John Stonestreet & G. Shane Morris: We Need All Four Loves to Build Healthy Relationships

In a recent opinion piece at Business Insider, Shana Lebowitz proclaimed, “Divorce isn’t a failure…In fact, it could mean your marriage was a success!” According to the relationship experts cited by Lebowitz, the goal of marriage isn’t that two people become one flesh, or create a family, or even share lifelong love. No, the purpose of marriage, these so-called experts claim, is that we grow as individuals. Even marriages that end in divorce can accomplish that goal!

If the goal of marriage is looking out for number one rather than two becoming one, then it makes sense that calling it quits could be a success story. But, I doubt that the abandoned spouses and children of even the self-improved would agree with that new way of thinking. This sort of sad nonsense can only be written in a culture where marriage has been redefined and reimagined around an already redefined and reimagined idea of love.

Ideas have consequences, and bad ideas have victims. Individual lives and entire cultures are devastated whenever love is reduced to something less than God intended, much less when it is redefined as selfishness. The love, or more accurately, the loves God created for us are way bigger than most of us understand.

Back in 2013 when Sean McDowell and I wrote our book on so-called “same-sex marriage,” I asked a friend to write the epilogue about what he, as an individual who struggled with same-sex attraction, needed from the church. “Don’t move the goalposts,” he wrote, and pretend the Scriptures aren’t clear on this issue. But, he added, if we are going to ask gays and lesbians to forgo sexual intimacy (which we should), we must not withhold friendship and family from them.

Behind his remarks is C. S. Lewis’ life-changing book, “The Four Loves”—a book I think is more relevant now than ever. In it, Lewis identifies four types of love: affection (or the Greek word, storge), friendship or brotherly love (Greek, phileo), sexual love (or eros), and sacrificial love (agape, what older Bible translations call “charity”).

Of course, Christians believe that marriage is the only rightful place for eros, but Lewis also makes it clear that affection, friendship and especially sacrificial love—the kind Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 13—should define all of our relationships, including and especially marriage.

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Source: Christian Headlines