HEARTS OF STONE AND INNER VOWS
In order for us to have true fellowship with others and
with God, He must pierce or melt our hearts of stone. In
our fallen condition, we are like medieval knights in
armor, peering out through slits in our helmets to slash
and poke at one another, secretly wishing that the other
fellow would open up so we could really meet him.
A heart of stone is a defense mechanism, a hiding place
we believe will protect us from hurt, but which in fact
makes us the loneliest people in the world. The Church is
filled with hearts of stone, people who can love and
serve others, but who can't allow others to minister to
them. Healing is hard work; it requires time and
understanding and support of family and friends.
Inner vows are one aspect of a stony heart. Although they
are made early in life and are often forgotten, they act
as directives, which control our responses to situations
and people around us.
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
The Bible clearly censures stubbornness, stony hearts and
"Do not harden your hearts. " Psalm 95:8
We are called to lay aside and put off our old nature.
Hebrews 12:1; Colossians 3:5-10
What is a stony heart? It is an automatic hidden defense
mechanism, which keeps us from being vulnerable or
"seen". It is a hiding place, or a wall that we
believe will protect us from hurt, but which really makes
us lonely and miserable. The vows and the walls are
usually hidden, formed in the first 6 years of life and
forgotten. This is a learned behavior, as if programmed,
these habits, patterns and structures function
How are they formed?
These walls and stony hearts are formed out of our
earliest experiences of frustration and disatisfaction,
A baby lies in his/her crib, crying for attention or food
and the mother responds by changing his/her diaper. The
baby can't speak or pray and frustration grows.
A baby wakes in the night and cries, waking parents. The
parents respond to the child's need with anger, fatigue
and frustration. The parents' touch send a signal to the
spirit and the soul, and the child begins to build a wall
of protection around the heart.
A baby wakes and cries, but there is no response. This is
the beginning of the opinion that the baby is not a
priority in his/her parents' life.
Note: the absence or presence of love, laughter, and
affection in the home will determine the hardness of the
Recognizing the problem of a stony heart can be obvious
in some cases, characterized by heartless, uncaring
behaviors and selfishness.
The condition is more often hidden in Christians. You
will see a loving, caring, serving believer who can
minister, but cannot be ministered to, or has trouble
receiving from God.
Tbe impact of the heart of stone on others
In families, a person with a stony heart cannot receive
love and intimacy. In relationships they tend to sabotage
themselves and their partner by putting them down. In the
body of Christ the person with a stony heart tends to
drive wedges, create strife, and destroy corporateness. A
stony heart in leaders can destroy a church.
The damage a stony heart causes the carrier
The person with a stony heart can develop physical
problems, build up of stress, breakdown of the immune
system, as well as cancer.
They experience loneliness, isolation, and feelings of
not being understood by others.
Leaders with stony hearts can't hear rebuke. They usually
have gaping holes in their armor; they can't heed
warnings, and are subject to temptations and delusion.
They also suffer from burnout;(caused by anger formed in
bitter root expectations)
The Bible tells us there is safety in a multitude of
counselors Proverbs 24:6. Those with hearts of stone have
trouble availing themselves of this protection.
Healing the heart of stone.
Recognizing the heart of stone can be difficult due to
the person's desire to remain "unseen." Help
the person understand how the stony heart was formed.
This process can be slow, like peeling an onion.
Have the client confess and repent for their sinful
reactions to early experiences. Have the client confess
and repent for wounding loved ones and for
Lead the client to forgive parents and or caretakers, as
well as self and damage caused to others. Lead the client
in the prayers to put the heart of stone to death on the
cross and the heart of flesh to be given life.
Appropriate touch during the prayers helps to build basic
trust. You may have to speak healing to the inner child
several times before the client can receive. Always go by
the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Inner vows are outgrowths of hearts of stone. Inner vows
made by determinations or directives in the mind and
heart in the early years can be more powerful than bitter
root judgments. Inner vows can be obstructions in our
nature that restrict our feelings and actions by limiting
our freedom in God. They may even obstruct physical
of inner vows:>
o I will never grow up!
o I will never get angry like my dad!
o I'll get mom back for doing that!
o I will always respect women!
o I will never allow that in my house!
o When I become a parent I'll never...
Inner vows are very powerful when made in childhood
during the formative years, because they are often
forgotten and thus have more power due to their
unconscious and hidden nature. Because of this they are
often difficult to identify. The bitter fruit appears to
remain even after the root has been severed, i.e.
o Defensive habitual flight mechanisms
o Automatic anger
o Bitter root expectations
o Actions and words that trigger automatic reactions
o Anxieties and fears
When we judge others and vow never to do what they did,
the vow often works in reverse Romans 2:1
Inner vows are harmful, even when they appear to be good,
o I'll be gentle with women just like dad.
o I'll never drink or smoke.
They can coerce us to fleshly righteousness Philippians
It is not necessary to remember making those inner vows.
If the client can recognize the fruit then by faith
he/she must forgive those who have hurt him/her as well
as forgiving them self Confess and repent for his/her
sinful reactions, which led to the making of the vows.
Renouncing the vows by the authority of Jesus Christ
Matthew 16:19; 18:18
Understand that patience and the client will need
perseverance as he/she works through overcoming long
practiced habits, structures and patterns. He/she must
continue to put them to death on the cross, as they are
revealed. Encourage the client to persevere and not get
weary. He/she will eventually be victorious. Galatians
I will never...
let anyone love me
allow myself to need
let them take anything away from me
allow anyone to touch me
share what is mine
allow anyone to give me money
write, read, understand
allow myself to be hit
go out at night
let you see who I am
let anyone know I hurt
tell a woman anything
let a man control me
be responsible for actions of others
receive a compliment
participate in life
allow a woman in my heart
be anything worthwhile
be violent or abusive
grow up, mature
Inner vows imprison us to think
and act as they have set the mold,
I will always...
remain aloof, separate
be in control of my life
Click on the praying couple for prayer to overcome Stoney Heart
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on the swordsman for more lessons
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Last Updated Tuesday June 7, 2011. 15:09:59