As you might have noticed, this month we’re talking about love languages. It seems like this topic can be very challenging for a lot of couples out there. Either they don’t know their love language or they don’t know their spouse’s. In some cases, there is no open communication about the topic. But something that isn’t talked about (or very little) is that your love language can change. This actually happened to me in the months since our son was born. Acts of service suddenly became a top love language of mine. So today, I hope to offer you an avenue to discuss this with your husband.
Prior to my son’s birth, I could easily say my top two love languages were quality time and words of affirmation. The others didn’t really matter to me much. In the course of our marriage relationship, it has forced me to define how I feel loved according to my love language. For instance, it means a lot to me when my husband gives me his undivided attention (i.e. no phones, tablets, etc.) and we have a positive discussion.
And then our beautiful son came along and something… changed. Not only did I battle spurts of postpartum depression, I felt like my love tank perpetually was empty- along with my energy. I craved attention from my husband, yes, and I was desperate for him to tell me I was doing a good job, both true. But I discovered I felt special and cared for when he took the time to do a chore or task for me. I had always appreciated his help around the house but it had never touched me this way before. So now, I say I have three love languages. Quality time, words of affirmation, and acts of service.
The Acts of Service love language is defined on Gary Chapman’s website as “for these people [with this love language] actions speak louder than words.” (Brackets, mine.) While words remain deeply important to me, my husband’s actions mean a lot now, too. It might be a good idea to retake the love language test every year or after you’ve entered a new season and you’ve found yourself feeling unloved.
But, for those of you who can’t relate to this love language, what does acts of service look like practically? It can mean different things for men and women. It can depend on the different roles already established in the home, such as who does what, chore delegation, etc. However, I have tried to come up with a non-comprehensive list for both guys and ladies to help you out whether you’re a husband seeking ideas for your wife or a wife desperate to make her man feel loved.
- Pack his lunch
- Take a turn cooking and make his favorite
- Take out the trash for him (assuming he does this most of time)
- Do something for him that’s normally his responsibility
- Do something for him that you know he doesn’t like to do
- Clean up the kitchen
- Do dishes
- Do laundry
- Go grocery shopping
- Do something for her that’s normally her responsibility
- Do something for her that you know she doesn’t like to do
You can really simplify acts of service to everyday tasks to make your loved one’s day easier. Hopefully my list will get your imagination going and you’ll come up with ideas of your own. Remember that you don’t have to do everything at once. It’s best to spread out your ideas and surprise your loved one in some way at least once a week. When you do that, you have a better chance at keeping their love tank topped off.
I encourage you to initiate an open discussion with your husband about what makes you feel loved and unloved. Communication is key to nearly everything and can make your life much, much easier. That said, don’t focus on the negative. Rather, focus on what you can do to get better at speaking your spouse’s love language. It will take time but you can do it!
Is your love language Acts of Service? What makes you feel loved? Share in the comments!