If Acts of Service is your primary love language, you can tell people that it is. You don’t have to hide this under a table and leave others to guess what your primary love language is. It is a bible love language.
Practicing Acts of Service takes a little bit of learning if we are not used to it. Acts of Service can be, cooking a meal, setting the table, washing the dishes, making coffee for your spouse, paying the bills, etc…
If you are not used to someone who loves Acts of Service, sit down and make a list of things that you know will tell your loved one that he or she has been attended to and helped.
Problems in marriage can arise from being insensitive to your spouses love language. The “5 Love Languages” book talks about people who are not in tune with their spouse’s loving Acts of Service.
Mark and Mary both spoke the same love language. Before they were married, he did lots of things to please her. After marriage, things slowed down and they began to have trouble. The author tried to help them see that, what their partner wanted, was for those acts of service to continue.
Sometimes there are things that happen by default. People get married and they take for granted that the other will do certain things. Over time, when things fall to the other, resentment builds up. When Saturday comes around, the husband may decide to go hunting or 4-wheeling, or playing paintball. What if this happens every weekend?
There was a couple that hadn’t been married too long. One of the them loved river rafting. The other spouse was shown how much fun it was, but the couple didn’t go river rafting together much. A pattern of very selfish behavior began to take place. The spouse that loved river rafting went out about five weekends in a row, with friends. The other spouse said, “you love river rafting more than you love me.” It was the straw that broke the camel’s back in their marriage. The one that loved rafting was not the type of person that we would call a jerk. Selfishness is selfishness. If you have someone else you need to please, just pleasing yourself will not cover Acts of Service, or any other love language.
When one prefers act of services from their loved one, but their loved one has a hard time giving that, friction and tension comes. You both say to yourself that you will not knuckle under until the other apologizes. If it is really bad, there can be times when days go by and there’s very little communication between you. Pride and selfishness is what is getting in the way.
The frustration of one person might say, I really am the one who is at fault, but I can’t do what they want me to do. I would do it if I could. Or, one may go ahead and deny self to appease the other, but might still have the frustration. Denying self is not always enough to solve the problem.
A Doormat is for wiping your feet. A doormat is a person forever giving and serving someone else and there’s nothing coming back. Serving someone else is not about being a doormat. You may walk around thinking you have to be the doormat to the world. It is part of the destructiveness of shame. It is not OK for someone to be a doormat in a relationship. Acts of Service have nothing to do with being a doormat.
How should we deal with things?
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
Make a Request: Requests gives direction to love, but demands stops the flow of love. The more we demand one of another, the hotter it gets. The more tense it gets the more the flow of love is blocked.
Look for clues: If Acts of Service is ones primary love language, that one wants some help. They may be burning the candle at both ends. Look for ways to help lift that ones load.
Ask: We must ask the other person, “how do you want me to satisfy your love language?” When Christ met the woman at the well, what did he do first? He was a man encountering another individual. What did Jesus do? He asked questions. He was trying to get to know her. He didn’t make a lot of statements. He was trying to demonstrate to her, “I understand your problem.” He conveyed to her that he didn’t have his own selfish agenda.
Listen: Every good conversation starts with good listening. Acts of Service means listening to see what they want. We need to pay attention to what the other person is saying. We must listen to understand. Love will help us with that. The average person only listens for 17 seconds before they are ready to interject their own thoughts. We need to resist that temptation. Try repeating back, in your own words, the message you are getting from them. This will help the other person know you heard them and it will also reinforce, in your mind, what was said. It can also open a door to discuss any misunderstanding of what the other is trying to convey. Listening in love is vital, for when a person begins to open up their heart to you, they are making their self vulnerable to you. Be careful with their heart.
Show thankfulness: Acts of Service should always be followed by ‘Words of Affirmation.’ How many times do acts of service happen and we don’t say anything? When we acknowledge what they have done, it creates a willingness to perform more acts of service. If we never say anything, the person giving the acts of service may wonder if you appreciated it. He or she may feel taken for granted.
Acts of Service are given out of a heart of love because the other loves them. Don’t you love to give to someone who loves Acts of Service?
Stereotypes or Countertypes
We know that a woman is generally a much better person to nurture an infant than a man. Jobs that require extremely heavy lifting are usually more suitable for the male counterpart. If we are not careful, We can start to imbibe thoughts of shame for such things as opening the door for a woman or giving our seat up for an elderly person. Some people will have to argue with God if they want to bring stereotypes and sexism into some Acts of Service.
Applying Acts of Service to Our Children
Is your child’s love language Acts of Service? A lot of times kids may not know what they prefer as a love language. We must listen for clues, especially when they become a teenager. We need to pick up clues. If we wait until they are out of the home, we have missed an opportunity that can never be retrieved. Our job is more than to parent them; We need to love them in their own love language.
If Acts of Service is your child’s love language, some examples of demonstrating love to them may be- cooking them their favorite meal, driving them to a special event, helping them with homework or even a household chore. Try helping them to clean a bedroom that has become overwhelmingly cluttered, without lectures and sighs, or rearranging their room with them. Look for ways and gestures that say, “I need help with this.” Listen to them when they are talking to you. Listen to their body language. Let your love and devotion guide your heart.
we can teach our children to do acts of service for others and help them understand that when you provide an act of service for someone, you are expressing love.
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