Just a thought; much of the Father Heart Teaching that has been prevalent in the last 20 years or so, isn’t, or at least is incomplete. It tends to be about the child or the orphan spirit more than it is about the Father, which of course has value and the potential for bringing people healing, and has done so innumerable times. But, I think the only folk who can really understand the Father heart of God are good parents who have been wounded by their children, and right now are longingly awaiting the sound of footsteps coming up the path and the return of sons and daughters who have rejected them. Take some time today to think of the story in Luke Chapter 15.
The thing is that the prodigal son in Luke 15 was not an orphan. He had a good and loving father but was living as though he didn’t. The elder son had a good and loving father too, but didn’t know it. There was a stronghold of delusion about the way he saw things. He was not living in truth or reality. He nursed a lie about his Father and nursed the silent building up of rage that deep seated lie produced until it exploded in unjust accusation. The Father was not to blame, yet he was the one who had to suffer and learn to conquer the possible response of living in a spirit of rejection and abandonment and keep an open door. He had to hear unjust things being said about him and not respond in like manner. The story of the bible, whatever else it is about, is about the Father heart of God continuing towards a rebel world hat has rejected him in word, deed and spirit. It is about God loving rebels who have had His goodness and love showered upon them. This rebel world has a Father. It is not an orphan without a Father. It chooses to be a rebel against a Father of goodness and love. The story of the bible, in the Old Testament and the New and supremely in the Lord Jesus Christ, is the story of God calling out like a Father to his children saying, “You are not an orphan! You have a Father who loves you. Let me be who I am to you! Come to Me! Turn to Me! Run to Me! Stop rejecting Me!”
We hear so much about the wounds parents give to their children, and these wounds are real. They range in scale from the sort of childhood pains we all have to conquer, for no parents are perfect, right through to truly horrific abuse. Yet to truly understand God’s heart we need to hear from parents who have been wounded sorely by their children. Maybe there is someone out there who might be able to write a blog or a book about that experience, or just maybe it is such holy ground that no one will ever write a book on “The Rejected Father.” The nearest I have seen to that title is “The Forgotten Father” by Tom Smail – it is excellent by the way. In the present rush of so many to tell their story of being wronged and satisfy a market for spiritual voyeurism that seems to be almost insatiable, perhaps the holiest stories of some of the deepest pains will have to remain ever untold or unshared. Thankfully they are not unnoticed by the One who understands these pains only too well. I think it shows Henri Nouwen’s insightful brilliance and understanding of humanness that when he speaks about the pain of rejection he does not only speak about the rejection that children experience, or spouses rejecting one another ; many other writers, Christian and secular write about such painful experiences. It takes little intelligence or insight more than the slightest observational awareness to see these wounds all around us. However Nouwen includes in his lists of possible scenarios of rejection, the rejection that parents can experience at the hands of their children. I think it is the rejection that dare not speak its name….
Just as no sermon is equally significant for everyone every week, neither are blogs. My prayer today is simply for parents who have been rejected. At great cost to yourselves there are things you can help us understand about the Father heart of God that many others could never teach us, even those who can share stories of the grace of God healing them from wounded childhoods. I pray that something of what you have come to know of the Father Heart of God will leak out to the church and to the world somehow in a way that is not crushingly painful or humiliating for you. You have been crushed and humiliated enough, I think. I pray too that like Jesus you may yet see fruit for your travail and be well pleased. God bless you with His consolation today and every day.
PS – You are very welcome to enjoy these blogs and share them with anyone “without money or price!” However, if you ever feel grateful for these blogs and are able to do so, then please make a donation to Open Doors, Scotland. Their website is
In case you have not heard of them, Open Doors works to help our persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world.