One of the most heartbreaking things is to have the adult children that you raised, love, nurtured and sacrificed not to appreciate you…resent you…avoid you…or even rebel against you.

It could be for any number of reasons:

Mistakes you’ve made in raising them (we’ve all made them)…

They have a step-parent that was able to do more for them than you…

The inability to provide some of the things they wanted…

When they feel you have favored siblings over them…

They blame you for their problems or issues…

Your best just wasn’t good enough for them…

Resenting you for disciplining them…

Comparing you to other parents…

You know the reason(s), or you may not know.

It may be your fault, or it may not be your fault.

King David’s son Absalom wanted to kill his father because he wanted his throne (2 Samuel 15), but David never stopped loving his son and mourned greatly for him when he was killed (2 Samuel 18). This rebellion was a part of the consequences of David’s sin (2 Samuel 12:10), but it still didn’t lessen his love for his son. 

How do you deal with the pain of having a child you love so dearly resent you, when there’s nothing you can say or do to change their heart?

How do you have peace?

The answers are really quite simple:

Apologize for any mistakes that you’ve made, then it’s between them and God…

Forgive yourself for your mistakes…

Learn to be at peace when you know that you’ve done your best…


You have to focus on the days when they DID appreciate you. Think back on the days when they were infants…toddlers…small children…the days when they couldn’t get enough of you. Look back on the pictures or videos of those days. Go get that old toy or outfit you may have kept…meditate on those wonderful memories. Those days then were just as real as the present.


Unfortunately, there are some children, adult children, who never come around. David never had his love for Absalom reciprocated after his heart turned against his father. David had to look back on the good memories with his son to sustain him.

That’s one of the reasons God gives us memories…sometimes that’s what we need to sustain us in a troubled present and in situations where there is realistically ‘no hope’ to change the situation (such as after Absalom died).

If you have a child that doesn’t appreciate you…resents you, or even says that they hate you…

Pray for them,

Pray for God to restore your relationship,

Let them know that you are always there for them,

And, hold in your heart the good times to sustain you…because sometimes that’s all you can do.

Remember that God has children that don’t appreciate Him too.



Add yours

  1. These are good ideas. I think it may also be beneficial to take ownership of the type of parent you actually were. For example, admitting that you favored one child over the other and then apologizing for that (or any other) behavior can go along way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good article. But check out Absalom a little closer. After he killed his brother for rape (David did not lift Ta finger to that son), David exiled him. He was gone several years. Finally Nathan intervened for him, so he said he could come back to Jerusalem, but David refused to see him for several more years. I think the rift and resentment of David lasted 11 years if I remember correctly. Just a thought. The rest of your examples were good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a Christian parent I believe that there are abusive situations that continue into adulthood that require boundaries. Sometimes those boundaries are interpreted as disrespect. We should seek as much as possible to live in peace with others. When your thank you is not enough and when you are forced to suffer in silence there is a definite need for boundaries and a healthy dose of reasonable expectations. http://www.hopehasahome.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  4. who is this fictional King David …. it your going to try and help people, please keep your imaginary friends out of it and try and give advise that pertains to the real world….thanks for wasting my time……


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