In Gary Chapman’s book “The 5 Love Languages” he outlines five languages that most of us ‘speak’ within our relationships. We’ve looked at the first three already
- Words of affirmation
- Quality Time, and
Love Language # 4 is “Acts of Service”. This one actually came in at a close second for both the Garden Gnome and myself when we took the quiz. (If you follow the link I’ve put in above, you should be able to find an online quiz so you can identify your own love language).
When we think of Acts of Service, our mind tends to conjure up images of feeding the poor and homeless, giving blood or donating items after a disaster of some sort. How then does ‘acts of service’ fit into our daily lives? When you do the dishes or sweep the floor are you really showing love?
If you are completing these chores to alleviate the necessity of someone else having to do it, or because you know that your partner is happiest in a clean home then you are showing just how much you love them. Just the other day, I mentioned how exhausted and unwell I was after the middle child left and I looked at the dishes all over the sink and almost cried. The GG told me not to worry and took care of them for me. In doing so he made another deposit into my emotional piggy bank.
When someone’s love language is “Acts of Service”, the best words they will ever hear are “Let me help you” or “Go and sit down and I’ll take care of it”.
If you as a partner, don’t understand that this is your other half’s love language and you spend time making mess, not helping out or doing your share then you are hammering the nails in the coffin of your relationship. To be perfectly honest though, relationships are a partnership where each person shares the responsibilities. If you go into a relationship expecting to marry a person who is going to pick up where your mother left off, you are heading downhill fast.
When you do little things such as type up a resume for your partner, pull some weeds by the side of the path, drive them to appointments or feed the pets and you do it with a pure heart and because you want to, then you are showing them love.
You are showing this person that they mean something to you.You value them.
When you do things for them that require thought, effort and planning it shows you have spent time in thinking about them.
Showing your partner that you love them is not about becoming a doormat. It is about being the best partner you can be by helping them out. If you find yourself completing selfless acts of service time and time again with little or no acknowledge from your partner, then you may indeed be on your way to them wiping their feet on you as they pass through the door each evening. If your spouse is saying “If you loved me, you would do this” or “Do this or you’ll be sorry”, then they are not speaking the language of love. Their words come from the language of manipulation.
Every relationship (regardless of the love languages spoken by each other) requires two people to make it work. When one isn’t doing the work, then they may need some serious talking to.
But I digress….
Think back. Is there something that your spouse/partner has been nagging you about? Something that you keep saying “yeh, yeh I’ll get to it”. Obviously this is something that is important to them. It is entirely possible that the nagging is their way of showing that Acts of Service is the language they speak.
There are countless ways to show your love for your partner through an Act of Service. It may be as simple as getting up to a baby or child through the night to allow your spouse to sleep.
When someone speaks this language, talk is cheap but actions are everything. In this case actions speak much louder than words.
Doing this may need some reexamination of the stereotypical male/female roles but who wants to be a stereotype anyway?
Have a blessed day 🙂