Posts Tagged ‘acts of service’

Talking Tuesday

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

TalkingTuesdayShare your thoughts, feelings, and stories as well as respond to others regarding these questions:

What are some of the ways you plan on making your marriage or relationship better this year?

I’ll get us started …

You can never care too much about your marriage, and you certainly can never do too much to make it better. That’s both challenging and exciting! For me this year, I want to plan small outings and date nights more for my husband and I. Typically he takes point on all of that, and while I love and appreciate that he does, I too want to surprise him with thoughtful, fun things to do together. Also, I want to be more intentional about doing acts of service for him. Maybe it’s a shoulder massage or taking care of the trash so he doesn’t have to. The possibilities are endless, so I just need to think about it and choose some to do for him on a regular basis. There are times I know that my marriage slips to the back burner, and I want to make sure I’m constantly bringing it to the front burner so that I’m doing my part to make it the best it can be!

Okay, it’s your turn!

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The Five Love Languages: Acts of Service

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

The other night after playing tennis, my hubs told me he wanted to give me a massage. My back hurts me frequently, and so he will surprise me with massages every once in awhile to help. Well, he gave me a nice long back and foot massage last night, and boy did I feel loved…and relaxed after! I had a much better night’s sleep too after that. That was so sweet of him to show he loved me by giving me that much needed massage. That was an act of service.

Acts of service is the fourth love language discussed by Gary Chapman in The Five Love Languages. Gary says that acts of service he means “doing things you know your spouse would like you to do. You seek to please her by serving her, to express your love for her by doing things for her” (p.97). Of course that applies to both genders, especially when acts of service is his/her primary love language.

Some examples of acts of service are:

  • Taking the trash out
  • Giving a massage
  • Making a meal
  • Cleaning up something
  • Giving the kids a bath
  • Raking the leaves
  • Cleaning the cars
  • Running the bath
  • Returning a movie
  • Picking up groceries

Do you get the idea? Acts of service “require thought, planning, time, effort, and energy. If done with a positive spirit, they are indeed expressions of love” (p.97).

It is important that if your primary love language is acts of service, that you make requests rather than demands on your spouse. “Requests give direction to love, but demands stop the flow of love.” Keep in mind too that acts of service, like all of the other love languages, can have different dialects, so it’s important to specify for your spouse which specific types of acts of service really fill up your love tank (helping with the kids, taking care of the cars, etc.). Often times, this is where are expectations of our spouse come in. What we think that a spouse should do and what each person’s role is really influences how we monitor the success of our marriage. That’s why it’s important to discuss these roles and expectations. Gary also mentions that “what we do for each other before marriage is no indication of what we will do after the marriage” because of the “in-love” stage and “our actions are influenced by the model of our parents, our own personality, our perceptions of love, our emotions, needs, and desires” (p.107).

Here are a few other key points Gary Chapman makes:

  1. “Love is a choice and cannot be coerced.”
  2. “Criticism and demands tend to drive wedges.”
  3. “My spouse’s criticisms about my behavior provide me with the clearest clue to her primary love language.”

There are a few things to keep in mind with acts of service. We cannot allow ourselves to become doormats for our spouse. “Allowing oneself to be used or manipulated by another is not an act of love…Love says, ‘I love you too much to let you treat me this way. It is not good for you or me.'” (p.109). Also, don’t allow stereotypical roles to deter you from doing an act of service for your spouse. “A willingness to examine and change stereotypes is necessary in order to express love more effectively. Remember, there are no rewards for maintaining stereotypes, but there are tremendous benefits to meeting the emotional needs of your spouse” (p.110).

Acts of service are something that we should all strive to do and show in our marriages and relationships. It builds up the other person and is a demonstration of love. This is especially true and essential though to someone who’s primary love language is acts of service.