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.

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