About eighteen years ago, my marriage was shaky.
That’s not news to my circle of friends and church family members who knew me and my wife at the time.
It happens. It was my fault. It was her fault. Hard times in a marriage are something that you often create together as a couple.
The hard times are not the focus of this post.
It is the recovery.
For me to recover it was all about acts of service. I score low on this. My score means that my wife does not have to perform acts of service to fill my “love tank”. So far in our study of God Speaks Your Love Language, I have admitted to scoring high for words of affirmation and quality time, not acts of service.
To recover from our marriage problems, I had to learn to do acts of service for her. They mean a lot to her.
Why is this so?
Well it is not because the recipient is lazy or wants to be pampered.
In my opinion it is all about the body language.
You have heard the expressions “walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk” and the old saw “actions speak louder than words.” How about “talk is cheap.”
There’s a million of them.
What are these expressions all saying? To make a believer out of a skeptical person, you need to be able to show them that you care.
It took longer than a year to make a believer out of my wife.
First of all, I had to ask forgiveness for my workaholic ways. That was easy. That was just talk.
Then the hard part. I had to slowly quit doing all the extra things I had done at work. I was one of those people who always took on extra jobs and went beyond what was necessary to make my workplace better. Bosses liked me. My wife and child missed me.
I was never at home.
I went in and resigned my divisional leadership job.
I did my last campus talent show directing.
I quit coaching the speech team [no more late hour practice sessions and weekend trips].
I left work at a reasonable time and came home and started acting like a husband and father. Everday. Days when an emergency came up, I called. Gone were those days when my wife and son did not know where I was and when I was coming home.
When I was home, I started participating in the lives of my family.
I did things with them.
You get the point.
Communication researchers estimate that 65 to 93 percent of any message is nonverbal communication. In my case, saying I was going to be present was not enough. I had to be present.
Has God performed acts of service for you?
Do you think God would like for you to perform acts of service for others?
I think He would.
That’s the way we make believers out of others.
“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35