Acts of Service Part 1 by Dr. Michael Brooks

I was watching my dad one day while I was a senior in high school, it was a Sunday morning and he was in the kitchen. He was fixing a breakfast for my mom. He went all out when he made her meals. Here was a retired Col in the army waiting on my mom, and he did this every Sunday. During the week he would help with doing the laundry, and cleaning the house. He did the grocery shopping; my dad really took good care of my mom. Why did he do that? Well, I suppose that being married to her had something to do with it, but it went beyond that. One of my dad’s love languages was acts of service; he loved helping others by doing things for them. When he passed away, many people came up to me and told me how my dad had helped them. He took many to Doctors appointments, drove them to get their groceries, and helped them with errands. He was a great example of acts of service.

I have also acquired that gift, and love helping others. When I meet with friends at Wendy’s 6:30 every Friday morning, I will make sure their coffee cups are filled, take and empty their food trays, it just comes naturally I guess. I love helping others. Acts of service is something we do to please our spouse, it means expressing love by doing things we know our spouse likes. Sometimes it takes some thought, planning and making things happen for our spouse. If you have to be asked by your spouse to do things for her/him, then you know Acts of Service is one of their primary love languages. A person whose love language is Acts of Service, feels loved when their spouse does things for them. I know my mom appreciated what my dad did for her. When someone does things for you, do you tell them how much that means to you? Many times I have done something for someone and have never been thanked, I am not looking for a thank you, but if your spouse is doing something for you and you don’t acknowledge and appreciate what they have done for you, then the person who is serving you doesn’t feel appreciated. When people do things for me, I tell them, thank you so much!

Now, if your spouse is not very good at doing acts of service for you, then it’s ok to sit down and talk about what they can do to help you. Make a list of 10 things they can do over the course of a month for you. Remember, most spouses cannot read minds, so as you share what you would like done, have a list, and start small. I don’t recommend a list with painting the house, or building an addition to your house. Start with small acts of service — things that can help you. Don’t demand that they do these things, if they haven’t been accomplished by the end of the month, it takes time.

I have a friend of mine whose wife bakes for him and their kids, she loves doing this for her family. He gets cakes, sweet breads, pies, cookies, and this happens to be one of the things he likes, and that is acts of service. He also is a man who serves others. He gives countless hours to serving those in his community. A good example of acts of service is a grandmother who loves serving her grandchildren. She makes them a special breakfast, prepares little snacks for them during the morning. She makes them their favorite peanut butter cookies for an afternoon snack. She will sit on the deck and watch them play for hours. This brings her joy as she serves her grandchildren. I like thinking about that example, maybe we should be doing that for our spouses. Just think of the joy that you would bring the person you love and are married to. I want you to make a list of 10 acts of service assignments that you would like to be done for you. Keep them simple, if this brings happiness to your spouse, give it a try. Next week we will be on part two on Acts of Service.

Are you having a difficult time in spending quality time with your spouse and need help? Is it difficult for you to know how to plan a quality time event? Do you want help in discovering your love languages or that of your spouse? If you answered yes to any of these questions, call Dr. Mike and set up an appointment to speak with him.

If you want to read past articles you can go to Mike’s blog at feel free to post your comments and or questions.

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