If we are honest, the words “I love you” may be the most desired sentence we will ever hear. It makes women blush and men stand up straight and square their shoulders. These words speak to our inner nature – our need to be accepted and valued for who we are. The theme of love is in nearly every movie that has been made and is included in almost every novel ever written. Shelves of books are dedicated entirely to romantic love.
Three kinds of love
Phileo is a word that describes the warm affection or a strong preference for someone or something. This type of love serves as motivation to treat another person kindly. This is “I love you because of who you are.” We can have this type of love for brothers, sisters, and friends.
Agape is the word describing love that is self-sacrificing and spiritual in nature. This is “I love you no matter who you are or what you do” kind of love. Pure agape love is found only in God although we mere mortals sometimes experience touches of it.
The love that is generally found in romantic novels and movies is called Eros. We get the word erotic from it. It is physical or sexual love or desire. Eros describes loving someone for what they can do for us. Eros is a God given desire, designed to enhance the relationship between a man and wife. Sexual love is meant to cause feelings of well-being and happiness, thus deepening the bond between husband and wife. When combined with the other forms of love it begins to include concentrating on what we can do for our spouse.
Unfortunately, our culture has perverted Eros love by selecting certain physical traits of both men and women as more desirable and often essential in making a person desirable. If those physical traits diminish with age or if another person is more attractive in this area, attention is drawn away from the relationship. Our own tendency toward self-centeredness causes us to focus only on how another person fulfills our desires and fantasies. This makes that person expendable. Eros that remains self-centered leads to disintegrating marriages and the endless search of a relationship to fulfill our self-centered desires.
Eros in itself is not sin, but is meant to be a beautiful part of a marriage. Our fallen, sinful nature allows it to be destructive when not kept in perspective.
To keep romantic love in a marriage; a husband focuses on the needs of his wife and a wife on the needs of her husband. Keeping God at the center of the relationship blesses the marriage and allows all forms of love to be experienced.
A Walk With the Women of the Bible
EBook by Lynne Chapman
Join me in getting to know some amazing
women of the Bible
while we extract valuable insights and
lessons from their lives.
Now available for Kindle under new title
A Walk With EVE
Also availble in paperback from Cafe Press.
Names of God Ebook
Almighty God. The Creator of heaven and earth.
Our God is given names in Scripture that
describe the characteristics of His personality.
Experience God through the names given Him in Scripture.