Awhile back, I listened to an Andy Stanley sermon about family. I remember him talking about four words that could strengthen any relationship. They stuck in my mind, and this past week, they have appeared in the Herr home and are making a huge difference.
First, the truth. Parenting is hard. And there are times that I struggle. Many of those times are with our amazing, but stubborn and strong willed son, who is in those tween years of not being a little kid, but not quite a teenager either. And if I’m being honest, this past week has been challenging. But a few days ago, when the stubbornness was finally set aside, and his heart was ready for change, we talked. And the four words came up. “Christian,” I told him, “It would really help me and you and our relationship, if we start saying to each other, ‘Can I help you?'” And thankfully, he was ready and willing to do something to help start a change.
So yesterday, at three different times, he came up to me, and asked, “Can I help you?” And it took me off guard. But then it blessed my heart, incredibly. And it did help. And he helped. And it started to mend some of the struggles.
Then tonight, this sweet girl caught on. In general, she just loves to help. It’s part of who she is.
But she also took the initiative to ask if I needed help.
And after helping to clear plates after dinner, she took it a step further.
And the sweet girl cleaned up the rest of the kitchen. Which, if you’re the main cook of your family, you know it’s the dreaded after job of the meal. There are definitely times that I just let the mess sit and wait for later.
So watching our Ellee clean up was just awesome. Watching her clean up in her new tiara was doubly awesome. She’s been rocking it all day, with no inhibitions and it’s pretty cool.
I’m sure that we all have relationships that could use those four words. In parenting, in marriage and in friendship, those little words can go a long way. It’s something that is definitely working wonders in our family and something that might be helpful in yours too.