How to Help a Family in Crisis

Crisis. We've all been there. Or, we all will be there at one point or another. A dad suddenly laid off, a child struggling desperately in school, a mom diagnosed with cancer, a pregnancy that needs bedrest for the best outcome. Sometimes, one day differs from the previous so much we barely recognize where we are–and those days can knock us for a loop.

The Bible tells us:

"So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith" (Galatians 6:10).

Note the end of that verse – "especially to those who are of the household of the faith." The first time this phrase caught my attention, I have to admit it was a surprise! Why would Paul encourage those of us within the Body of Christ to look after one another first? Well, I suppose some of it has to do with the fact that we are family. While we all know we should reach out to those who don't know Christ, here we're reminded that for us to show the love of God to those who do know Him is also important – especially so, apparently.

So what can we do when someone we love has one of those life-changing days?

Too often we call, express our sympathy, and then say,"Please let me know what I can do!" Unfortunately, while the sentiment behind such a statement is good, the reality is that we've just added one more thing to the distressed person’s plate. To figure out what to ask someone to do for us when we’re in crisis is nearly impossible, and probably means we won't ask for anything at all, though our needs may be great.

What to do instead? Anything.

Think about your own life, and put yourself in your friends shoes. If you were in their position, what would you need, moment by moment, as you faced that crisis? I thought of a few ideas which are pretty general needs for most families.

[You can finish reading the rest of this article at For the Family. Click here.]