96: Learning to Be a Helper

96: Learning to Be a Helper

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Wives

Learning to Be a Helper

By Lisa Littlewood

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

~Genesis 2:18

It was an ordinary, chaotic weekday morning. A floral canvas lunch box needed to be filled, breakfast needed to be served, backpacks needed to be packed, hair and teeth awaited brushing, and clothing had to be properly picked out and put on — all in time to get our older daughter, who was in kindergarten, to the bus, and our younger to her preschool class on time.

In other words, as usual, the needs of my children were far more pressing than those of anyone else in the house.

“The children need to be eating in two minutes!”

“They need to be dressed in fifteen. The bus comes in twenty!”

In the midst of scrambling eggs and buttering toast for our two girls, my husband often finds a moment to fix me a cup of coffee, cut a grapefruit into sections, or make me an egg sandwich for the road.

“Here you go, babe,” he’ll say as he slides them across the counter to his manic lunch-making wife.

I am embarrassed to confess that not only do I do no such thing in return, but I often forget to even offer a “thank you.”

Then, one day, last winter, I reread a scripture in the book of Genesis that really impacted the way I started to think about things. “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’ (Genesis 2:18).”

A helper? Perhaps, in the early years of dating and marriage, I strived to help, but in the six years since becoming parents, “help” had become such a large part of taking care of the girls that there seemed to be little time or energy left for helping my husband in tangible ways. If anything, most days left me asking for help from him rather than offering help to him.

Several days after reading that passage, I decided to do something that would surprise him. I made him a toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwich and ran outside (in the snow!) to start his car while he was getting dressed.

As he came flying down the stairs to head out the door to his morning sales appointment and raced to find his keys, I smiled and said, “They’re in your car. I started it for you.”

Stopped in his tracks, he looked at me with raised eyes and a confused grin.


“Yes. Really. And there is some toast wrapped for you to take on the road.”

“For me?” He almost laughed. “Where did you come from?”

The question was well deserved. While there are many times I have wanted to be a helper to him, I have allowed the needs of our children to take priority over the needs of my husband, leaving him to fend for himself.

I’m realizing that, even in the midst of the busyness of raising small children, I can be more deliberate about finding small ways to help him.

When I am being a “helper,” even in the midst of the mayhem, I am not only serving him, but HIM — the Heavenly Father who brought us together in the first place.

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