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Love and marriage


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Part 3: The different forms of love

(Content of this section: A list of the different forms of love in relationships, with definitions)


You also write about love. You speak of how precious love is. I agree!

It is worth though considering what love is. Or, I should say, it is a great help - in understanding relationships especially marriage relationships - to be clear about the different forms of love.

In English we say the one word "love" where in Greek there are four words. Our word "love" actually covers four kinds of love, namely, 1) agape, that is, spiritual love or the love of God; 2) storge, that is, family love; 3) philia, that is, the love between friends what we usually call brotherly; and 4) eros, that is, love experienced between a man and a woman when sexual feelings stir between them.

(Content of this section: A look at the often transient nature of being in love, this is about the form of love called 'eros')


It is this latter kind of love which someone is experiencing when they tell you they have fallen in love. It's a great experience. It comes in that wonderful rainbow-like section of the spectrum of human emotion. Its downside, though, is that since one can in an instant fall in love one can also in an instant fall out of love and it isn't always too easy to fall back in it again.

It's strange, in a sense, that eros is in many ways the most transient of the forms of love and yet it gets the most attention. Some people even seem to make it the one zone in life that you're always supposed to be attempting to land in or trying to stay in.

(Content of this section: A look at the enduring form of love called 'agape' and how we can have it)


In fact, of the four forms of love there is one that endures forever and that one is agape - the love of God. The love of God has got it all. This is the one to be really aiming to always land in and stay in. This is the one that rises above every common strain in relationships and sets people who are in it in a zone without fear that is full of intense expectation of good.

The love of God is spiritual love. This love cannot be conjured up by man. It has to be imparted into your life by the Holy Spirit. One of the amazing things about receiving Jesus into your life is that when He comes to you He calls on the Holy Spirit to pour out God's love in your heart.

(Content of this section: The author tells how the presence of the enduring 'agape' can make 'eros' both deeper and an ongoing experience)


I have written about this kind of love (agape) and my experience of it and put it in a web page entitled "How to love". You will find this in Stage 4 of my Bible Study on this web site.

Now, in marriage there is a wonderful opportunity to allow the love of God (agape) to make the sexual love (eros) no longer a fleeting feeling but an enduring experience between the man and the woman. A couple living together in agape can stay in love (eros) with one another without falling out of it! In fact, having fallen in love then by God's love they can make that eros feeling grow deeper and more special as each day of their marriage goes by!

This is why I recommend marriage as a glorious part of human life!

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