06 August 2008

The "L" Word

Having blogged here previously about dating, I have created a nice platform to segue into this post about the "L" word, love. The English language seems inadequate in its ability to articulate the full extent of the meaning of this word. Theologian C.S. Lewis describes the four loves based in part on the four Greek words for love in his book of the same name: The Four Loves.
storge - στοργη - fondness through familiarity, especially between family members of people who have otherwise found themselves together by chance

philia - φιλια - friendship or brotherly love - the city Philadelphia meaning "the city of brotherly love" has its origins in this word for love - it is called a strong bond between people who share a common interest or activity

eros - έρως - this word is connected with the sense of being in love - it is more romantically inclined and more sexual in nature - the love shared between a man and a woman

agape - αγαπη - this type of love is not dependent on reciprocation - it is unconditional and typically only fully expressed in the love of God

We say we love a philly cheesesteak and our best friend with the same word, and it has left us lacking something. A mother's heart grows faint and her knees go weak when she hears her child say that she loves - detecting the difference in the love that means affection and the sense of being "in love". She describes feelings she has never had before, and I know that this is either the start of something special or the path to a terrible heartbreak.
And I must let it happen. I am a spectator. This is her life. I want to jump right in the middle with both feet and warn him of the terrible fate that will befall him should the latter be the outcome. I don't anticipate anything of the sort, and it is really an empty threat. As a mother I want to say don't throw your heart around loosely, don't give your love away too freely - but knowing that I have always modeled loving with reckless abandon, how could I expect them to do anything less? I know that the workings of human interaction is a delicate thing. I know that this is all their story to write, and their joy to pursue. I get to have a front row seat, which is pretty awesome right now. Maybe they'll be the lucky ones who will be able to turn the "L" word will turn into the "F" word - forever.


  1. Julie ~ C.S. Lewis is a wild favorite of mine, and this example that you're being for your daughter, this way of setting her free into the grand experiment of life, it's amazing and I want to be just like you ... and I think He might just be making me that way. Looking into the movements hearts rather than being confined by traditional rules. You go mom!!

  2. You are doing wonderfully with her :)

    She is feeling things she never felt before and it is an awesome experience.

    Sure it scares you and maybe her too.

    If it's the real deal she will know.

    I went out with so many guys before my dh and many were just one date because you just know that nothing is there.

    When something is there you have to explore it even though that puts you at risk for heartbreak.

    I knew Jason was the one within a month of dating,I kissed enough frogs and knew he was my prince.

    I have the best wishes for Kendra as she embarks on this new stage in her life.

  3. I love when I hear Porky's sermon on those 4 love words. I enjoyed reading it here too. It's amazing how we can throw the "L" word around so easily and not even think of the actual meaning of it. Sometimes I wish we used the 4 words describing love in our day to day vocabulary.

    Julie I philia you!! Hope you're having a marvelous time!

  4. How exciting! How frightening! I can't imagine my boys being 'in love'! I'm sure it will happen one day but right now that day is about ten years away so I wont' think about that! (ostrich that I am!)

    We do have fun teasing a little though. My eldest has 'fallen' for the daughter of one of our homeschooling friends and it is VERY mutual! Us two moms have decided that it is all arranged and they have our blessing - be we aren't going to tell them that for several more years! LOL!

    We aren't doing the whole boyfriend/girlfriend/dating things here so they are just good friends and that is all we let them say about it.

    Then again, like you we may change our minds in ten years or so! :o)

  5. Oh this is so painful reading, considering how much I want to kill and like Carly's used to be friend at the same time. Who would've thought that I would be agreeing with you when my daughter is so young still.

    I'm thinking of you greatly through all of this.

  6. Yeah, my 1st madly was my last. I had a few other boyfriends before him that I loved... but it wasn't until Rick, that it was almost instant and madly... that was in my junior year of high school and we've been together almost 17 yrs (not all of them happy... but love was ultimately what kept us together through all of the really sh*tty times). We have broken each other's hearts many times over those years... the *F* word doesn't keep you from getting your heart broken from the one you love.

    I know it will be hard for me too when my DD gets that age. Ugh! Just be there for her when the pain comes. Not with anger but with compassion. If she falls, then you follow her there, and ultimately help her stand back up. KWIM? I cry for her (your DD and mine) already, knowing that they will experience that heartache at some point in their lives.


  7. The freedom to experience life with all it's ups & downs, gently easing the safety net back...isn't this one of the biggest gifts we can give our kids? And one of the hardest...especially for us mommies of girls. Long ago, my mom told me that girls are emotionally tough to raise, and boys physically rough. I'm thinking this is where the rubber hits the road.

  8. i love C.S. Lewis'"The Four Loves!" So perfectly written - the english language does no justice in expressing love! i was thinking the other day how much modern english has mutated... it's funny how when something is so aweful we say it is "cool" or "awesome." we use all the wrong adjectives in expressing and defining our thoughts and emotions. it's no wonder we live in a confused, nihilistic society! (i totally did not intend for this to come across as pessimistic, just thinking through my fingers.)


Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥