Monday, November 12, 2012

The Power of Six Simple Words

What if your teenager asked you one day, “What can I do to help?” Probably two things would happen.

First, you’d be stunned and shocked at the collapse of everything you know to be true in this world: Did those words actually come from my child’s mouth?

Second, you’d probably wonder what angle your child is trying to play: What does he want from me?

OK, perhaps that scenario seems impossible … so let’s bring this into the realm of marriage. What if your spouse asked you, “What can I do to help?”

What if you both adopted this type of servant attitude on a regular basis? What impact would that have on your marriage?

What Can I Do to Help?

Th quote above is from Family Life's article, "Shock Your Spouse and Kids with This Question" by Dave Bohri.

I have to laugh, because of all the "canned" phrases e-Dad and I have learned to use, this is one of our favorites. (And yes, we do have a number of pre-rehearsed lines that we pull out of our back pockets at critical moments—especially when emotions are running high.)

I use this line early and often... and it's as uplifting to me as it is to my husband. When we both are stressed-out over a situation, sometimes communication between us begins to fail. When I ask "What can I do to help?" a number of things are immediately accomplished.

Seven Benefits

It shows my husband I'm attuned to him, even though he may be distracted
It takes my attention away from my own emotional discomfort
It reminds my husband that he has a strong supporter
It reveals my trust in his ability to solve the problem
It gets me thinking creatively about possible solutions
It reminds me to pray for God's help, even as I am offering my help
It gets me working on my part of our agreed-upon solution, giving me hope

Today's Marriage Challenge

So here's my challenge to you. Today, and tomorrow, and all this week, instead of fretting over problems, why don't you ask your spouse, "What Can I do to Help?" Then, come back and tell me in the comments how it worked for you.

Have a blessed week!
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Gen 2:18 ESV)


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Photos: Flickrnathancolquhoun (Flickr)

The Alabaster Jar

Up Next—Marriage Monday Reminder

How does "What Can I do to Help" work for you?


My name is Nicole Nolley said...

awesome and simple

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