Bible Study – Learning to Love – Week 3 – Part 2 – Eros

Never_Stop_Loving

This is week 2 – part 2 in our Bible study, “Learning to Love.” This week we’re taking a closer look at the Greek word “Eros” – romantic, passionate love. If you’d like to join our study, click here to find the free Bible study guide and all of the information you’ll need to join in.

I’ve been asked a few times if I’ll be doing a study after this one. The answer to that question is YES. I’ll announce all of the details later next week.


 

We’ve been reading about romantic, passionate love this week. We’ve also been reading about the dangers of following your heart without counting the cost. David wanted Bathsheba so badly that he stepped into a devastating cycle of sin (2 Sam. 11).

Eros has a way of clouding our judgement.  It’s like a drug that takes control over us. Our palms get sweaty, our hearts start pounding, and regardless of how old we might be, we feel like teenagers all over again.

We go to great lengths for eros. As long as we’re feeling the euphoria of new love we put in the effort. We’re patient, we’re kind, and we’re willing to overlook faults.

Being kind when we’re getting an emotional return for our effort is easy. What isn’t so easy is being as patient and kind when Eros wears off. When the kids have been crying all day and your husband comes home from work just as exhausted and stressed out as you are. When you have a big night planned for your husband, and all he wants to do is chill out on the couch with his eyes closed while you finish the dishes. Those are the days you need a love that runs deep.

Eros is all about you, but true love–that kind that’s long-lasting and pure–has little to do with you.

It’s about making sacrifices for the ones that you love. It’s being patient, and kind, and sincere when the feeling of Eros wears off.

That’s why the story of Hannah and Elkanah (1 Samuel 1:1-20) is one of my favorite love stories of all time.  Ekanah was ready and willing to give up that which he valued the most to make his wife happy.

Some people say, “I fell out of love. I’m not feeling it any more. What’s wrong with us?”

Chances are, there’s nothing wrong with you or your marriage. Eros has simply stepped aside, now it’s your turn to do the work. No matter how old you both get, never stop holding hands, never stop dancing, and never stop saying, “I love you.”

“We must do the works of Eros when Eros is not present. This all good lovers know.” C.S. Lewis

 

Jacob and Rachel – Genesis 29:15-30

In Genesis 29:15-30, we find the love story of Jacob who worked 14 years for his bride, Rachel. It teaches us a lot about love.

Young love–new love–eros love–is ready and willing to go the extra mile. It serves. The work of eros should include a willingness to serve, and to give from the heart. New and passionate love is a generous love. We are willing to give more time and attention than we ever imagined we had. We work hard to get the object of our affection. We must also work hard to keep it.

Some say that eros is a selfish love. And yes it certainly can be. If we we’re only willing work for eros as long as we’re feeling the excitement, we’re looking inward. We must be willing to put in the work and make sacrifices for each other long after the euphoria of new love wears off. That’s when our love is put to the test.

Genesis29

this week’s notes in my Quieting Your Heart Journal
(affil link)

 

David and Bathsheba – 2 Samuel 11:2-16

In The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis describes how lovers idolize eros and give love a law of its own.

“They will seem like proofs of piety and zeal toward Eros. The pair can say to one another in an almost sacrificial spirit, “It is for love’s sake that I have neglected my parents—left my children—cheated my partner—failed my friend at his greatest need.” These reasons in love’s law have passed for good.”

In 2 Samuel 11:2-16 we find the story of David and Bathsheba. David chose to follow his heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things.” The heart will convince us that we have a right to possess who and what we want. It starts out as a temptation, but the closer we step toward it, the deeper we are into sin. What we see here is the ugly cycle of sin. Love (or rather “lust”) apart from God’s will is destructive. Eros (love) in line with God’s will is innocent & beautiful.

Shelly Frye, added this to the discussion on Facebook: Reading from the John Corson’s application commentary bible. I learned, we see David not only committed adultery but murder. David was a man after God’s own heart. However he neglected his duty to go to battle. Then his eyes wandered. His curiosity was aroused. He committed adultery and murder David was stumbling badly. But that’s the way sin is. Sin has a sneaky way of compounding itself. Before you know it you’re more deeply involved in it than you ever thought you would be. That is why it is absolutely essential to not give in at the first point of temptation. You cannot control the course of your destiny once you allow yourself to begin to flirt with sin. It will capture you. It will ensnare you. And ultimately it will destroy you. David once killed giants. Now this giant is killing him.

Bathsheba

this week’s notes in my Quieting Your Heart Journal
(affil link)

 

Hannah and Elkanah – 1 Samuel 1:1-20

When Hannah was provoked she fasted. That’s a good example to me on how I should be handling difficult situations in my own life.

Another thing I noticed in this chapter is that, “The Lord shut her womb.” (v.5)  That goes to show us the providence of God on our lives. We don’t always understand His will and His ways, but His wisdom runs deeper than we could ever imagine.

Now for the love story… Elkanah loved Hannah enough to give up what was most important to them–a child. A marriage is best served when we’re willing to give up the things that we think will make us happy for the sake of each other. We need courage to love well, because it calls us to patiently trust God with our future.

Hannah

this week’s notes in my Quieting Your Heart Journal
(affil link)

Click here to download and print today’s coloring page.

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Written by Darlene Schacht

I'm an Evangelical Christian whose number one priority is to serve Jesus Christ in every area of my life. My husband Michael and I live in Manitoba Canada. Married 25 years, we have four children (three still at home), a bird and two pugs who are everyone's babies, especially mine! Our lives are basically surrounded with three things: our faith, music and everything books. I’m an award winning and New York Times best-selling author who is nothing without the grace of God. Facebook: timewarpwife Twitter: timewarpwife Pinterest: timewarpwife

3 Comments

  1.  avatar
    Maria says:

    I believe this study does not truly describe eros love. Eros is very much a God created part of relationship that does not go away and is not selfish. It is another aspect of giving of ourselves, a very intimate giving and knowing that is not shared with others. The example of David and Bathsheba is one of sexual impurity and lust which is sin. Christians have confused eros love with lust. The consequences of this confusion is destruction of marriage. When eros is dismissed as just a feeling that fades and a sinful feeling at that, and make it a thing of great effort, we lose the fullness of love in marriage and then who wants to get married. Oh No, after 19 years of marriage and many, many difficult things, eros permeates every part of our love and being. It truly is a Song of Songs as we walk in Christ and know His deep intimate love for us.

  2. Maria, thanks so much for your thoughts. I’ve been studying eros through the eyes of C.S. Lewis. The study is loosely based on his book, The Four Loves. Here’s the excerpt from Wikipedia which sums it up better than I ever could:

    Eros (erōs, Greek: ἔρως) for Lewis was love in the sense of ‘being in love’ or ‘loving’ someone, as opposed to the raw sexuality of what he called Venus: the illustration Lewis uses was the distinction between ‘wanting a woman’ and wanting one particular woman -something that matched his (classical) view of man as a rational animal, a composite both of reasoning angel and instinctual alley-cat.

    Eros turns the need-pleasure of Venus into the most appreciative of all pleasures; but nevertheless Lewis warned against the modern tendency for Eros to become a god to people who fully submit themselves to it, a justification for selfishness, even a phallic religion.

    After exploring sexual activity and its spiritual significance in both a pagan and a Christian sense, he notes how Eros (or being in love) is in itself an indifferent, neutral force: how “Eros in all his splendour…may urge to evil as well as good”. While accepting that Eros can be an extremely profound experience, he does not overlook the dark way in which it could lead even to the point of suicide pacts or murder, as well as to furious refusals to part, “mercilessly chaining together two mutual tormentors, each raw all over with the poison of hate-in-love”.

    I see the love you describe as agape love, which is the highest of all loves. It’s patient, kind, unselfish… It reflects God’s love to mankind.

    Eros can be an absolutely beautiful love when it’s in the parameters of God’s will. It’s not always accompanied by lust. Unfortunately many people step out of God’s will to follow eros at all costs. David’s attraction to Bathsheba and his passion toward her led to his sin. His love became death.

    What can start out as a romantic attraction can turn into lust if we entertain those thoughts and allow them to rule in our hearts.

  3.  avatar
    Maria says:

    Thank-You for your response. It is important when doing a study to always know your sources well. Primary sources are always best to use. In saying so, one must look at where, even a great author and theorist as Lewis, gleans and discerns his/her informational findings. The bible is very clear in discerning between lust and love, even eros love. Lust is not eros gone bad. They are opposites. David did not love Bathsheba. He was in a selfish and rebellious state which lead him deeper into sin, expressed through yet the next sin of selfishness and rebellion:sexual immorality/adultery. Matthew 5:28 says, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Love, even eros, is not self-seeking. Lust is self-seeking and self-pleasing. 1 John 2:16 says, For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. Eros love is from the Lord, therefore, your descriptions of eros are not biblical. This is the confusion the church does have.

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