By George Miley

 

Healing the Wounds of the Adult Child

1 – God created mankind “very good”—flawless, whole, functional (Gen. 1:31).
+ Created to be like God (Gen. 1:27), we were made to live in a community of love.
+ Created to be like God, we have the capacity to choose between good and evil.

2 – Our first parents chose evil (Gen. 3:6). So did we.
+ We rejected God-centeredness and chose self-centeredness.
+ This severed the one relationship—with God—indispensable to our well-being.
+ It left us guilty (Rom. 3:19).
+ It left us damaged (Rom. 3:9-18).
+ Guilt and damage left us lost—unable to find our way back to where we belong.

3 – On the cross Jesus made provision for our deliverance—our salvation.
+ For our guilt to be removed (Isa. 53:6)
+ For our wounds to be healed (Isa. 53:5)
+ For the destructive power of sin in our behavior to be broken (Rom.6:12-14)
+ For us to be restored to wholeness (2 Cor. 5:17)

4 – We are responsible to access this provision—this grace.
+ By faith—we choose to rely on Jesus in everything (Eph. 2:8).
+ By obedience—this is how biblical faith is expressed (James 2:17).
+ Jesus teaches us how—this is what discipleship is all about (Matt. 7:24-25).

5 – Inner wounding, caused by sin—mine and those around—blocks maturing.
+ We enter adulthood having not yet “grown up” in some areas (Gal. 4:19).
+ Some basic needs of the child remain unmet (1 Cor. 13:11).
+ The foundational human need: To be competently loved and affirmed.
+ The adult child is still trying to find the affirmation he so desperately needs.

6 – A desperate search for competent love drives one to pseudo-solutions:
+ Self-centeredness—this blocks true insight. I am focused on the wrong person.
+ Co-dependency—my well-being depends on someone else’s choices.
+ The false (“public”) self—a defense shield. I fear being known will bring rejection.
+ Role of a victim—I abdicate responsibility to respond productively to life.
+ Blaming, shaming, condemning—other people are the “bad guys” (Mt. 5:21-22).
+ Competitiveness—I try to elevate myself at the expense of another.
+ Block-out—attempting to escape reality rather than healthily addressing it.
+ Addiction—a pseudo-solution for escaping pain (James 1:14-15).
+ Workaholism, chemical dependency, internet, sex, gambling, etc.

7 – The answer: Restore the indispensable relationship.
+ We learn how to come present to God and live (abide) there (Jn 15:4).
+ Abiding in God’s Presence we experience the high value he feels for us.
+ This can’t just be Christian terminology; the relationship must be experienced.
+ Jesus not only removes guilt; he heals a relationship (2 Cor. 5:20-21).
+ Immersed in God’s acceptance and love, we begin to be healed.
+ Healing removes blockages. We mature increasingly into wholeness.
+ Our true humanity is restored: “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev 21:5).

1Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version© (ESV©), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Copyright © George Miley. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or in part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical without the express written consent of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles or reviews. To obtain permission to use this material, contact us.