The Myth of the Orphan Heart


Can Christians really have an orphan heart?

As a Christian, the Bible calls me a son. An orphan no more!

Granted, I see many Christians that really don’t behave any different from an orphan in their frantic frenzy trying to network, build a ministry and get their name out there.

"people are so driven by insecurities that they forfeit their inheritance"

Personally, I don’t even have a framework for why people would think it more important and profitable to check emails, chat and exchange business cards while worship is happening. It seems crazy to me that we could bein the presence of Almighty God who is the kindest person I’ve ever met, the most pleasurable being you can ever be in union with – and people are so driven by insecurities that they forfeit their inheritance – His presence - for what seems urgent in this moment.

Here's another example: a guy so driven by the fact that he needs that new 90” led (plasma is so 2011) TV, the 3rd pair of UGG boots, the new Audi A8 and obviously the iPad Mini. So he needs to get that second job, (which he hates even more than his first), which leads to even less time at home. And the little time he has at home, he’s really not enjoying at the moment, because it seems that his wife and him are managing life, but not really connecting. He has no idea where his kids are at, because, well, he’s busy.

“He’s such an orphan, poor guy”

That is so sad! It's textbook orphan behaviour. Does that make him an orphan?

I’ve heard it said, “He’s such an orphan, poor guy”. I’ve heard it taught that Christians have an orphan heart. Where does that come from? Last time I checked, God gave me a brand new heart – a heart of flesh!

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36:26 NIV)

"I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 11:19 NIV)

(These are prophecies of the new covenant, which you and I are in).

Now, into this new heart, He’s poured His Spirit:

"And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!'" (Galatians 4:6 ESV)

"God has purchased and purposed union with his kids."

"For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!'" (Romans 8:14-15 NASB)

So let me ask that question again: Does that behaviour make him an orphan?


I can hear the Father meeting this lie with all the passion that is Him, with a fury that refuses to let go of what He has purchased and purposed – union with his kids. The lie that 'behaviour defines identity', is being met with a fierce 'No!' from the Father Himself!

If my behaviour is that of an orphan I might be believing (for sure!) huge lies about who I am and who God, my Father, is, but it does not change who I am. He created me a SON! 

The simple fact remains: the church is full of sons and daughters, not orphans! It might be true that the church is full of orphan behaviour, but lets get the facts straight – I am a son, have been since the day I realised who God is, through faith, and that will forever be and remain my identity!

"seeing the Father... is like looking in a mirror that changes who you are."

So let’s make some time for Him to reveal to us who He is and who we are. The more we see who He is, the more those lies and ungodly beliefs just fall off, like a coat that just doesn’t fit anymore. It will be like we are sitting in front of the world's best banquet, realising we’ve been eating dirt until now. Old behaviour and thought patterns just won’t seem fitting anymore. When we allow Him to reveal to us who He really is, we will see who we really are.

In Psalm 36:9 we read: "For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light." (ESV). In 1 Corinthians 3:18 Paul explains just that, saying that seeing the Father for who He really is, is like looking in a mirror that changes who you are. The clearer you see Him as the good Dad He really is, the more you’ll walk in true sonship.

In Romans 12:2 Paul (with my paraphrasing) puts it this way: Change the way you think, so you’ll agree with the way God sees things. So I bless you to take the time getting to know your heavenly Dad more and more, in a way that works for you. Whether it's soaking, going for walks, reading scripture, worship – but mostly simply enjoying life!

You are a child of God, you are deeply loved, tremendously cherished and utterly adored!