It Never Hurts To Ask
PHOTO CAPTION: Does someone need help learning to ride a bike? Who could refuse that cute face?
I remember when I was growing up that I was shy about asking for help. Often in school, I hesitated to ask the teacher if I needed help. I also hesitated to answer questions even when I knew the answer. Part of my hesitation was that I was a little afraid that my questions or answers might seem silly. Since that time I have learned to be a lot bolder. As someone once said, “The only stupid question is one that isn’t asked.” If you don’t know something, no matter how silly it might seem, why not ask? If you ask, you will learn something and you will be wiser.
I think the same thing applies when asking for help. If you need help, ask. Why is it hard to ask for help? I think a lot of things get in the way. Maybe we think that asking is silly or that no one will really want to help us. Maybe our pride gets in the way and we think that we shouldn’t need to ask for help because we should be able to handle the problem or situation on our own. Maybe we think that everyone is too busy to help or we are just plain afraid of the response we will get. Whatever the reason, asking for help is hard! It’s hard to ask for help with personal problems and when we have a cause that we are passionate about. When we don’t ask for help, we rob others of the blessing of doing something worthwhile. Often people want to help; they are just waiting for to be asked.
Maybe you think that others should see the need and step up without being asked. I know I have thought that before too. But the very people we want help from may not see what we see. They simply don’t see or understand what needs to be done. They are looking for direction; for something bigger than themselves to get involved in. You are actually honoring them simply by asking for their help. So let’s get busy and start asking.
You never know what God will do when you are willing to step up and start asking others to get involved. Even when someone says, “No!” at least you were brave enough to ask, right?
Let’s teach our kids how to ask for help too. I think the response to our plea for help is better when our attitude is right. If we whine and complain and demand instead of asking, we’re likely to get a no. When our kids whine, complain and demand, we get weary of helping them, but when their attitude is respectful and happy, we want to help them. When my kids were little, I often ignored their whining and complaining. I waited to answer their requests when they asked nicely. When they were really little, I would remind them to ask nicely and model the words that I wanted them to say. “Mom, may I please have a cracker?” or “Mom will you please help my tie my shoe?” Kids pick up on what works quickly. When you use please and thank you, you are modeling that courteous behavior for them to follow. They will be more likely to ask nicely when you show them how and when they see that the whining or complaining is not getting them any where. Another tip is to read or tell stories to your children using whiny voices and polite voices so that kids can see the difference. They will pick up on it! My kids used to laugh at me when I overdramatized situations. (Still do, I think!) No matter what, remember you can ask God for help and don’t be afraid to ask others too. There are other parents out there who know exactly what you are going through and can identify with your struggles. Don’t try to do life alone and independent. When you need help, just ask!
PARENT OR GRANDPARENT PRAYER:
I know like Nehemiah, I have been afraid to ask for help with a project, a ministry or something that I am trying to accomplish for myself or someone else. I’ve hesitated for many reasons. I’m not ready to ask for help because someone may laugh at me, others are too busy or maybe others see the value in what I am trying to accomplish. Besides, why can’t someone see that Ineed help and volunteer? Forgive me, Lord for being afraid. I want to walk in faith with you and I want others to get involved in living out their faith too. Show me how to ask, when to ask and what to ask for. Give me boldness to speak out when I should. As parents, Lord, teach us how to help our kids ask for help in polite and gracious ways. Most of all God, remind us that you are always ready to help. May we remember that we can and should take everything before you in prayer for you have the answers to problems that are way bigger than we are, Thank you God for showing us how we can get involved in your mission. Amen
ASKING FOR HELP GRACIOUSLY
* Courtesy goes a long ways when asking for help. We often feel better about helping others when they ask courteously.
* Work on teaching your kids two little words – please and thank you. When we use those words, we show kindness and respect for the other person and sound way less demanding or whiny.
* Know that most of the time, people want to help. If someone really can’t help, they may decline graciously and that’s okay. Don’t take it personally
* If someone asks you for help and you can’t help, refer them to someone who can if possible. Even with your kids you can do this and do it kindly.
* Model to your kids how to ask for things courteously. When your kids see you responding graciously, they will be more apt to respond that way.
* Read stories to your kids that show good manners. Some of my favorites are, “Richard Scarry’s Please and Thank You Book”,
“Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners”
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH YOUR CHILD THIS WEEK?
SHARE A STORY: Nehemiah Asks – Nehemiah 2
After Nehemiah prayed (Show praying hands.) and asked God for help, he went to serve the king. When he went in to serve King Artaxerxes, the king noticed that Nehemiah was sad. (Make a sad face.) Nehemiah had never been sad before when serving the king.
The king asked him,“ Nehemiah, why are you so sad? Are you sick?” (Make a sad face.) Nehemiah was really afraid. (Make a scared face.) He didn’t want to tell the king why he was sad. He thought the king might not like it when he found out why he was sad. Even though he was afraid, Nehemiah told the king about the people in his home town Jerusalem. He told the king how the wall was broken down and the gates to the city had been burned.
The king asked Nehemiah, “What do you want me to do?” Then Nehemiah was very brave. He prayed (Show praying hands.) and asked the king if he could go to Jerusalem to help the people there. The king was happy (Smile!) to let Nehemiah go to Jerusalem. Nehemiah asked the king for some other things too. He asked for letters so that he could pass through other lands safely and he asked for logs from the king’s forests to rebuild the gates and walls. The king gave Nehemiah everything he asked for. Nehemiah knew that God was with him. He knew that it was because God had heard his prayers. He knew God was helping him. He was thankful that God gave him the courage to ask the king for help.
When you have a BIG job to do, you can look for ways to help and you can ask others to help you too. Don’t forget that no matter what, God is always ready to help you. He made you with arms and hands and feet so that you can do many, many things. You are not too little to help or to ask others to help too.
MEMORIZE TOGETHER: Col. 3:23 NIrV (Hold hands though holding a book.)
Work at – (Pound fists together.)
Everything you do – (Fan hands out to the sides.)
With all your heart – (Place hands on heart.)
SHARE A PRAYER:
When I have something to do and I need help, show me how I can ask others to help me. I know you will help me too because you made me, you love me and you have amazing things for me to do. Amen
KNOW: Nehemiah prayed when he had a big job to do.
TALK ABOUT: Ways of helping and asking for help.
ASK: Who made you? God made me.
AND DO: I can ask others to help me when I have a big job to do.
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK
* Practice asking for help using the words please and thank you. Encourage your kids to ask God for help when they need help too.
* Be brave and help someone together with your preschooler. When you see something that needs to be done and you decide to make a difference by responding, you may inspire others to help