Friday, February 13, 2015

Writing the Many Faces of Love - Part 1

by Elva Cobb Martin

Four Greek words explain the many faces of what we call love in English.This is the month we celebrate love on Valentine's Day and it prompted me once again to search out these four main types of love. Understanding these words will help me paint characters in much more detail. The books and movies I've enjoyed the most usually have several characters who illustrate one of these that maybe the main characters don't and thus enrich the story. Think of Melanie and Scarlet O'Hara. Think of Jane Austen's palette of characters and Debbie Macomber's. You will find characters portraying most of these.
  • agape
  • stergo
  • phileo 
  • eros

Here are some photos depicting types of love. Can you match the words with the photos? Hints: The words are not in order with the pictures and one of the words is not illustrated, the one that would describe the "lust" portrayed in 50 Shades of Grey and to which I will give no photo clue or endorsement of any kind. 

Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

It will take another blog or two to give the richness of these four Greek words describing love, so this is the introduction. Up front I want to assure you I am NOT a Greek scholar. But I do readily admit I am a Greek student because the New Testament was originally written in Greek.

Here are the brief overview definitions of these four words.
  1. Agape - God's kind of love for us and the one He wants the Holy Spirit to produce in us. The highest form of love.
  2. Stergo - love between parents, children, family
  3. Phileo - affability shared between two friends, affection,   romance
  4. Eros - a carnal, raw,base, demanding love, craving for sexual gratification
Did you match the pictures with the right words? 
I would love to read your comments. 

Elva Cobb Martin