My brother-in-law is very generous. He loves giving gifts and doting on my sister and I will admit get mildly jealous from time to time. In fact it was downright frustrating for a while because my sister had gifts coming at her from all different directions and all I wanted was a birthday gift. Petty. I know. But I was getting very frustrated with my lack of material gain. I would complain to my sisters that my husband’s love language was not gift giving. This did nothing but water the seed of jealousy and discontentment in my life.
A life changing decision
I don’t know when it happened. But one day, I decided I would no longer complain about my husband’s lack of gift giving. I wouldn’t expect anything on Hallmark Holidays because I didn’t want to be disappointed. Once I did that, the unexpected happened.
God changed me.
Here I was thinking, hoping he would change and instead God changed me. Once I stopped bemoaning my lack of material gain, He opened my eyes to see what was right in front of me and He opened my heart to not only accept my husband for who he is, but to love him for it.
Understanding My Man
I’ve always know that my husband’s love language was not gift giving. He is a physical touch and quality time guy for sure. Really, if all we do is snuggle on the couch together in front of the T.V. then he is a happy man. But what I didn’t realize was that he is also and acts of service guy as well.
Once I understood this about him, it became clear to me that he’s been giving me gifts all along.
When we were dating he sacrificed a Saturday to push-mow my parent’s 2/3 of an acre yard because my Dad’s riding mower was broken. Paul S. was not asked to do it, but because he loved me, he came and did it anyway as an act of service to my Dad.
Other acts of service are things like doing the dishes for me while I’m out, doing the maintenance on our vehicles, taking care of the kids for me so I can get away for a bit, just to name a few.
Better than Stuff
Now that I see his acts of service as his gifts I’ve come to realize that his love language is just a good, if not better than gift giving. These acts always fit. They are just what I need because they usually mean I get a break from something. They don’t collect dust. They don’t create clutter. To be clear he does give me physical gifts from time to time. But they are practical gifts. In fact, for mother’s day last year he gave me a vacuum cleaner because he knew I wanted a new one. For Christmas he gave me fitness resistance bands, again because he had heard me mention that I wanted some. I often joke that if I were any other woman, I would have been offended by these things. But I see them for what they are. These are things that I will (and do) use all the time. They are things I mentioned or hinted at needing which means he is listening and meeting my needs. They don’t just sit taking up useful space.
In short, once I understood that his love language is acts of service, everything he does for me became a gift. He gives his words to encourage me. He gives his hands to hold me and serve me. He gives his time to do something for me.
Take the time to Understand
I didn’t write this just to brag on my hubby (but seriously he is amazing). I wrote it because I hope to help you shift your perspective. If you are an idealist like me it’s easy to let those ideals run your life. Likewise it’s easy for those ideals to ruin your life when they are unmet, especially when it comes to you marriage.
I want to encourage you to take the time to understand your spouse’s love language. I’m sure that once you do, then the reality will be much more fulfilling than any ideal you’ve ever dreamed.