack Frost. He has two wonderful books that I recommend to everyone: Experiencing the Fathers Embrace and Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship.

Jack Frost says that the #1 thing that keeps us from experiencing intimacy with God is feeling like an orphan. It is also the #1 thing that keeps us from having better relationships with family and friends. When we feel like an orphan we don’t feel safe so we protect ourselves by withdrawing in some cases or attacking in other cases. 

We were created to live as beloved sons who have a home in our Father’s love. Adam and Eve experienced this in the garden. They walked with God in the cool of the evening. They had face to face fellowship with Father God. God was excited to see them. He did not come to them with expectations, like What have you done with my garden today? He simply wanted to be with them. 

When they ate the forbidden fruit they made a choice to become independent of God. At that moment they became orphans. They quit looking to God as Father and decided that they could do life better on their own. They have passed that orphan heart down to every generation of man since then. We are all born with a tendency toward an orphan heart. We all come into this life looking to our parents to meet our needs. The hard reality is that even the best parents cannot meet all of their children’s needs. So at some point in life kids “fire” their parents. In other words, they quit looking to their parents to meet their needs and begin trying to get their needs met on their own. They begin living like an orphan who has to take care of themselves. I heard of one child who took his parents to court to divorce them. Wanting to fire your parents is part of the curse from Adam and Eve’s sin towards fatherlessness. Today more children grow up either without a father physically in the home, or with a father in the home who is disconnected from their families so it “feels” like they have no father. 

I grew up with both my parents in our home. My Dad was home every night, he provided well for our family, he attended all of my sporting activities and other special events. He was physically there, but I grew up as an orphan. My Dad did not know how to connect with me emotionally and give me the direction that I needed. It seemed like the only direction I did receive was not encouragement but correction. So at some point – early in life – I fired my Dad and quit trying to get his affirmation and approval. I set out from then on to get affirmation and approval from anyone who would give it to me.

Paul C. Vitz, a former atheist and professor at New York University researched the backgrounds of the leading atheists from the past 3 centuries and found that all of their fathers were either abusive, distant, or absent. You can see in this research the effects of the curse of fatherlessness. The physical effects of fatherlessness are devastating to a person’s life, but so are the spiritual effects. 

In this podcast and in the next podcast, I want to look at the spiritual effects of living as an orphan. I want to start by talking through the progression of how orphan thinking operates in our lives. I know I am talking to believers in this podcast who have a relationship with Father God through Jesus. I also know that many of us have been infected with orphan thinking and may not even be aware. As I said earlier, I was a major orphan as a believer and even as a pastor. So I present this to you today not to shame or condemn you. I present it with great hope that Father God will use it to draw each of us into a deeper relationship with Him. 

You will see as we go through these points that they build on each other. 

Orphan thinking begins by causing us to focus on the faults we see in our parental authority.

We are born needing love and the first place we look to receive love is with our earthly parents. God designed the family unit to be an expression of Himself to children, yet knowing that human parents could not meet all of their children’s love needs. Only through a relationship with Father God can we have our love needs totally met.

Somewhere along our growing up years we begin to recognize the disappointments, broken promises, inconsistencies, and the times when our parents did not properly express love to us. I can remember times when I was way too harsh in disciplining my own children. For example the church we attended when my boys were very young was a gymnasium 6 days a week and a church sanctuary on Sunday. One Sunday after church my 5 year old son was running through the church like we did the other 6 days of the week, and due to my embarrassment for what the church people might think of me as a father I disciplined him much harsher than I should have out of my anger. I was a poor representation of Father God to my son.

The next step in this progression is we begin to receive parental faults as disappointment, discouragement, grief, or rejection. A child’s perceptions are very real to them. Perceived disappointment feels like actual disappointment. The same is true of discouragement, grief and rejection. I can remember my Dad saying, “I am disappointed in you for not getting your chores done.” What I heard him say was that I was a disappointment to him. I was unable to hear at that stage of my life that my work effort was unacceptable but I heard that I was unacceptable.

Next We lose basic trust in our parents.

When you look to your parents for love and acceptance and instead you receive rejection you will lose trust. You begin to close off part of your heart from your parents. For example, if you go to share a story about something that happened during your day with your Mom or Dad and they are busy doing something else and you get ignored or worse yelled at for interrupting them, you begin to lose trust. You decide that it is not worth the risk in sharing your life with them. You begin to move closer to firing your parents. In this situation not only are we closing off our heart to our earthly parents, but we also begin to close off our heart to Father God.

Next We move into fear of receiving love, comfort, and admonition from others.

If we can’t risk giving and receiving love from those that know us the best and are supposed to love us the most, then we also shut ourselves off to the idea of receiving love from others, including God.

Next We develop a closed spirit.

When we close our hearts to receiving love, we close our hearts to intimacy. We build walls around our hearts to protect ourselves from getting hurt again.Sometimes this leads us to believe the ungodly belief that we are not worth loving. 

Next We take on an independent, self-reliant attitude.

I am all alone. I have to take care of myself. I can’t count on anyone else, including God. I can remember, as an 8 year old little boy, going into – what we called our den – with our cat, closing the door and telling the cat that she was the only one who cared about me. Only 8 years old, and I had already started the process of firing my parents.

We then start controlling our relationships.

I learned early on that if I asked other people questions about themselves, I didn’t need to talk about myself. At this point conversations and relationships remain on the surface so we don’t get hurt. We go to church and talk about current events, or sports, or things with the kids so you can be in control. Isolation and withdrawal are methods of control to protect ourselves from rejection.

Our relationships become superficial.

Most people today have very few real friends. Why? Friendship takes vulnerability, and vulnerability takes risk. The fear of trusting, the fear of intimacy, and the fear of rejection keep others at arm’s length. Most men do not have close friends.

We develop an ungodly belief that says no one will be there to meet our needs.

Out of that belief We begin to live life like spiritual orphans.

As orphans We begin to chase counterfeit affections.

Passion of the flesh – addictions: food, alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, escapism.


Position – the praise of man

Performance – doing more to try and fill a need

People – another person, maybe even a different spouse, is the answer 

Place – I need a better job, I need a better home, I need to live in another town

Power – If I can control my own life and destiny then I will be OK

Ultimately We begin to daily battle a stronghold of oppression.

– That’s just the way I am

– I’m just a loner

– I’m not very good in social situations

– I don’t fit in

– I am better off by myself

– I have to take care of myself because no one else will-Including God.

Remember that Orphan Lifestyle is a stronghold that began in the Garden of Eden and has been passed down for generations. It is something that is so deeply entrenched in our way of life that we consider it to be normal. 

You can’t think your way out of a stronghold like this one. You have to dismantle the stronghold, take it apart to break its power. RTF ministry does just that. RTF dismantles strongholds by applying God’s solution to each of the areas that are holding the stronghold in place. 

You must nullify the pressure to walk in orphan thinking that you inherited from your ancestors through your bloodline.

Then you must cancel any agreements you have with this stronghold through Ungodly Beliefs and replace those lies with God’s truth.

Then you need to have your broken heart healed. Jesus came to heal the broken hearted and He is really good at it.

Then once those three things are dismantled, then we can remove the demonic oppression that is energizing this stronghold in your life. 

Freedom is available. E-mail our ministry office at healing@restoringthefoundations.org to find an RTF minister in your area and get rid of this stronghold. 

Next week we are going to describe how this stronghold of Orphan Lifestyle operates so you can recognize when you are being influenced to walk in Orphan thinking.