The Best Question You Can Ever Ask

Over this past winter, we’ve met with a group of couples from our church to watch a video series by Andy Stanley called Future Family. The whole thing has been fantastic, but there was one idea that has stuck with me for a couple of months now.

Andy Stanley says the very best question any family member can ever ask this:

“What can I do to help?”

When I heard the question, I immediately tried to picture it happening in our home, and this is what I came up with:

  • Ben already asks this all the time.
  • It would be almost like heaven to hear Anika ask this, cheerfully and voluntarily.
  • There are many difficult parenting situations that could probably benefit from this question.
  • There are many other parenting situations in which I really want our girls to figure things out on their own, so I would need to use much discretion when trying to figure out when it’s a time for support (ask the question), or empowerment (let them figure it out).
  • Ben doesn’t ever really need my help, so I can’t think of any time when this would be appropriate to ask him.

Umm, WHAT?! I think all of my thoughts were fairly good thoughts until that last one.

Shows how much I know about my husband needing help with stuff.

When Ben gets home from work, I am usually trying to get supper ready on time, while trying to keep the girls entertained, even though they are tired and hungry, and everybody is just ready for Daddy to get home.

HE helps ME when he gets home. Not because I’m selfish or anything, just because I’m the one who’s least in control of life at that time of day.

But I decided to humour Andy Stanley by trying to ask the question “What can I do to help?” at every opportunity.

Well, wouldn’t you know, as soon as I was looking for ways to help Ben, all kinds of opportunities sprung up.

Sometimes, it even happened that I could ask the question, but there wasn’t really anything I could do to help, so I looked like an awesome wife, with very little effort.

And Ben, being my hero, is teaching Anika to come ask me, “What can I do to help?” I don’t know who I like to hear it from more. Both are pretty wonderful.

I highly recommend adding it to your family’s repertoire, because it makes everyone feel good.

We just need Kaylia to get on board. This could be difficult, seeing as she’s still in that stage where it’s only a good idea if it’s HER idea. But maybe if she hears it enough, it will rub off on her…



Alright, please share: What do you think is the best thing a family can say to each other?



3 thoughts on “The Best Question You Can Ever Ask

  1. It’s amazing to me how this type of attitude can put wind in our sails! I think another great question families can ask each other is “how can I support you?” Each of my family members are interested in very different things, and it’s easy to sit glassy-eyed, and not really listen to what they are saying. Problem is, when I do that, I actually take the wind right out of their sails. At times I find it difficult to be interested in the finer points of lego and fishing, but when I take the time to listen and support them in these interests, it really communicates that the things they love doing are important to our entire family.

  2. Though we haven’t taught our kids to say these words, they do pop up from time to time and they always take me by surprise, in a very good way. I LOVE hearing these words. And I love when they come from a heart wanting to help. Yes, these are very good words to hear.

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