Giving Advice & Offering Support -> What You Need To Know

| October 2, 2019
Giving Advice vs Offering Support

When my teenage daughter is hurting, I want to fix it. When she rejects my first pearls of wisdom, I offer alternative suggestions. Sadly, it always ends with her insisting, “But you see, Mom, I just don’t care that much!” She’s frustrated, I’m hurt, and nothing is resolved.

Have you ever been on either side of a similar conversation? Your best efforts to help a loved one are rejected. Or you only wanted to know you’re not alone, but now you feel more isolated than ever. 

Whether you find yourself longing for support or offering unwanted advice, I hope to help your relationships grow closer in the midst of life’s struggles.

The Problem With Solutions

The desire to fix our loved one’s problems is rooted in love and compassion, but sometimes there is no solution. Our well-intended medical suggestions won’t stop today’s migraine in time for work. Date night ideas won’t heal the hurt from your husband’s careless comment.

Let’s be candid. We’re not qualified or capable of solving many of life’s problems. We both know you can’t heal my migraine or fix my husband, but I know you can walk with me and support me as a friend. 

How can you tell if your friend needs advice or encouragement? Find out at… Click To Tweet

Do You Know What You Really Want?

You may reach out when you feel alone, but do you know what you are reaching for? Do you want to brainstorm solutions with someone who has a different perspective or more experience than you? Or do you just need a friend

So, What Should I Do?

How do you know when your co-worker needs support rather than solutions? When you reach out, how do you know what you need or how to express that need?

Giving advice isn't always what our loved ones want... sometimes they just want support... #CandidlyChristian

I’m learning to pick up on non-verbal cues and then speak.

When your sister rejects your advice and you sense tension, then she probably just wants to be heard. Ask her if she wants to problem-solve or if she just needs help to get through the day.

Similarly, if you feel annoyed with your mother’s well-meaning advice, then maybe you just need to feel understood. Lovingly tell her you appreciate her help, but instead, you need her company. Chances are, she will be relieved to hear you don’t expect her to solve your problem.

I have a few helpful scriptures and one of my favorite songs to share with you, but first I’d like to speak to our strongest, most independent sisters in Christ. 

I Don’t Ask For Help – All I Need Is Jesus!

I hear you, dear sister! Avoid this whole complicated mess by leaning on Jesus. We can do all things through Him, so there’s no need to burden someone else with our issues.

That’s exactly what the enemy wants us to think. 

We need Jesus, but God designed us to need each other. Ladies, we didn’t even exist until Genesis 2 shortly after God said “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” (Gen 2:18 NLT). 

The Bible includes scriptures about comforting each other because God expects us to be humble enough to ask. Your hurt is not a burden-it’s an opportunity for someone to bless you with God’s love. 

God never intended us to do life on our own. He answers prayers through people, so make yourself available to receive His blessings.

God answers prayers through people, so give someone the opportunity to bless you. Ask for help. Click To Tweet

Now, as promised, I offer to you God’s Word on encouragement and support. 

3 Scriptures to Help You Ask For Support

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 NLT

Finally, I hope you enjoy Casting Crowns’ song “Just Be Held”. The song is about giving up control to rest in Jesus’ arms, but I suggest listening to it with your most trusted friend in mind. As you listen, imagine yourself in her caring embrace, either offering or accepting her comfort.

Just Be Held by Casting Crowns

Your Turn

How can you request or provide encouragement today?


Candid Conversations


If you liked this blog post, you’ll love our book, Candid Conversations. While each story shares a unique perspective, the prevailing theme is that we all struggle and that our hope is found in Jesus. Get your copy from Amazon or click here to learn more.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Lauren Renee Sparks October 4, 2019 at 11:27 am

    Great advice

  • Reply Rebecca Hastings October 4, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    I’m not great at this. I always start thinking, spinning my wheels trying to help and come up with solutions. God is showing me the value of being present and validating the other person in love. It is a beautiful thing when people see you rather than try to change you.

  • Reply Valerie Riese October 4, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    I’m not great at this either. Even when I was writing the post, I caught myself giving unwanted advice! Validation always gives me such peace. With prayer with God’s help, I hope we can both continue to improve. Thanks so much for commenting!
    Valerie Riese recently posted…6 Simple Steps for How to Start Reading the Bible for the First Time

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