God created us to be fully alive, deeply accepted, and belong completely. The aftermath of the fall is that man became a spiritual orphan separated from God and wandered around life, feeling profound feelings of abandonment, loneliness, and isolation. The Good News is that Jesus came to restore us back to that place of deep security with the Father. We can accept Christ yet still be wandering like an orphan striving, begging, and doing life on our own. Imagine a child digging through the dump fending for themselves and meeting their needs for food and clothing all on their own day in and day out with no rest in sight. Now picture a palace where the table is always set, and there is a room with your name on it. When we become Christians, we get the honor of living in the palace, yet some enjoy the view and go back to the dump laboring daily to meet their needs. It is impossible to raise a child as a Son/Daughter in God’s Kingdom when you occupy the dump yourself. If you want to raise them in the palace, you have to enter yourself.
Orphan Parenting is when we parent our children from the place of isolation, abandonment, self-protection, striving, loneliness, self-sufficiency, and lack. We are modeling to our children how to live like an orphan, not from Kingdom reality.
Kingdom Parenting stems from a confidence that you are more than enough and God is doing a good work in YOU; therefore, there is no need to compare yourself to others. You are fully aware of the journey and process the Father has you on because you are intimately walking it out with Him, and you trust Him that He knows best.
The following list is NOT a pass/fail. It is the JOURNEY of becoming more and more like Him. Everyone starts out as an orphan, and we will spend the rest of our days on earth discovering, realizing, and embracing the love of our Father.
Orphan Parenting – Orphans feel insecure about themselves, their performance, and their worth. They are competitive with others internally and are jealous of others’ success because it reminds them of their lack.
Kingdom Parenting – Sons/Daughters know they are loved and, out of that place, feel deeply secure to take risks, adventure out, and explore new things. When they see someone else gain what they desire, it gives them hope for what is available.
Orphan Parenting – Orphans cannot rest because they have to constantly be doing ‘good’ in order to feel worthy of His love. They are agitated when children are joyful and carefree because they do not feel they have the right to relax.
Kingdom Parenting – Sons/Daughters are able to experience the Father’s pleasure over them even when they are resting and are able to be at peace knowing He is well pleased with who they are, not just what they do. They welcome the joy children release.
Orphan Parenting – Orphans feel a gaping hole in their heart that is painful. They strive to fill it with outside sources (shopping, alcohol, porn, social media, etc.), but it only leaves the hole bigger. They often get annoyed with the confidence of a child who operates without the gaping hole.
Kingdom Parenting – Sons/Daughters are strengthened by intimacy as they have allowed Jesus access to the aches and pains in their hearts, which position them on solid and secure ground.
Orphan Parenting – Orphans have a deep drive for success, but with the goal of feeling worthy or good enough. It puts them in the driver’s seat of their lives at all costs.
Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters are confident in the plans God has for them and are led by the Holy Spirit to lead them on a life adventure that is full of favor, open doors, and eternal fruit. Their definition of success is measured by obedience, not popularity, ‘likes,’ or bank accounts.
Orphan Parenting – Orphans use people for their gain and advancement. They see people as stepping stones to their own agenda. They see people as an opportunity to network.
Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters serve those around them to build them up, following Christ’s example to serve and have a high value on connection.
Orphan Parenting – Orphans are annoyed by children and see them as a hindrance to their agenda who drain them of their time, energy, and resources. They respond with dominance, fear, and shame to control the child’s behavior to meet their agenda.
Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters understand the foolishness and immaturity of a child and respond with love and healthy authority.
Orphan Parenting – Orphans are often angry and full of rage out of ongoing fear that they cannot control the world around them. They have high levels of anxiety and worry.
Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters are confident that their Father is in control of all things and has the ability to work all things out for their good. Because their circumstance does not define them, they are able to respond in peace and not react.
Orphan Parenting – An orphan only feels as good about themselves as their outward appearance, clothing, number of ‘likes,’ material possessions, etc., allow. Orphans are always the first to get the latest trend and are constantly looking for praise and applause from others.
Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters are deeply affirmed by the Creator of the universe that He has created them to be unique and have immeasurable value to Him. They are secure and confident because of their relationship and intimacy with Him.
The ONLY way to cease acting like an orphan is to embrace the love of the Father and accept the invitation to act like a Son and Daughter. It’s already been paid for. All you have to do is receive.