Sunday, October 23, 2005

four loves

This is one of the things that I have read during my semestral break it is actually an overview of the book Four Loves by CS Lewis.

I have just read the overview since I do not have the money…yet, to buy the book.

This concept presents the four types/division of Love. Its starts with AFFECTION.

Affection teaches us first to notice, then to endure, then to smile at, then to enjoy and finally to appreciate the people who just 'happen to be there'.

This range of people is odder than you would have believed and worth more than you would have guessed.

Of all the loves Affection is the easiest to give as it requires only the continued presence of the person or object over time.

We can have Affection for those with whom, over the years, we still do not agree and is broadest in scope as it attaches itself as a bond between the young, old, fair, homely, rich, poor, intelligent and simple.

Affection does not seek reliance, but rather "space", or room, for differences to reside and cooperate in a cohesive, peaceful, cooperative manner.
Affection should be kept in balance in terms of Reasoning, Justice & Decency.

Reasoning-to know when you are effecting good or bad towards others.
Justice- to give and receive somewhat equally.
Decency-to practice affection with patience, self-denial, humility, and dependence on another, higher lover. (Agape love.)

Affection (and/or Friendship, Eros love) will go bad on us if we apply them alone without the application of that Godly love which provides the base and fills the holes that the more natural loves fall short in.

The second type is FRIENDSHIP.

What is the differences between Friends and Lovers?

-Lovers... often speak of their love for each other to one another.
-Friends... rarely speak of the friendship to one another, instead tend to accept it as a "given" and operate in it when together.

-Lovers... often speak both physically and in mental perception face-to-face, absorbed in each other.
-Friends... side-by-side, absorbed in some common interest, goal or philosophy.

Eros love is (healthily) between two, and only two. Friendship can increase in its enjoyment by the addition of two, three or more so long as the interest, goal or philosophy is somewhat the same as a common bond.

Friendship is born from "companionship", the discovery of common interest between acquaintances.

Companionship/acquaintances are not necessarily Friendships.

Lovers seek for privacy.

Friends pull from the herd in becoming friends but would appreciate a 3rd, 4th or 5th party on the same terms.

Unity among friends is inward, unity among companions/acquaintances is outward.

Friendship makes use of information only as it is needed, casually. Friendship does not have prerequisites of attraction, class, marital status, age, etc.

Third is EROS LOVE.

Eros love includes sexuality, but sexuality is NOT, in itself, Eros love.

Sexual desire, without Eros love, wants only sex.

Eros wants, during sex, the intimacy of the beloved.

A lustful man does not "want a woman"; a woman is merely to him a necessary apparatus to fulfill his desires.

Eros love moves between serious episodes of romance and lighthearted escapades of play. It is not all one or the other, but both.

Eros love is a shadow of, or even a hands-on preparatory exercise in, Agape love.

But it is not and cannot deliver of itself the selfless type of love found in Agape, Godly love. It is

God's Spirit living and working within us which makes Agape love possible in our lives.

Lastly we have AGAPE/GODLY LOVE.

Affection, Friendship and Eros find their fullness of glory only when submitted to Charity. "This does not make them bad, for being less.

A garden is a good thing but will only be different from a wilderness if it is pruned, mowed and weeded. Even so, these loves need the care of Charity love in order to be kept in their proper perspective, produce good fruit and remain sweet.

"As a man and a garden will not survive without rain and sunshine, even these loves can only grow well, if at all, in a man's heart when God's Charitable, selfless love is allowed to enter, bless, and work the garden's promise and the gardener's toil into a fruitful enterprise.

"Love's proper place is to God himself. To love at all involves risk of heartache, but far better this than to lock up our hearts in a coffin where they grow cold and hard, irredeemable. We trust it is God's wisdom to prune, and not to destroy, that which He planted in our hearts and therefore we embrace the learning of His love."

"If any man come after me and hate not his father and mother and wife and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." To hate, in this sense, is to set ourselves against anything, any other love even, that would try to position itself higher than God's type of love or love for God. To obey

God, rather than our nearest and dearest friends, family or lover may indeed be perceived by them as hateful.

When two agree, as in man and wife, to place Charity above the other loves then they need not oppose each other's obedience to God's love.

Divine love, Charity, desires what is best for the beloved. God loves us who are unlovable, not attractive to God in the least, it was He who first loved us.

In Eros, to love man or woman more, or disproportionately, than God will require surrender before the true fullness of Eros can be realized.

We need not throw away silver to make room for gold... we need merely to acknowledge the gold as far superior to the silver and hold it over anything else.

In even the smallest daily acts (a game, a joke, a chat, a dinner..) we can exercise either the love that is in need or the love that gives.

Same for Eros love.

Give and it will be given to you.

"To him that has more shall be given, to him that has not, even what little he has shall be taken from him."

The first 3 loves are capable among men to some degree. Charity is purely of God. "The natural loves are called to become perfect Charity and also perfect natural loves.

As God becomes man, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the Manhood into God, so here; Charity does not dwindle into merely natural love; but natural love is taken up into, made the tuned and obedient instrument of, Love Himself."

*thank you to

Grace Bible Church