Stronghold of an Orphan Lifestyle

Hope, Healing & Freedom Podcast: Episode 73


Is it hard for you to allow others to help you or are you more comfortable doing things yourself? Do you feel like you always need to be strong in order to protect and defend yourself? If you said yes to these situations, you might be living under the influence of the stronghold of the Orphan Lifestyle. In today’s podcast I am going to talk about the characteristics of the Orphan Lifestyle.

I’m Lee Whitman with Restoring the Foundations and today I want to talk about the stronghold of the Orphan Lifestyle. To be very blunt, most people struggle with some or all of the effects of this stronghold. Let me begin this podcast by explaining why most of us living here on planet earth are being affected by this stronghold and may not even be aware of it.

We must begin by looking at what happened in the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were created by God so in essence God was their Father. God their Father gave them the run of the garden. They could go anywhere in the garden, eat any of the wonderful fruit found in the garden except for the fruit from one tree. More about that in a moment. They had an almost ideal situation. The bible says that they were naked and were not ashamed of being naked, thus they did not have to worry about wearing the latest fashions. They walked face to face with God on a daily basis in the cool of the evening. It could not have been any more of an intimate and idea situation. They had a face-to-face relationship with their Father, God. Then they blew it. It is hard for us to look back at that incredible situation and understand why Adam and Eve would disobey their Father God and eat of the one tree that He told them not to. I think part of the reason that they disobeyed and ate the fruit was due in part to the deceptive power of this stronghold of the Orphan Lifestyle. The serpent came along and seduced them with the spirit behind the Orphan Lifestyle. Let me explain.

The serpent came to Adam and Eve and tricked them into believing that they needed to do something to become like God. The deceiver convinced them that God was holding back something good from them and they needed to get it by eating this fruit. The serpent said in Genesis 3:5 “For God knows that on the day you eat (of the forbidden fruit) your eyes will be opened and you will become like God, knowing good and evil.” The reason that is a lie is because they had already been created to be like God. In Genesis 1:26 it says, “Let us make mankind in our image, according to our likeness.” Then in verse 27, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Adam and Eve were already like God having been created in His image and likeness. The lie that is part of this stronghold of Orphan Lifestyle is that you must do something to become like God. You can’t rely on anyone else; you have to do it for yourself. And in that moment of their disobedience the stronghold of Orphan Lifestyle entered mankind and has been passed down to every generation since the garden.

Phillip’s parents were very successful people. His mother was a highly sought after surgeon, and his father was a high-powered lawyer. They worked such long hours every week that they hired a nanny to take care of Phillip. Since they both made very good money in their professions, Phillip did not want for anything on a material level. He had the best of everything. The one thing that Phillip lacked was his parents’ time. Oh, the nanny was a wonderful lady who really did care about Phillip, but what he wanted and needed were his parents time and attention. Phillip had the best that this world could offer, yet sadly Phillip had inherited an orphan spirit from his parents. The reason that both of his parents worked so hard was because they were trying to get the approval and attention of their parents. Phillip is an orphan being raised by orphans. Phillip went on to get married and had three children of his own. He was a very successful and much sought after architect. He was never able to have a close and intimate relationship with his wife, so he began to seek out friendships with women from work. As you can guess he ended up having several sexual affairs for many years that his wife did not know about. When the truth came out about his affairs, she divorced him.

We inherit the pressure to live in this orphan lifestyle from our ancestors through the generational sins and curses they inherited from their ancestors. This stronghold puts pressure on a person to live life as though they were an orphan, not being able to or even wanting to rely on anyone else. The first people we naturally look to in order to get our needs for love, acceptance and value from are our parents. When they prove unable or unwilling to meet those needs, we in essence divorce our parents and decide we have to make life work on our own. And in the process this orphan stronghold makes it harder for us to connect to others in our life, including God. Phillip was unable to connect with his wife and instead settled for a cheap imitation of love by having sexual relationships with other women.

I don’t have time in this podcast to fully explain the complexities of this orphan stronghold, but what I will do is give some of the more common characteristics of the stronghold. My desire is not to beat you up if you are partnering with this stronghold, but to give you hope that you can be set free from it.

One of the more common characteristics of this stronghold is that people live their lives without being able to really connect with others. If your parents, who are supposed to be the place where you learn about love and connection, are not able to connect with you for any number of reasons, this stronghold puts pressure on you to live life disconnected. This leads to a person being discontent and dissatisfied with life. Phillip was discontent and dissatisfied with his marriage and bought the lie that other women were the answer. Guess what? He could not connect with these other women except on a sexual level.

People living under the orphan stronghold do not know who they are, they lack identity. Identity is to be given by our parents, and when a person divorces their parents and no longer looks to them to receive a sense of identity, they live life looking to things, positions, and people in order to gain identity. This lack of identity leads them to not be able to find their place in life. Orphans don’t know where they belong or fit in, and they are often restless and searching for that place to belong.

Nika was talented and beautiful. Her parents were orphans who did not know how to give Nika what they did not have. So Nika struggled in life looking for her identity, trying to find her place. She knew she could get the attention of boys because of her beauty. She also knew that she could get just about any job she sought after because she was so talented. But because she was living under this orphan stronghold, she went from one man to another man not being able to find a guy she could be content with. She also went from job to job looking for a job that would satisfy her restlessness. She also moved from city to city hoping that would bring her the peace she was lacking. Nika was a very good orphan.

When Nika came for ministry, we began by breaking off the generational curse of this orphan lifestyle. You see, Nika had inherited this generational curse from her parents, who inherited it from their parents, who inherited it from their parents, and on and on it goes. If you trace it back far enough, it began in the garden of Eden with our ancestors Adam and Eve and has been passed down from generation to generation ever since.

The next thing we did was look at the Ungodly Beliefs that were driving this stronghold in Nika’s life. The main ungodly belief running her life was that no one will ever love me enough to take care of me. Since she was believing this lie it causes her to have expectations that similar things are going to happen to her in the future. In Nica’s life, she didn’t expect anyone to love her enough to take care of her. Which caused her to act in one of two ways. As a result of this belief and the expectation that came with it Nika would not allow anyone to get close enough to her to take care of her. She really believed that no one could or would love her, so she protected herself by putting a protective shell around her life so that no one could get close enough. And because Nika was so talented and capable, she did things for herself and didn’t allow anyone else to even get close to helping her, which reinforced the belief that no one will be there. It was a vicious cycle. The exciting part of RTF ministry is that this lie was replaced with God’s Truth setting Nika free from its power.

Another lie that is common for the orphan stronghold is that other people can’t be trusted because sooner or later they will let you down. Carmen’s father had a bad habit of over promising and under delivering. He would make promises to Carmen on a regular basis that he was going to do certain things with Carmen, and then something at work would come up and he would have to cancel. So Carmen began to believe that people can’t be trusted because they will let you down. This led her to the expectation that not just her father was going to let her down, but that every important person in her life was going to let her down, including God. Which led her to shut out other people and God and she did everything herself. Again, this is orphan behavior. The key to freedom for Carmen was to forgive her father for breaking his promises and to allow God to replace the lie with His Truth.

Living life as an orphan is almost something that is applauded in our world. Character traits like independence and self-reliance and self-sufficiency are things that are taught as admirable qualities. In fact, for those of us in the United States, those are qualities that our country was founded upon. We have made these things so admired that we even have songs written about being an orphan. Frank Sinatra’s “I did it my way” could be the theme song for the orphan.

Yet we are not designed by God to live life as orphans. In fact, it was so important that we understand that we are not alone having to live life as orphans that Jesus told us so in John 14:16-18. God’s plan for mankind all along was that He would come and live with us so that we would never be alone. Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever; the Helper is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him; but you know Him because He remains with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.” That is really good news. And Jesus coming to be with us and in us begins the moment we accept Jesus Christ as our savior. That is not just something we can experience when we get to heaven. It is our reality right here right now.

If you recognize the orphan stronghold at work in your life, and I am going to say we all have this working in us to a greater or lesser degree, I invite you to contact RTF at and schedule an RTF ministry for yourself.