Guys, first of all—none of your wives paid me to write this. Although I suspect I’m going to make them grateful with this simple suggestion to you today.
But my main motivation is to help you and your marriage with something that has helped me and my marriage. It’s simple to understand yet it will take some doing to make it a habit.
Gail recently encouraged women to override frustration and ask for help when husbands don’t know that they need it. It was a great post and it made me thankful all over again for a wife who has worked to overcome opportunities to be upset with me and, instead, respond with grace.
Thank God for wives who exercise grace when we fall short!
But, honestly, that subject always jabs me a bit—and I believe rightfully so. I AM grateful when Gail asks for my help when I’m oblivious to it. I DO genuinely enjoy the opportunity to be her knight in shining armor—rescuing her from any burden.
That’s why I’m irritated with myself that I don’t work a bit harder to notice for myself when she needs a helping hand.
There’s something better than responding to a cry for help. And that’s to burst on to the scene before a cry is even uttered.
The One Question She’ll Love
Honey, what can I do to help?
I guarantee you—these words are some of the sweetest words your wife can hear. Especially busy moms.
What I love about asking this question is that I not only get specific instructions on what exactly to do, but I get points just for asking! It’s an instant win!
There have been times I’ve thought I was helping by just diving in and doing what I thought was needed. Then I’d find out that even though my effort counted for something, it wasn’t really what would have made the biggest difference to Gail.
So, by just asking the question, it’s a win! She’s deeply appreciative of the unsolicited offer to help, she gets exactly the help she wants, and I get major points that make everything else better.
Form The Habit
The reality is that, as Gail pointed out correctly in her post, we may be well-intentioned and willing to help—but we aren’t always good about realizing help would be appreciated.
Full disclosure—I’m still working on this and have room for improvement. The simplest way I try to cultivate this habit is whenever I see Gail busying around, that’s my cue to pop the question. If I hear ANY comment about what she has to do, or didn’t get done today, or where did the time go, etc., “Honey, what can I do to help?”
That’s it guys. I could talk a long time about this but I don’t think I have to.
You know like I do that this is what needs to happen. We need to lead by serving. And not just responding, but initiating.
I’ll pray for you. You pray for me. Let’s get better at this.
Question: If you have a way that's helped you to form this habit well, please share it! We're all in this together! Share your answer in the comments below.