Love is the Emotion of a strong affection and personal attachment. A virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion and affection.
First and foremost, this article is intended to enrich everyone irrespective of your beliefs of what you think towards Christianity. There are lots of Psychological explanations and principles about Love, but this series is aimed at explaining Love using the Biblical principles.
As earlier stated, irrespective of your belief, you can learn from this series. For the fact I am not a Budhist nor do I know anything about the Asian religion does not mean I cannot sit down, watch and be entertained by a Chinese or Asian movie. I may even learn one of two things from watching it. If this is the case, you should feel very free to grasp the message of this entire series.
Eros: romantic Love
An Idea About Love
Based on Wikipedia, Love is the Emotion of a strong affection and personal attachment. A virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion and affection. Love is the most talked issue in our society today and one way or the other, we are connected by Love. There are some key points to note when discussing Love.
1. A guy has a sister and he loves her so much. Also, he has a wife and likewise loves her. He loves them both, but what is the difference? Does that mean what he shares with his wife in Love is also the same with his Sister? If that is not the case, does that mean Love is in different forms? The answer is: YES! Love is actually in different forms and the way we love our friends is totally different from the way we love our spouses or blood relations. So what are the various forms of Love?
- Agape: Love shown to us from God
- Storge: Love by blood (love shown to relatives and people connected to us by blood).
- Phileo: Love in friendship.
- Eros: Romantic love.
2. Now that we know the different forms of love, how do we come about loving? If a guy meets a young lady on the street and immediately professes his love to her, what would she think? What would her reaction be? We do not just love like that, without any connection. Something needs to connect the person you are loving and hence the attraction. There must be an attraction, before we love and the different forms of Love come with different kinds of attraction:
- Storge: Blood X Love (Love by blood)
- Phileo : Compatibility or likeness X Love
- Eros: Romance X Love
3. From the examples above, we can notice the absence of the Agape. That leads to this point. Romans 5: 8 " But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."
John 3: 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
We can see that this kind of Love is unique and unidirectional, unlike the others in point two. God loved us while we were yet sinners and from the second Bible verse, He loves us to the point of sacrificing His son for us, it is after doing this that our role comes in: To believe! So therefore, we can say that Agape Love has NO ATTRACTION. God just loves us despite not deserving it and He did everything for us to deserve this love. So the Agape is love exhibited to someone irrespective of whether the person deserves it or not.
4. Attraction is just a mere feeling and therefore can be dynamic. Let's take this example, a young guy who observes 30 girls in the street as he walks may be attracted to some of them. He may be attracted to 10, or maybe 15, or maybe 20 out of the 30 girls. But this is just a mere feeling, very superficial in emotions and it is purely the manifestation of Hormones. That is why he is able to exhibit it to as many girls as possible even in a short period of time (making it dynamic). You will personally take him to a Psychiatric hospital if he tells you he is in love with one of them, worst of all, if he claims to be in love with all the ones he is attracted to. For this singular reason, Love at first site is NEVER REAL.
5. The next point to note is: the attraction can be in different forms. It could be in the form of admiration, infatuation, likeness, crush and even lust. Let's get back to the illustration of point 4. If peradventure that same guy gets attracted to 20 out of the 30 girls he observes, he may admire 5, like 5 and lust after 10.
6. Attraction also can be very deep and gross and may even seem to be love, but it isn't love. This form of attraction is known as Obsession. Let's consider this story from the Bible (Story of Amnon and Tamar). 2 Samuel 13: 1-19:
"Some time passed. David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar, and David’s son Amnon was infatuated with her. Amnon was frustrated to the point of making himself sick over his sister Tamar because she was a virgin, but it seemed impossible to do anything to her. Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, a son of David’s brother Shimeah. Jonadab was a very shrewd man, and he asked Amnon, “Why are you, the king’s son, so miserable every morning? Won’t you tell me?â€¯”
Amnon replied, “I’m in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.”
Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend you’re sick. When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare food in my presence so I can watch and eat from her hand.’â€¯”
So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to him, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my presence so I can eat from her hand.”
David sent word to Tamar at the palace: “Please go to your brother Amnon’s house and prepare a meal for him.”
Then Tamar went to his house while Amnon was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made cakes in his presence, and baked them. She brought the pan and set it down in front of him, but he refused to eat. Amnon said, “Everyone leave me!â€¯” And everyone left him. “Bring the meal to the bedroom,” Amnon told Tamar, “so I can eat from your hand.” Tamar took the cakes she had made and went to her brother Amnon’s bedroom. When she brought them to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, “Come sleep with me, my sister!â€¯”
“Don’t, my brother!â€¯” she cried. “Don’t humiliate me, for such a thing should never be done in Israel.i Don’t do this horrible thing!j Where could I ever go with my disgrace? And youâ€¯—â€¯you would be like one of the immoral men in Israel! Please, speak to the king, for he won’t keep me from you.” But he refused to listen to her, and because he was stronger than she was, he raped her.
After this, Amnon hated Tamar with such intensity that the hatred he hated her with was greater than the love he had loved her with. “Get out of here!â€¯” he said.
“No,” she cried, “sending me away is much worse than the great wrong you’ve already done to me!â€¯” But he refused to listen to her. Instead, he called to the servant who waited on him: “Throw this woman out and bolt the door behind her!â€¯” Amnon’s servant threw her out and bolted the door behind her. Now Tamar was wearing a long-sleevedl garment, because this is what the king’s virgin daughters wore. Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long-sleeved garment she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and went away crying out."
From the beginning of the passage, we can observe that Amnon was so infatuated, this we can say is obsession since the infatuation got him to the point of being ill. Though some translations would say, he fell deeply in love with her, but what sort of love is it, which becomes intense hate immediately after sex? If this is the case most of us would not have our parents living together and the reality in marriage will be defeated.
7. It is believed that Men stay longer in the attraction phase of Love, but women easily surrender and fall in love. This particular observation is essential and helpful to women entering a new relationship. It pays a lot to take your time and get to know each other better. Even if the guy has a bad intention, he may begin to appreciate you a little more deeply and sincerely, if you do your best to stay longer in the "getting to know each other phase"
8. Attraction is exhibited mostly by physical means. These means are known as the factors of attraction and they are: Hugs, Kisses, handshake, body expressions and sex. If a guy Phil, meets two ladies, Mary and Ann of which Mary is his friend and Ann (Mary's friend) is not; the way these three people will exchange pleasantries will show a neutral person that Mary is his friend and Ann is not. How? By the mere expression or exhibition of the factors of attraction. Now imagine the same guy meets Ann the following day and he gets so excited, trying to passionate give her a hug, what would Ann think of him?
9. Factors of attraction should never be exhibited at the attraction phase. They should only be manifested as soon as the love is established, in that way when exhibited, they make the love stronger. From point 8, we can see that it will be inappropriate for the guy to try to show some level of friendship to Ann because the truth of the matter is: They aren't friends yet. But peradventure, during his first meeting with Mary and Ann, he begins to like her and wants to get to know her better as a friend, when they become friends, he can show or express it and when the same scenario happens again, a neutral person will see him and Ann as friends.
Going back to the Bible passage which was pointed out in Point 6, we realize that Amnon hated Tamar even much more than he ever loved her, after having sex with her. What can we say about this? Is sex suppose to create hatred? But he never took his time to get to know her and so he was just absorbing the heat of his affection for her which grew stronger. No relationship, no personal connection, only heavy attraction which grew (His hormones at work) and when he poured out the entire attraction which accumulated for a long time, he saw her as useless and as nothing by showing so much disrespect to her. What does this tell us? It is dangerous to start exhibiting these factors of attraction when we are still trying to be in love. If a person is not your friend yet, do not act like friends (even if you are still in the process). Be friends first before you begin showing it. If a guy is so attracted to a lady and both are in the process of being in love, they should not start acting like lovers yet until they really are. If you do otherwise, instead of establishing a more compact bond in love, these factors of attraction will break every soft bond already established. In storge (attraction by blood), that attraction has already established the love right from birth, so the moment we are conscious of this blood-bond, we begin to appreciate it in love.
In a new relationship, sometimes ladies tend to play smart by not having sex with their new guy until they get to know him very well, this is an excellent idea. But it becomes faulty when you begin showing other factors of attraction such as engaging in deep kisses together (French Kiss). The surrender is not only in the sex, but also in any form of romance which is well exhibited through one of the romantic factors of attraction (in this case, the kiss), no wonder the German Author and Journalist, Emil Ludwig quotes "The decision to kiss for the first time is the most crucial in any love story. It changes the relationship of two people much more strongly than even the final surrender; because this kiss already has within it that surrender".
So, you may think the surrender is only in the sex, NO! That kiss is, and before you know it, you have lost all sense of scrutiny of the guy. He cracks a very dry joke and a passionate and sensual laughter, followed by "You are so funny, baby" is your response. That is a sign! And before you know it, you are already by-passing the "getting to know each other" phase of the relationship.
In conclusion, we first and foremost get attracted to someone we will love subsequently, but we should try as much as possible not to mistake the attraction for love irrespective of how strong it may seem. We should do our best not to rush into establishing relationships when they are yet to be real, if we do, we will be basking on a situation rooted in falsehood. How can we then differentiate the attraction and the love? Answering this leads us to the next hub.
(c) 2013, Infobarrel.com
Dr. Funom Theophilus Makama
21st. July. 2013, first written on the 11th. February. 2013
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Biblical Love Psychology is the product of the understanding of the word of God from the Bible and as well the practical application of its Psychology; hence it is easily applicable and understandable irrespective of your belief. Lots of emphasis hits on Love itself, breaking it down into its stages, forms and levels and trying to differentiate these various stages of Love as distinct units. Take for instance, Love can be viewed in two categories, the horizontal (Man to man) and the vertical (God to man) and we will understand that The horizontal (Man to Man) exists with an initial step: THE ATTRACTION! But the vertical has no attraction in its initial phase because God loved us while we were yet sinners, doomed to die. This attraction could be blood (blood relations), romance (eros) or compatibility in likeness (Phileo-friendship).
This Book has explained explicitly the significance of the attraction, independent of Love (despite going hand in hand). It did not stop there, it is vivid in elaborating Love itself which is a deeper level and a soul to soul connect which is in by no means same as the initial step (the attraction). Despite all these wonderful revelations about Love, why do we have failed relationships today? Why are marriages not lasting up to 30 years as it used to be? Why do parents disown their children? Why are relationships so shallow, insignificant and treated like high-school courses where they come and go? A typical or an average young lady in her mid-20s should have experienced a minimum of 7 failed relationships in her life, is this supposed to be so? What about Love application to other phenomena such as material things, Money, Animals, what can we say about this? Despite the vertical kind of Love (God to man) being the AGAPE Love, does that mean man cannot exhibit this Agape? When a person adopts a child, this has definitely by-passed any form of attraction, because despite not being their blood (the attraction), the person adopts and loves this child, can we consider this Agape?
All these questions will be thoroughly answered and as well some doctrinal controversies such as: the doctrine of Hell (is it necessary since God loved us without any form of attraction?), the doctrine of the trinity, and the justification of disowning a child from the fact there is Hell, despite (God) showing us such immense love and many more issues.
So, as much as this basic psychological issue of Love is coming from the foundation of the Bible, it is applicable to everyone. I may not believe in Buddhism, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying any Buddhist Movie and even learn from it. There are lots of principles we can apply from this book into our love-relationships irrespective of our beliefs, so try to read it.
On a final note, we should be cautioned that this Book is not a relationship manual. This is far from it. This book is about Love and solely about Love, of which if we understand its basic principles can be applied to any form of relationships. Psychological tools like the Love graph, the perfect square formula are used to explicitly elaborate Love Psychology. Also, science is brought into the picture for us, to a large extent use critical thinking for the justification of the existence of God. If somewhere in our subconscious we believe in His existence, then we will appreciate the Agape Love better.
ENJOY READING BIBLICAL LOVE PSYCHOLOGY!