Since 1995, Gary Chapman’s theory of the five love languages has helped bring people together, inspiring attentiveness and clarity when it comes to expressing our feelings. According to Chapman, there are five main love languages and a person will feel the most loved when they are served according to their love language. The five love languages are:
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
In this five-part series, we will take a closer look at how each of these love languages can be used to minister to others in our sphere of influence. Consider this quote from Sydney S. Reynolds, former First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency:
“The Lord … knows who we are and where we are, and He knows who needs our help.”
To truly minister as Jesus Christ would, we need to know those we serve. This can only come through diligent seeking and investment. Our Heavenly Father knows how we need to be cared for, looked after, loved. Learning more about how to utilize someone’s love language can help us receive inspiration on how to minister.
How Do I Find Out Someone’s Love Language?
Before we dive in, here are a few tips on how to discern someone’s love language.
- Ask them! Love languages are popular and there is a good chance they’ve taken the test.
- Encourage them to take the test online.
- Observe how someone serves others. How they serve is most often how they would love to be served.
- Try different ways of serving based on the love languages and see what they respond to.
It is important to remember many love languages overlap; don’t become stressed about trying to force your ideas and inspiration into a certain set of guidelines or examples.
Acts of Service
Here is what it means if words of affirmation is your primary love language:
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. Finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts.
Now that we have taken a closer look at what acts of service means, let’s take a closer look at how we can use acts of service to minister.
Scriptural Examples of Acts of Service
Of all the love languages, acts of service is the one most clearly visible in the scriptures. Aaron and Hur held up the arms of Moses. Rebecca draws water for all of Eliezer’s camels. Ammon tended to the king’s flocks. Christ’s entire ministry consisted of service, including the greatest act of service: the Atonement.
A Few Rules About Acts of Service
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’d like to perform acts of service to minister to others.
- An act of service can be random and offered at a moment’s notice. You do not need to plan something elaborate or expensive.
- You need to truly focus on what someone else needs or desires. What we may want to do or what we may think someone needs is not always correct.
- Sometimes, when we perform an act of service, we do not always get the reaction or appreciation we feel we deserve. Strive to serve silently and without expectation of receiving. Do not call attention to what you have done.
Using Acts of Service to Minister to Others
At first glance, performing acts of service may seem simple. See, serve, do…right? While this is a good formula and we definitely do not want to overcomplicate things, a little more work is required to minister to others through acts of service.
At the heart of this love language is recognizing what someone needs or desires and serving them accordingly. However, we are not always able to see what someone is going through. It is important to remember Heavenly Father knows each heart and can inspire us on how to serve someone specifically.
- Try incorporating a few of these ideas into your life to perform more acts of service:
- Pray specifically to know what you can do to serve someone you love.
- Always act on a kind thought. Do not hesitate.
- Discover a stressor in someone’s life and do something to alleviate it.
- Perform acts of service that may seem unexpected.
Is your love language spending quality time with others? Let us know your ideas on how to minister. Check back next week for the next installment in this series.
In This Series
- Using Love Languages to Minister: Receiving Gifts
- Using Love Languages to Minister: Quality Time
- Using Love Languages to Minister: Words of Affirmation
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.