Back to Conversations about Characters…

After getting sidetracked last week by my Christmas going-ons, I want to get back to our character conversations.

Since Christmas is only two weeks away, I’ve drawn today’s question from Hope White’s November Love Inspired Suspense Christmas Haven.

It’s a story about a woman who left her small hometown and high school sweetheart to become a social worker in the city. She knew her sweetheart’s dream was to be a small town cop, but that he would follow her if she asked. So she didn’t ask. She just left. There’s also a deeper reason that drove her to the profession, but I won’t give that away here.

The story begins with the heroine returning to her hometown–the only safe place she can turn–after witnessing a kidnapping. Of course, danger follows, and her former sweetheart, now the police captain, must protect her and his town.

But the heroine has a difficult time accepting his help.

Your turn: So here’s the question I’d like to discuss:

Do you know someone (or are you someone) who has difficulty accepting help from friends? If so, how might you get through  to her/him?

For myself, I’ve noticed that my husband has difficulty asking for help and accepting it when it’s offered. I, on the other hand, welcome any help that’s offered. My husband is an eldest child. I am a youngest. So I did an impromptu poll and came to the conclusion that generally speaking, eldest (or only) children have a more difficult time accepting help than youngest children.

What do you think? Has this been your experience


  • I’m totally the not ask for help or accept an offer of help kind of person. I feel guilty if I do. Like I don’t deserve it or something. This comes from growing up in a dysfunctional home. I always felt like I was the only one I could count on.

    I’ve gotten better over the years, but I still have a hard time accepting help. A break-through moment for me came from a church acquaintance.

    He offered me a drive but it would have been out of his way and so I said no because I didn’t want to put him out. He said, he wouldn’t have offered if he didn’t want to do it. I still said no and he still persisted and finally he said, “Why do you insist on depriving me of blessings?”

    “Huh?” was my ever so clever response.

    “If I do you a service then I will be blessed. It says so in the bible. How am I supposed to get those blessings if I don’t find anyone who will let me help them?”

    Good point, eh?

  • Interesting, Sandra….especially at this Season! I am an only, but I have tried to look at it like Kav said…”don’t deprive them of the blessing of giving”.
    I know a person (born in middle of 8 kids) who has very hard time accepting my help….I think it is a weird matter of pride with her! I just pray to break through to her some day!!! Guess there are different reasons for folks’ reactions!!

  • I have a friend who will not accept help in any shape or form. It stems from something in her past – she owed someone for something, and she couldn’t pay it back. She is afraid if she accepts help, then she owes them something in return.

  • Kav, what a good way to look at it. And so true.

    Jackie, I love that you’re persisting with your friend.

    Loree, your friend sounds very much like the characters we create, doesn’t she? Something from the past distorts the heroine’s perception of the present.

    Wow, I feel like this has been a brainstorming session in character development!

  • I haven’t had to ask for help much, but I have been given the opportunity to give to others through my job (hiring a lot of young people and giving them skills to move forward.) It’s a very rewarding experience, and I loved taking the extra effort to help.

  • A couple of questions I’ve learned to ask are these:
    “What if my asking for help reflects a step of faith in God to provide for me?”
    “What if my receiving help reflects a step of obedience to God’s prompting?”
    “What if my NOT asking for help interferes with or delays God’s work in my life and the life of someone else?”

    By the way, I’m a firstborn and the mom of a child with severe disabilities. It has been tremendously difficult for me to ask for help. And I’ve sometimes been hurt or disappointed when I asked and there was no response. But there have also been times when I asked and God opened FLOODGATES of response that proved to me the very nature of His design requires community. Asking for and receiving help engages Christ-like communities and triggers the release of power from the Holy Spirit to work creatively and beautifully. The give and take is a picture of the grace and Gospel. Isn’t that what Christ-loving people WANT to display?

Great to "see" you here today! I look forward to reading your comment.