Why I Thank My Husband for Doing the Dishes

I quietly shut the door to Sister’s room while exhaling the long day. She’s down for the night (fingers crossed) and I realize that I haven’t brushed my hair or teeth. It’s almost eight o’clock and I feel like a disheveled mess.

I tip toe across the hallway, peek in my son’s room and see Husband in the dim of the night light holding Bubby as they say their prayers. I quietly shut the door and stand in the middle of the hallway and start to have a conversation with myself. It goes something like this:

Should I clean up the house a little or clean up myself a little? I always clean.

Husband should be cleaning. I had to clean an explosive poop in Bubby’s bed from nap time today, followed by an A+ toddler meltdown. All the while I got spit up on more times than I can count by the adorable Sissy. No wonder I feel like a mess. I literally am covered in it. I have zero energy to take care of anyone else today. Why am I expected to do everything?!

I’ve mentioned before how I can easily get stuck in a bad cycle in little moments like this. I can easily go to my “keeping track of all that you do wrong” for my husband and say to myself “he lives here too and he can clean the house if he wants it clean.” A valid point but it’s not coming from a good place when I yell it from my heart.

These are the kinds of arguments I have in my head, especially since I became a mama who stays home with the maniacs kiddos.

If you aren’t careful, the Enemy’s whispers can become pretty loud in moments like the one I had in the hallway. John Eldredge likes to call them agreements. (He has a FANtastic book called Love and War. It’s UH-mazing.).

When the Enemy whispers lies about our spouse to our hearts and we nod our heart yes in vigorous agreement, we’ve just made an agreement with the Enemy about our spouse.



Instead of getting frustrated with Husband and telling him off, I decide to take a breath and shower first; at least then I can be a disheveled mess who smells clean. I give the whispering imp a shake from my shoulder.

As I dry my hair off with a towel, I hear dishes clanking from downstairs.

Instantly I know Husband is doing the dishes.

And instantly I’m washed over with gratitude.

You see Husband’s main love language is acts of service, which means that he feels most loved when I do acts of service for him like make meals or rub his back. And I’m sure you’ve guessed it by now: he feels loved when I keep the house picked up.

And I’ll let you in on another little secret: my husband is especially good at loving ME with acts of service.

Having different love languages can create a lot of tension in a home if not approached with grace. For one, acts of service is NOT my main love language and two, he lives here also and I’m all about that equal partnering stuff in the home so why should I be expected to do all these acts of service just because it’s his main love language?!

But then Grace comes along and gently tugs my heart when I’m drying my hair off and hear him doing dishes downstairs.

Grace opens my eyes to see all the times he shows me love with acts of service, like doing dishes after a busy dinner. I think of how he always takes the trash out for me on trash day so I don’t have to worry.

If you stopped and let Grace open your eyes to ways your husband shows you love when you’re not paying attention, what woud you see?

I realize all the things he does do for our family when he could say “you’re home so you should do it.” (I get fumey just writing that! Ahh!)

Grace reminds me to accept this form of love even though it’s not my main love language.

Let’s say that again:
Grace reminds me to accept this form of love even though it’s not my main love language.

I don’t know about you but this IS SO HARD for me to accept sometimes. While I love that we know each other’s love language, I feel like we get tunnel vision from this revelation.

Yes, it’s great to know how your spouse loves to be loved. Yes, it is an invaluable tool to know these things about our spouse. BUT I get this tunnel vision that says, “Hey! He’s not loving me in my love language so I don’t feel loved!”. And what a problem that is.

Obviously, my husband loves me. And if I wasn’t so focused on getting him to figure out how to love me in my love language, I would see how he loves me a lot in other ways.

Like when he washes the dishes after we’ve both had a long day but he does it because he knows I’m exhausted.

So next time I start feeling overwhelmed like I’m the one who does everything, I have to stop and ask myself what that really means. Am I really doing everything or am I looking at my relationship with tunnel vision?

Are you looking at your relationship with tunnel vision?

When I walked into the kitchen and saw husband hunched over the sink, I stepped close behind him and whispered thank you. Thank you for doing the dishes.

Because in that moment, I felt just how much he loved me.


Do you and your husband have opposite love languages? Read on for this essential and important love language tip for your marriage.
10 replies
  1. Mary Leigh
    Mary Leigh says:

    Love this so much! This same thing happened to me this week. It can be especially hard when we stay at home. I always feel like I SHOULD be able to keep things together, but then when it isn’t, I can let myself feel resentful that I am the one doing it all. Of course, I’m not doing it all and my husband is so helpful around the house. But boy, the enemy likes to hide that some days!

  2. Bethany Shields
    Bethany Shields says:

    Oh, my! This is me and my husband, too. He does so much around the house and I am so grateful for it. Also, I loved the part about the ways the enemy can talk you into agreement about what all you should feel frustrated with your spouse about. That’s such an accurate depiction. Thanks! Pinning this.

  3. Jordan | Read. Eat. Repeat.
    Jordan | Read. Eat. Repeat. says:

    It’s such an easy trap to fall into, thinking that if they don’t love you in just the right way they must not love you all that much at all. So glad you let grace teach your heart so you could enjoy your husband’s gift, and I hope I remember this post when I’m tempted to get righteous about who does what at our house 🙂

  4. Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms
    Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms says:

    The Love languages book really opened my eyes! It is so true that often when we are feeling unloved it is because we are expecting the other person to love us in our love language, whether they know it or not. I think it is also so important to thank each other for things like doing the dishes, because that tiny bit of gratitude that takes no time to say can make a huge difference in someone feeling appreciated!


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