Acts of Service

This past weekend my husband was inducted by our college to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It has been a long time since we were in college, and we have lived a lot of life in the ten years since that time. After college, my husband joined the Army, where we have been through 6 overseas deployments, moved 6 times, and then transitioned out of the Army and moved back to our home state of New Mexico. In some ways, we closed the chapter of life on baseball, and moved on. Because of this, I forgot just how good he really was, and the influence he had on those around him in college.

For the induction we traveled to Louisiana, and it was the first time in years we had been back. For my husband, It was the first time he had seen some of the old players since he was on the mound. A friend asked me about my trip, and I told her that my favorite aspects of the trip was seeing him recognized for his hard work, and listening to some of the stories about him and the way he influenced people on and off the field. And after I said this, I realized this is a prime example of his love language; Acts of Service.

In many ways, and especially in college, he has always been the quiet type. When he lead on the baseball field, and in the Army, he led through his actions, not his words. He showed how much he truly cared by the actions he took and the standards he set for himself. These were the stories we heard. Players who came after him heard stories from coaches about his character on and off the field. I heard on The Art of Charm recently that “if actions speak louder than words; why would you let your actions say something you would never verbally say.” This is my husband; he doesn’t always verbally express his thoughts and emotions, but his actions and acts of service show exactly how he feels.

This past weekend made me truly love and appreciate exactly his love language, and to learn to be more receptive and mindful of viewing Acts of Service as an expression of love. On a smaller scale, these acts of service can often go unnoticed. They can be simple tasks of taking out the trash, washing the car, helping with the dishes. They are the behaviors which can go unnoticed when they are done, but when they aren’t receive the most criticism, example The Hangers. Chapman explains that “people tend to criticize their spouse most loudly in the area where they themselves have the deepest emotional need.” This was such a profound way of differentiating the ways in which we best receive love. How often do we hear someone complaining ‘my husband doesn’t take out the trash, or do the dishes or help with the kids’ These statements are at their roots asking for demonstrations of love, through Acts of Service. Think about the area where you are most critical of your spouse, I feel like Chapman’s statement perfectly explains why we are critical in these areas.

Chapman further explains, we must remember that we can request things of each other but we must never demand anything. It’s like that old saying “You get more bees with honey than vinegar” Ask nicely, speak kindly, be aware of what you are saying and how you are saying it. Be cognizant of those acts of service which are being done, and give show recognition and gratitude. The more appreciation that is shown for actions, the more likely your spouse will want to be helpful and express Acts of Service. As Zig Ziglar says “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” You really do get more bees with honey than vinegar.

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