Ever feel like you are just going through it with your spouse? Like you’re out of sync or on two different planets? It’s because the relationship you have with your husband is the most powerful form of love you can express in your entire life. And the enemy will never like that.
Some say the love between mamma and babe is unmatchable. And it is powerful for sure. Wrapped up in a mamma’s love are three forms of love from the Greek: Agape, Ludus, and Pragma. We know agape as unconditional love. CS Lewis called it the highest form of Christian love. It’s our number one commission: lead in love. Love others more than self. Love God. All without condition. All more than yourself. This is no small task when we consider we are a whole lot of human.
A Ludus sort of love is playful. With spouse or child, this component might be the first that fizzles and makes the heaviness outweigh the Ludus. It takes a mindful effort to keep it in place.
Pragma love is the sort that is long-lasting. Marriages that stand the test of time (or rather that stand the test of choosing to prefer a spouse over self) know pragma love. It’s a heart condition of healthy compromise and focusing more on giving over the endless ticker tape of “What’s in it for me?”
Are these first three present in your marriage already? Not perfectly, of course they won’t be there perfectly because for now, only God loves perfectly. But it’s good to ask ourselves this question regularly. What about the rest of the forms of love?
Specific to marriage, are the other three, making it three times harder to include and maybe three times more likely to fail. Thankfully we aren’t standing our ground alone. God wants this to work. It’s a supernatural win for the Kingdom that Satan could never mimic. He also has to be asked in before he can destroy it. We have a hand in this.
Philautia is sometimes called selfish love, but that’s just the negative side of it. The side we hear in the promise is that God trades these ashes in for beauty. We learn to see ourselves as lovable so we are more capable of loving others well. The love we believe we are worth is the love we pay out to others. If it’s small or non-existent, then our love for others will be the same.
Philia is the kind of love that fights for the other one. Like. Literally. Fights for the other. It means “friendship” but it’s feisty friendship. A “Don’t you dare mess with my man or I am likely to cut you” kind of friendship. There’s a chance I have too much of this, but we each have our struggles.
And of course, there’s Eros. It’s physical love wrapped up in a spiritual tie that will never sever. Some people call it a soul tie. The Greeks viewed this love as powerful but almost negatively as it was the sort of love that makes a person lose their right minds and be irrational in their level of need for the other person. And this whole time I thought it was just Handsome’s uniform that made me twitter pated.
But nope. It’s God’s plan. It’s his creation in marriage that we should want and strive and work to show all six types of love. It’s a fight and it’s my whole self fully devoted to his whole self in love. Mind, body, and soul- these are the parts of us we are supposed to love our spouse with.
I want to be better at this. Not for one second do I ever want my husband to wonder, “does she really love me?” I want his most secure spaces to be in our marriage. When everything else feels as if it’s going wrong, I want him to know this place, right here, is safe. In loving him this fully, my heart’s desire is that he turns around and pours some of this out to our children and the people in his life. It’s the best way we can honor our men and spit a little right in the devil’s eye.