C.S. Lewis wrote a book entitled “The Four Loves”. In the book he defines and critiques the four different loves experienced by all of us as humans and concludes that while the first three loves have their virtues they can also be distorted by our sinful natures (yes you do have one). He promotes and extols agape love as the highest and best form of love.
Eros, phileo, storge, and agape. I have experienced all of those loves in one woman: My wife Yvette
Eros came easy. She is a brown skinned beauty with a smile that lights up my world like the stars in a clear desert sky. One look and I want to hold her and caress her. She draws me to her with the sparkle in her eyes and the curves of her hips.
Phileo was what drew us together. Taking long walks in the neighborhood and talking about everything from musical tastes to how children should be raised. Watching Star Wars and cooking in the kitchen. We have faced life side by side as friends.
Storge grew into our marriage as we became familiar with each other as family. We know each others different faults and flaws. The things that make us goofy and imperfect. We could not bear not to have the other person around.
But Agape is where love has grown the most. In the times where I have totally wrecked a conversation. Totally wrecked our day. Totally wrecked our marriage. She has given me a love that was not her own but love that came from God himself. It has awed and floored me how many times she has forgiven me and shown kindness not because of any merit of my own but because she loves me unconditionally. This is love that can promise to be with a person for a lifetime. This is love that can give something greater than chocolates and flowers and lingerie. It is a love that says I love you until the end of time and when time is done this type of love will swallow up all the others into eternity.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13