In the previous few weeks I attended two weddings. Both were beautiful affairs with lots of love all around, each couple vowing to be true to each other “til death due they part”. I will be attending another, more personal wedding this October of my own daughter, so I have been preoccupied with thoughts about love and marriage lately.
We all have said I love you, I love that movie, I love to dance, I love my mother, I love Italian food; one word but vastly different meanings. “Love” is a ubiquitous topic in this community. I observe lots of love shared here, given freely and sincerely. That is one of the reasons why I so enjoy this community. It is comforting to hang out with so many loving individuals who are genuine in their concerns for others.
I search the net and found the Greek language uses four words for love.
Eros is the type of love we are all familiar with. Our English word Erotica is derived from the word Eros. Sadly, some people never get passed this type of love and base their relationships purely on sexual attraction. Erotic love is not a deep meaningful love, but superficial and based on sexual attractiveness only.
Storge is what we find in families between the different members. It is the love of mother, father, brothers and sisters. This is a much stronger type of love and involves commitment. “Blood is thicker than water” and most people will do all they can to stand behind their families.
Philia is pertaining to what we might call a brotherly love. Not brotherly in the sense of family, but in the sense of kinsmenship. This is the type of love that makes us want to watch out for our fellow man.
Agape is the highest form of love there is. This is an unconditional love for others in spite of their character flaws and weaknesses. It is a difficult love to obtain simply because we, as humans, are usually concerned more with ourselves and how the world and people around us affect us.
I asked myself, why do we get married? Divorce rates sadly, are very high. Various studies on the US rate of divorce show the marriage breakup rate in the USA for first marriage is 41% to 50%; the rate after second marriage is 60% to 67% and the rate for 3rd marriages are 73% to 74%!
What kind of love are we “in” when we either ask or agree to be someone’s soul mate? When we are young, I am inclined to think it is primarily Eros. I was talking with a blog friend recently who said her father suggested the man she marry should be her best friend. She said she didn’t understand until years later.
Girls are almost unanimously captivated with weddings. They dream about their wedding day from the time they are little.
I know my own daughter is certainly having a wonderful time planning hers. We (fathers) spend enormous amounts of money on weddings.
Yet, with the odds stacked against us, why do we do it? What makes us believe that we will be the exception to the rule and remain soul mates forever? What makes dad’s like me willing to spend thousands of dollars for a single celebration for their daughters.
THE ANSWER IS LOVE!!
Love lifts the human spirit to otherwise unachievable heights. We write songs and poetry about love. Love makes us believe the unbelievable and see goodness in others that no one else can see. When we are in love, we walk with a special swing in our step and a smile on our face because our hearts are overflowing with joy. Armed with the power of love, we boldly go forward regardless of the odds.
The popular 1965 song “What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love” is still true today. Yes indeed, love is the answer! (and yes, I did grow up in the sixties!)
Peace and Love,