Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The four loves

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C. S. Lewis wrote his book exploring love from a Christian perspective “The Four Loves” in 1960. 

I am a fan of CS Lewis anyway, but this book specifically.  I read it first in my early twenties and it was such a comfort to me as I struggled with the idea of God loving us all.  I read it again in my LLM training when studying pastoral care and thinking about how we care for those who don't feel loved.

Today, a day of happiness for millions and yet sadness for many, seems the perfect day to share the book and the four kinds of love it describes.

1. Storage 
We all need affection, from our parents at birth, from wider family as we grow and from those we know throughout our lives.  This is the first and most core love which we receive and give and builds a store of love and acceptance within ourselves.  

A lack of storage love as a child can make further love difficult to give or receive.  In these situations children will seek love from adults whom they come into contact with at school, church and in their community.  As a society we would do well to give as much affection as possible.

2. Phileo 
This is the love of friendship; a choice of selection with the love that entails.  We give this love and we receive it throughout our lives.  As teenagers this can be the most valued love and have the most impact on our actions.

3. Eros 
As the name suggests this is romantic love, the intimate love between two people who fall in love.  This is a commitment between a couple for their ongoing lives together.

4. Agape 
This is the love otherwise known as charity.  It is the love of giving, the type that is the love of God.  We are able to receive this love throughout our life and from its receipt can then give it unconditionally to others.

I am lucky enough to be in receipt of all these types of love and I hope others feel them from me.  

Have you experienced some of these today?
I hope so.
Happy Valentines Day

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