Saturday, October 18, 2014

Eros Love Is In the Air

Rev. Hillary Dawes, PhD  SC-C

"Love is in the air" is the title of a famous song by John Paul Young.  Before you begin reading what I have to say about Eros love, please take the time  to watch this YouTube video I found online, of his song, Love Is In the Air.

When it comes to romantic love, it seems that it comes out of nowhere.  Boy sees girl and girl sees boy, and BOOM!  Magically, it all seems to happen, without warning, that Cupid's arrow strikes the heart, with eros love.  It's one of those mysteries of life which I will explore in this blog, about eros love.

As you may be well aware, there are four basic kinds of love - agape, agapeo, phileo, and eros love.  What may come as a surprise to many, is that while the Greek words "agape" "agapeo" and "phileo" are abundantly found in scripture, the Greek word "eros" is nowhere to be found in the Bible.  I kid you not.  Is that an error?  Oh no!  The reason why "eros love" is not found in scripture is because there is no such thing as romantic or sexual love.  What we call sexual love is actually sexual attraction, and there is more than ample examples in the Bible of sexual attraction, and the love that can arise from that.    Please also read my blog  in Being in Love is Not the Same as Love to understand these concepts of love and sexual attraction.    

Sex, although it's a powerful force in romance, is NOT LOVE, but it is an act from which eros love can arise.  Eros love is best defined as a force of attraction that pulls people together, and a bonding agent which causes you to emotionally bond to another person.  Eros love is important, because it causes you to form deep, intimate, and close relationships with people that you love.  Without eros love we would not become 'attached' to anyone, or become a part of their lives.   We would be detached and aloof in all our dealings with each other.   Eros love by no means has to be sexual, but it is more often most evident in the sexual context, as it causes the deep bonding and intertwining of the soul to that of another person, forming soul-ties.   One of the most well-known soul-ties in scripture, that is non-sexual, is that of the love between Jonathan and David.

"And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul" (1 Samuel 18:1).

Eros love is similar to agape love in that you are with the person no matter what their faults are, but is different from agape love in that agape love is love without attachment or any kind of emotional bonding, whereas eros love is love with emotional bonding between two people.  Eros love is a spiritual commitment of love between two people, as it is mutual, and reciprocating.  Eros love hence helps a couple to form very strong love-ties with each other, sometimes so strong, and so secure, that no one can break that tie, but the couple.  The three-strand cord of eros love is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).   

"Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for [eros] love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.  Many waters cannot quench [eros] love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for [eros] love, it would utterly be contemned" (Song of Solomon 8:6-7, amplification supplied for clarity).  


Since eros love produces strong emotional bonding, even with people who are less than ideal mates, should we then avoid eros love?  Absolutely not!   Eros love is sweet, no matter what, and the love a couple has for each other makes life bearable and pleasant, no matter what their faults are.   Sex also is a beautiful experience, but sexual love that does not expand beyond the bedroom is not God's ideal or plan for us.   Bear in mind also that  'sexual love' which causes you to attach to another person, without mutual reciprocation of love, is not eros love, but emotional attachment, which is a counterfeit to eros love.  Eros love, if properly practiced, actually increases the love a couple has for each other.  It deepens the agape, agapeo, and phileo love which already exists, and is transformative in a positive way.  It's not abusive or clingy in any way.   

Sex is the most frequent way in which eros love is produced in a relationship, and yet not the only way.  We tend to mistakenly believe that sex is an expression of love, but sex is only an expression of love, if love already exists in a relationship, prior to sex.   To me, sex is best defined as an expression of the physical interplay of the Masculine and Feminine Divine image of God.  It's a love-play; hence this is the reason why couples can have great sex, and do not love each other.   For sex to become meaningful in which it produces eros love, you have to love your mate.   When you have some time, read in your Bible the book, Song of Solomon, as an example of eros love between king Solomon and his wife, symbolizing God's love for His people.   I want you to also think of ways in which you bond to people you love, such as family members or friends, in non-sexual ways.   You are going to find eros love popping up in all your close relationships, even non-sexual relationships.     

Acts of affection are a basic human need that promotes emotional health.   Eros love is affectionate love, with sexual affection being a special kind of affection reserved for the romantic couple.   Eros love includes all kinds of affection, including sex.  Acts of affection, with the exception of sex, are usually indicative of eros love within.   Kissing, hugging, caressing, stroking, patting, holding hands, and so forth are ways in which we show physical affection to those we love, or are attracted to.  One reason why sex is not an indication of love is that people sometimes engage in sex to find love.  They use sex as a substitute for love, so therefore sex is not an expression of love, but an attempt to fulfill a craving for love.  This is why true lovemaking is more than just sex.   True lovemaking is expressing your love for your mate in a physical sense with acts of affection around the sex act.  Eros love includes all of that!

In our effort to understand eros love, there are certain things we need to remember.  Eros love is from God.  God created love, affection, and sex.  If you don't believe me, then go read again the book, Song of Solomon.   Because God created love, affection, and sex, sex is not sinful.  What is sinful is our abuse of sex; however, the more we understand eros love, the more we will realize that eros love is all around us, and is an essential part of our existence, in more ways than one.  Eros love is essential for our spiritual and emotional well-being.  It is sacred.  

For more information and to learn about the sacredness of sex, please read my blog Sacred Sexuality 101.  If too, you would like to receive love coaching, to understand these concepts of love, to enhance your dating or marriage experience, please contact me on my website to arrange for personal coaching.  

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