5 Love Languages: Part 4

Acts of Service

What it is: Doing things you know your spouse would like you to do. Acts of service are expressing your love to your spouse by serving her and doing things for her.

Acts of service take thought, planning, time, effort and energy. If done with a positive spirit, they are indeed expressions of love.

If we look at the lifestyle of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, we know that he helped out at home. He, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was an ideal husband. One time, the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wanted to help Safiyya radiyallahu ‘anha get on a camel, so he knelt on the floor so that Safiyya could climb onto his leg and get on the camel.[1] Men can try to incorporate this example by opening car doors for their wives. It seems like such a simple gesture (and maybe stupid to some men), but if the husband just does it with a sincere smile, he’ll get some serious brownie points :o)

On that note, it’s interesting how we slowly drop doing all of the things we did when we were newly weds. Maybe it’s because we have drifted into a secure zone where we feel that those things aren’t necessary to prove our love, or maybe it’s just because we’re so busy that we don’t remember small gestures…but we should remember to always try and keep the spark in our marriages.

In marriage, we cannot demand things of our spouse. If you feel that you know he loves you when he changes the baby’s diaper, don’t demand that he do it.

Requests give direction to love, but demands stop the flow of love.

Tips if your Spouse’s Primary Love Language is Acts of Service

1.       Ask your spouse to make a list of ten things that he or she would like for you to do during the next month. Then ask your spouse to prioritize them 1-10 (1 being most important). Use this list to plan your strategy for a month of love.

2.       While your spouse is away, get the kids to help you with some act of service for him. When he returns, he’ll be in for a surprise!

3.       Do some major acts of service like washing the car, cooking a meal, painting a bedroom, washing the deck, and then post a sign that reads, “To [spouse’s name], with love.” And sign your name.

4.       Periodically ask your spouse, “If I could do one special act of service this week, what would you request?”

[1] Fiqh of Love notes, taught by Shaykh Yaser Birjas

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