Sadly, a child can be taught to despise their father and/or mother. This callous and cruel act can be accomplished by someone they look up to whether a peer, family member, teacher, the other parent, and/or society. The result is often harmful to the child and the inflictor of this education. A child trained to despise even one parent, research shows, is much more likely to end up isolated, have poor self-esteem, a tendency to depression, low academic performance, mental health problems, and a high rate of addiction to alcohol and drugs. Over 30 percent of surveyed parents believe they are being alienated from their offspring by the other parent, especially during divorces.
Hope exists for all three members involved, but it is not without will, decisions, effort, and especially prayer. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27) “Pray continually.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) “He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.” (Job 5:15-16)
Since God our Father is able to turn around those who are estranged from him, then surely there is hope for our children to turn their hearts back to their parents. I can become a peacemaker with the power of God. As the angel told Zechariah, “And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers (the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous) –to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17)