Marriage

Acts of Service

My husband is turning me into an acts of service person.

Every night we turn down the heat. (It’s a serious money saver my friends.) More often than not, one of us forgets to change the thermostat until just before we get in bed. The other night, Aaron was already snuggled under the covers, and just before I was about to hop in bed, I realized I hadn’t turned down the heat. Naturally, I asked him if he had already adjusted the thermostat because I didn’t want to go back downstairs if the job was already done.

“No, I didn’t,” he replied, “I’ll go do it.”

“No,” I said. “I can do it. I’m up, and you’re already in bed. I was just checking because I didn’t want to go all the way downstairs if you’d already turned it down.”

“No. I’m going to turn it down.”

“Why? I’m already out of bed. I can do it.”

“Because I love you,” he answered, as he kissed me on the cheek and walked out the bedroom door.

Cue my melting heart.

(There should be a melting heart emoji. Though I suppose that could be interpreted as the melting heart of the Wicked Witch of the West, so never-mind. Bad idea.)

Acts of service is not my natural love language. I’m more of a give-me-your-undivided-attention, preferably over coffee, type of person. However, my husband’s love language is acts of service, and he has it in spades. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can learn about The 5 Love Languages here.)

Aaron takes acts of service very seriously. If I’m upstairs putting the baby to bed, Aaron is downstairs doing the dishes I neglected all day. When I need a break, he watches Desirae so I can take a nap. If we’re watching one of our TV shows, he offers to get me something to drink. He carries Desirae and the diaper bag from the car, unloads the groceries, takes out the dog, and picks me up Starbucks on his way home from work. Plus, Aaron works long hours so he can put food on the table and keep me at home with Desirae. How did I get such a self-sacrificing man?

I’m a lucky girl.

When you’re married, you learn how to love your spouse in the ways he naturally feels loved. You learn to speak his love language. But what I’ve come to realize is that you must also learn how to be loved in ways you don’t prefer. It’s important to fully appreciate the love languages I’m not partial to. We must learn to love differently and be loved differently. When I take a moment to cherish Aaron’s acts of service, I feel loved. If I was always waiting to be loved in the ways I want, I would become an ungrateful, bitter, and self-centered person. I would miss so much of the love my husband bestows on me everyday.

Over the years, I’ve grown a fondness for Aaron’s acts of service toward me. Now, I find myself naturally serving him and others as a way of saying, “I love you.” I would miss Aaron’s love language if he stopped, because I’ve learned to recognize that every time he turns down the thermostat, he is saying, “Heather, I love you.”

 

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