How to Love Your Spouse with Acts of Service

Have you ever tried communicating with someone who speaks a different language? If you’re fluent in that language, well and good. But remember the struggle of trying to make yourself understood in a language you don’t know very well? 

The same holds true in relationships. Gary Chapman revolutionised the way people relate to one another when he shared his five love languages. He identified that people feel most loved in different ways: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gifts, and touch. 

For us, one of Joy’s top love languages is acts of service. She says that I look sexiest to her when—get this!—she sees me washing the dishes! 

But what if your spouse’s love language is acts of service—and you’re not the kind of person who loves serving other people? In this post, we want to offer some tips for you to find ways to make your partner feel loved, if he or she is someone who feels most loved when another person does something for him or her. 

 If your spouse feels most loved from acts of service, it doesn’t mean you have to serve all the time; one way of sending the message of love is to find at least one task that you mind doing the least. 
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Ways to Show Love to Someone Who Likes Acts of Service

Here are some ways to help you find ways to serve your spouse to make him or her feel loved:

1. Consider the kind of tasks that you would least mind doing.

If you are a person who doesn’t automatically serve other people, it can be challenging interacting with a spouse who feels most loved from acts of service. The good news is, it doesn’t mean you have to serve all the time; one way of sending the message of love is to find at least one task that you mind doing the least. 

In my example of me washing the dishes, to tell you the truth, I’m the kind of person who does NOT like doing household chores! In fact, if I can get away with doing any kind of work around the house, I would do that! But because I understand that Joy’s love language is acts of service, I need to find something that could send signals of affection that she is most able to receive. So what I did was, I looked at all the different chores that needed to be done at home, and chose the one that I least disliked. For me, washing dishes was the answer! 

But guess what? She says I look my manliest when she sees me at the kitchen sink doing the dishes, and that makes it all worth it, wouldn’t you say? 

2. Intentionally do that task as regularly as possible.

Again, when you are married to someone whose love language is acts of service, it doesn’t mean you’re destined to be a slave for life. The key is to be intentional at squeezing in these little actions, because our love tanks ebb and flow. In my case, I try to make it a point to do the dishes once every two days, because if I don’t, her love tank may get to running on empty—you don’t want your partner to explode from feeling unloved and THEN do the work, because by then, it won’t be as appreciated as when you initiated it yourself.

3. Regularly ask if you can help with anything.

Another way to make your acts of service partner feel loved is to ask, regularly and without needing to be nudged, if you can help with anything. For example, when Joy is busy preparing for an evening with guests, I have to be sensitive and offer if there’s anything she would need me to do. That beats having to wait until she’s slamming dishes and doors to get my attention, wouldn’t you agree? 

4. Follow through when you say you’ll do something!  

Nothing irritates a person who loves acts of service more than saying you will do something and then forgetting to do it! So our advice is, don’t overpromise! Make sure that when you offer to do something, it’s within your capacity to fulfill within a reasonable time. 

5. Brush up on do-it-yourself skills.

Learning to do new things can help you improve on offering acts of service. For example, a guy I know learned to make specialty coffee at home, and one of their favourite date times—at home—is when the husband makes nice latte art on coffee and matcha and they sit at the kitchen counter sipping and talking. 

Of course, it doesn’t have to be as elaborate as learning to make latte art! The same wife feels just as loved when her husband makes her a glass of cold green tea while she’s working—and all it takes it to put a tea bag in hot water and add some ice! 

If you and your spouse aren’t the homemaking type, you can make it an adventure to learn something new, like cooking pasta or baking a sweet treat. (Then, if one of you happens to feel loved through quality time, it’ll be hitting two birds with one stone!) 

Finding Ways to Serve Your Spouse 

The bottom line with knowing our spouse’s love language is for us to find ways to serve them in the way that best sends a message of affection to them. We encourage you to learn more about the five love languages so you can strengthen connection and intimacy in your marriage! 

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