5 Love Languages Study Continued

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Good morning friends. Its Marriage Monday! Hope your weekend was blessed. What did you do this weekend to make your marriage a priority? We have a bible study on Sunday evenings with 7 other couples that helps draw us closer to God and ourselves. We spent time talking and sharing ourselves. It was very nice.

Love Language #4 Acts of Service

Acts of service is 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. Such actions as cooking a meal, setting a table, washing dishes, vacuuming, cleaning a commode, changing the baby’s diaper, dusting the bookcase, keeping the car in operating condition, pay the bills, trimming the shrubs walking the dog, changing the cat’s liter box, and dealing wit landlords and insurance companies are all acts of service. They require thought, planning, time, effort, and energy. If done with a positive spirit, they are indeed expressions of love.

Love is always freely given. Love cannot be demanded. We can request things of each other, but we must never demand anything. Requests gives direction to love, but demands stop the flow of love.

What we will do for each other before marriage is no indication of what we will do after marriage. Before marriage, we are carried along by the force of the in-love obsession. After marriage, we revert to being the people we were before we “fell in love.” Our actions are influenced by the model of our parents, our own personality, our perceptions of love, our emotions, needs, and desires. Only one thing is certain about our behavior: it will not be the same behavior we exhibited when we were caught up in being “in love.”

Love is a choice and cannot be coerced. Making requests of each other rather than demands marriage will begin to turn around. Criticism and demands tend to drive wedges. With enough criticism, you may get acquiescence from your spouse. He may do what you want, but probably it will not be an expression of love. You can give guidance to love by making requests: “I wish you would wash the car, change the baby’s diaper, mow the grass,” but you cannot create the will to love. Each of us must decide daily to love or not to love our spouses. If we choose to love, then expressing it in the way in which our spouse requests will make our love most effective emotionally.

People tend to criticize their spouse most loudly in the area where they themselves have the deepest emotional need. Their criticism is an ineffective way of pleading for love. If we understand that, it may help us process their criticism in a more productive manner. A wife may say to her husband after he gives her criticism, “It sounds like that is extremely important to you. Could you explain why it is so crucial?” Criticism often needs clarification. Initiating such a conversation may eventually turn the criticism into a request rather than a demand.

Doormat or Lover?

A doormat is an inanimate object. You can wipe your feet on it, step on it, kick it around, or whatever you like. It has no will of it’s own. It can be your servant but not your lover. When we treat our spouses as objects, we preclude the possibility of love. Manipulation by guilt (“If you were a good spouse, you would do this for me”) is not the language of love. Coercion by fear (“You will do this or you will be sorry”) is alien to love. No person should ever be a doormat. We may allow ourselves to be used, but we are in fact creatures of emotion, thoughts, and desires. And we have the ability to make decisions and take action. Allowing oneself to be used or manipulated by another is not an act of love. It is, in fact, an act of treason. You are allowing him or her to develop inhumane habits. Love says, “I love you too much to let you treat me this way. It is not good for you or me.”

Learning the love language of acts of service will require some of us to reexamine our stereotypes of the roles of husbands and wives. These are changing, but models from our past can linger.

Due to the sociological changes of the past forty years, we no longer cling to certain notions of the male and female role in American society. Yet that does not mean that all stereotypes have been eradicated. It means, rather, that the number of stereotypes has multiplied. Before the days of widespread media influence, a person’s idea of what a husband or wife should do and how he or she should relate was influenced primarily by one’s own parents. With the pervasiveness of television, increased mobility, growing cultural diversity, and the proliferation of single-parent families, however, role models are often influenced your spouse perceives marital roles somewhat differently that you do. 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.

YOUR TURN:
Many acts of service will involve household chores, but not all. What are some non-chore ways of serving your mate?

We love hearing your comments on how this study is helping your marriage. Please let us know what changes you are seeing in yourself and your spouse.

Serving with Joy,
Sonya

P.S. Acts of service is a far greater gift! Allows more time to spend with each other by helping each other out….breaking the stereotypes that man have made.

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About Sonya

I am a sinner saved by grace trying to move through this broken world as a wife, mom and homeschooler. I have 3 gorgeous sons {24, 17 & 11} and a wonderful husband of 13 years, that have my heart! I don’t have all the answers however sharing my life with you in hopes that it will drawer you closer to Him. I pray that when you leave here you walk away knowing Him better.

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