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Orphan Mindset

Fathers play such an important role in the lives of their children. Characteristics of a good dad such as dependability, protectiveness, disciplinarian, loving, and providing for their children, are essential for setting the standard in a child’s upbringing. The absence of the father however, can have detrimental effects on the child and is a huge problem in today’s world, especially in America. We have generations of children growing up without an essential parent to shape who they will become as adults. 

According to one research article published in November 2021,

“Today, more than 24 million children, one out of three, live in a home deprived of the physical presence of a father (U.S Census Bureau) and millions more children have fathers who are physically present, but emotionally absent.  If fatherlessness could be classified as a disease, it could be considered an epidemic and declared a national emergency.”

The results of father absence are nothing short of disastrous. They can range from issues with abandonment, self esteem, self-loathing, drug and alcohol abuse, anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies, and issues with rage, just to name a few. How does this relate to today’s Christians? Apostle Paul tells us that spiritual things can be discerned by what’s going on in the natural world (1Cor 15:46). The lack of fathers in the household is an indicator of what is happening in the Church.

First, let’s take a look at the word orphan in Hebrew-yâthôm. It speaks of one who is not full or fatherless. [2] In traditional Hebrew biblical thought, a child who has a mother but no father is still considered an orphan, much different than how we view orphans in modern thought. This Hebrew definition correlates to what we know to be true, when a father is not involved in the child’s life, the child is not full… there is a void within. Apostle Paul also addresses this issue within the church:

1Co 4:14-16  “I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me.”

The Corinthian church was questioning Paul’s authority. He had to bring correction to his “beloved children”, not to hurt the church, but because he loved them and wanted to see them prosper in the faith, like a good dad would. He makes a profound statement saying “the church has thousands of teachers but not many fathers”. The early church was built upon the apostles, they were the fathers of the faith. Without an apostle, there was no church, therefore making the congregation orphans.

The word used for begotten is the Greek word gennaō and means:

1) men who fathered children

2) in a Jewish sense, of one who brings others over to his way of life, to convert someone. [3]

Paul is saying the instructors/teachers/pastors didn’t have this ability. This was solely the ability of an apostle, which there was a shortage of. Paul was birthing spiritual children and raising them up through his understanding of scripture and teachings, urging the church to imitate him as he was imitating Jesus. He was the role model and set the standard to be followed. Just as small children respect and want to be exactly like their father, so should the congregation feel about the apostle of the church.

We’ve learned in biblical thought, being considered an orphan has everything to do with the father. This issue is addressed throughout scripture. One in particular is Lamentations 5:3:

“We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows.”

Verse 7 goes on to say, “Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities.”

The action of the fathers during this time is directly linked to the outcome of the people.

The Hebrew word for iniquity is ‛âvôn and means twisted teaching or perversity. [4]

Since the teachers were not bringing forth the correct interpretation of God’s word, the people were orphans, meaning they had no proper guidance. Fast forward to the new testament and Jesus makes this promise to his disciples:

John 14:18-20  “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.

Jesus is saying his departure would leave the disciples as orphans, but He wouldn’t let that happen because He would return to them through the Holy Spirit. The proof of the Holy Spirit within a person was their lifestyle; keeping the commandments in the spiritual way as Jesus taught was the sign of love for God. On the day of Pentecost, the apostles received the baptism of fire. The Holy Spirit descended upon them, and from that day forth, they were able to correctly teach the Gospel and had the ability to convert souls. They became the fathers of the faith and the example of Jesus Christ in the earth, which the converts were to imitate as described by Paul.

Here is an excerpt from the Apostolic Constitution, written by the Apostle Peter, on how to view the apostles/bishops of the church:

“For if the divine oracle says, concerning our parents according to the flesh, “Honor thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with thee;” (Exo 20:12) and, “He that curseth his father or his mother, let him die the death;” (Exo 21:17) how much more should the word exhort you to honor your spiritual parents, and to love them as your benefactors and ambassadors with God, who have regenerated you by water, and endued you with the fulness of the Holy Spirit, who have fed you with the word as with milk, who have nourished you with doctrine, who have confirmed you by their admonitions, who have imparted to you the saving body and precious blood of Christ, who have loosed you from your sins, who have made you partakers of the holy and sacred eucharist, who have admitted you to be partakers and fellow-heirs of the promise of God! Reverence these, and honor them with all kinds of honor.” [5]

The early church was built on the fathers, or apostles, and it continued in that pattern for hundreds of years. Apostle Paul makes an amazing statement in 2 Thessalonians 2:3:

“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first”.

The word used for “falling away” in Greek is apostasia, and means defection from the truth or apostasy. Apostasy is defined as an abandonment of a religious belief. He is saying that the second coming of Christ cannot come until the church has abandoned the truth in which it was founded. The world cannot fall away from something it never had, only the church can fall from truth. It’s easy to see in today’s churches there are not many apostles. In fact, many denominations have thrown out the belief that apostles are still relevant. This is not the doctrine the early church was built on. It’s quite the opposite since their teachings were that without an apostle, there was no church.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,” which is the first commandment with promise: “THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU AND YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH”,

(Eph 6:1-3)

Paul is directly correlating the 5th commandment with spiritual parents, the same teaching in the apostolic constitution. Notice he is saying that if we do this, only then will it be well for us on the earth. There are many orphans in the religious system today; souls without spiritual guidance or a role model truly striving for holiness and righteousness. This lack of fathers in the church has created an independent spirit amongst God’s children. There is a false sense of security that we can walk this out on our own, that we don’t need the discipline only a father can bring for no other reason than he loves us and wants to see us succeed. That independent spirit is fatal to our soul, but just like Jesus promised the disciples, He wouldn’t leave them as orphans. We have the same promise.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse”,

(Mal 4: 5-6)

The final verses of the old testament are speaking of the end time generation. The prophet Malachi is prophesying that before the second coming, the spirit of Elijah will bring the children of God back under the teaching of the fathers of the faith. Just like the church must fall away to fulfill prophecy, so must the apostles and prophets be here until the end to bring those who are willing to learn back into the truth. Will we humble ourselves and kill the independent spirit? Will we deal with all the issues that being fatherless for so long has brought? The choice is ours to make. God won’t force anything upon us. Jesus tells us Himself to remember from where we (the church) have fallen, our first love, which is the teachings that he passed onto the apostles that the first church was built upon and changed countless lives with its power. Our God is merciful and will always provide a way for his children. He will never leave us fatherless. The choice is ours whether we want to remain orphans or receive the fathers of the faith, the ones God has appointed to bring truth, and who have paid the price for us to receive the gift.

“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent”,

(Rev 2:5)


1, Effects of Father Absence on Child Development (

A Father’s Impact on Child Development | Child Abuse Prevention, Treatment & Welfare Services | Children’s Bureau (

2. Ancient Hebrew Lexicon Bible

3. Thayer’s Dictionary

4. Strong’s Concordance

5. Constitutions of the Apostles – Book 2 – Part 2

6. All scripture references NKJV

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