Do you ever feel like a plate spinner in the circus? You could feel like you have twenty plates in the air, trying to balance and spin them all without dropping a single one. If you are a mom, you might feel this way before you climb out of bed each morning.
The problem is we try to manage all the plates on our own. We will keep spinning and balancing them on our own, even if it hurts or exhausts us. Why is that? Why are we not quick to shift some of the plates to someone else or ask them to work alongside us to balance them?
If you were to ask your friends or fellow mom, you would probably hear similar answers to those questions. Asking for help is incredibly difficult, and often we would rather struggle through the mess on our own than ask for help. The good news is that you can change this. You can set a new precedent for yourself and your family.
If asking for help is hard for you, keep reading to allow Scripture to encourage and challenge you with the value of receiving and giving help from others.
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Why It Is Hard to Ask for Help
Let us start with why it is so hard to ask for help. If we feel relieved when someone helps us and things get done or the weight is lifted from our shoulders, why do we fight against it so hard?
The main reason is likely pride. Our pride wants us to believe that we can have it all, do it all, and do not need help from anyone else. This lie allows us to rely heavily on ourselves rather than the Lord or the body of Christ.
It takes continual surrender and humility to lay down our pride and ask for help. Proverbs 11:2 (ESV) says,
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”
Along the same lines of pride, Psalm 10:4 (ESV) says,
“In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’”
Pride causes us to look to ourselves rather than to the Lord. It pulls us away from dependence on the Lord and places dependence on ourselves or our abilities.
Another reason why it could be hard to ask for help is fear. You may fear inconveniencing someone, coming across as weak or lazy, or being concerned about the result. So, to avoid those potential issues, we carry the heavy weight on our own, not letting another in to help.
Help for You, Blessing for Others
If we flip this topic on its head, the question becomes ‘why should we ask for help?’
Galatians 6:2 (ESV) gives us an instruction that helps us understand asking for help in a new light. The verse says,
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Helping others in the body of Christ is the role of the members of the Church. Just as we are called to carry the burdens of others, their calling is to bear ours, as well.
Have you ever experienced a season where things were going well for you, and you had a friend experiencing hardships? How drawn were you to help her? Maybe you brought a meal, sent flowers, watched her kids, or dropped off groceries. Maybe you spent time asking for her specific prayer requests or sat and listened intently.
The body of Christ has the privilege of serving and uplifting one another. This privilege includes others reaching out to help you, as well.
Helping and serving others reaps blessings for the helper as well. Proverbs 11:25 (ESV) says,
“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”
So, before you turn away help in whatever season you are in, consider the blessings you are keeping the other person from experiencing by helping you.
Scripture about Receiving Help
We see at the beginning of Scripture the value of having a helper. In the Garden, we find help as a pivotal part of the Creation story. Genesis 2:18 (ESV) says,
“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
The beauty of the Christian walk is knowing you do not have to, nor are you meant to, walk through life alone. In the Garden of Eden, when God gifted the first marital union, we find an incredible picture of “one-anothering” as Eve became a helper to her husband, Adam. If we apply this to our everyday lives, we can find peace in the fact that the gift of the body of Christ provides us a place to find help as well as provide help.
Later in Scripture, James instructs on the relational dynamic of believers. In James 5:16 (ESV) he says,
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
Maybe asking for someone to do your dishes while you nurse your newborn or to drop off a meal after losing a loved one is too big of a step for you right now. However, maybe a way for you to ask for help is to ask someone to pray with or for you in a specific situation. Asking for help could look like confessing sins to a trusted friend and asking them to hold you accountable.
Who to Ask for Help
To get more practical, we can look at the “who” of asking for help, and there are two areas to consider. First, consider asking God for help. Second, consider asking and accepting help from others.
Sometimes asking God for help is easier said than done. We tend to overcomplicate it and think that we have to work it all out on our own before asking the Lord for help – as if by asking for His help we are inconveniencing the Father. Thankfully, Scripture can correct this mindset for us.
Isaiah 30:18-19 (ESV) says,
“Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.”
What a beautiful passage to show the goodness of the Father. The Lord desires to be gracious and show mercy to you. At the sound of your cry, He is generous to answer you.
Your Father is not far off to hear your cry or request for help and ignore it. He is never inconvenienced by you or your cry for help. He should be the first one you ask for help from. Psalm 121:2 (ESV) says,
“My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
What would change for you if you began to trust the Lord with your needs and desires by asking Him to help you?
When you ask the Lord for help, he may answer you by providing support through the body of Christ- the Church. Accepting help from others is our second line of support when there is a need. Proverbs 11:14 (ESV) says,
“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”
If you surround yourself with a tribe of believers who desire to uplift and support you, revel in the gift you have. When you have an abundance of counselors behind you, you cannot fall. In the body of Christ, you can find encouragement, accountability, and wisdom to guide you through each new season you walk through.
Asking for Help to Build the Body of Christ
Asking for help may not be your default setting. Thankfully, in the body of Christ, you can grow in your ability and confidence to ask for help – both from the Lord and from others. Just as you desire to help and support your friends and family, many desire to do the same for you.
Do not let pride or fear keep you from tapping into the wealth of wisdom, graciousness, love, and support you have both in the Lord and in the Church.
Written By: Brittany Thieman
Being a working mom is challenging, and the pressure to “do it all” can feel overwhelming. Thankfully, we can learn from Scripture and from other moms to live out our callings while keeping the Gospel at the center of our homes.
My name is Brittany, and I work as a Director of Operations for a company and run a small business while raising my two young daughters and baby boy on the way. My husband is a pastor, and we just recently relocated from North Carolina to Texas for a new church position. The Lord has taught us much in this busy and tiring season. I hope to encourage other mamas in their journey toward pursuing Christ in the messiness, beauty, and fatigue of motherhood.