When I married my husband, I thought I was “in love” with him, but was it really love? I looked forward to our weekend dates, felt very good around him, and thought about marrying him a lot. I experienced emotional highs when he called followed by lows when I didn’t hear from him. I really loved being with him, but was that the kind of “love” one should base a marriage on?
I wanted to give that love the Love Test, but could I do it with the English word love? Love is used in a variety of ways with multiple connotations in English: we love chocolate, clothes, homes, cars and people. Would I need to use words from a different language to get a better understanding of the word? Yes, possibly Greek. So, here goes.
Did I have Eros love for my husband? Eros is the physical kind of love and attraction one feels for another. You experience lots of emotional highs and lows with Eros love. Check one: Yes
What about Phileo love” Phileo is the kind of love one has for a friend. We get the word Philadelphia from it, the City of Brotherly Love. Did I love him like I love some of my oldest and dearest friends? Would I have told him anything and trust him with everything at that point? Check two: No
What about the kind of love one has for their family, Storge love? Did I feel for him like I felt for my father, mother, sister or brother? Would I have done anything to help him or put my life on hold to love and care for him then? Check three: No
The highest kind of love is called Agape love. It is a self-sacrificing kind of love. It loves without expecting or demanding anything in return. Did I truly have that kind of love for him? Check four: No
So here we are forty years later, married and still together by the grace of God. At this time I do have Phileo love for my husband; he truly is my best friend. I also experience Storge love for him; he is as much a part of my family as any of my close relatives. At times, with the grace of God, I can even love him with Agape love. I can sacrifice for him and love him unconditionally for who he is.
But I have to be honest with myself. When I married him, I was only infatuated with him and experiencing Eros love. That deep friendship and familial love that it takes to make a marriage last was developed over many difficult years. There were good times, bad times, tears, fights and a lot of hanging in there through the rough spots that helped forge the bond we have today. And more and more, I am able to love him with Agape love. I just love him because of who he is; not because I expect anything from him.
Was it love at the time? Yes, but not the kind of love you need for a lasting marriage. It took years and years and the grace of God to grow the kind of love that lasts a lifetime.
So take the Love Test and be honest with yourself. How much do you truly love the one you’re with?
I am still on hiatus this week, sharing another one of my faves!!