C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity: Analysis and Application Part IX

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The Greeks divided the idea of love into “eros,” fileo,” and “Agape.”[1] The concept of “eros” is not found in the Bible though, fileo and agape are. These latter two terms tend to be used for brotherly love and a divine love. It is usually common to make a sharp distinction between these two terms, but in reality the Greek New Testaments seems to use them interchangeably.  The idea of love has been a pervasive concept in poetry and philosophy alike. As a result it has tended to be misused in certain contexts.

For Lewis, the idea of love was an insufficient reason for the maintaining of marriage. He writes:

The idea that “being in love” is the only reason for remaining married really leaves no room for marriage as a contract or promise at all. If love is the whole thing, then the promise can add nothing; and if it adds nothing, then it should not be made.[2]

Professor of Ethics, Dr. Mark Ross, illustrates that if marriage does not resemble the sacrificial love of Christ for His bride, then every reason given for sustaining a relationship is futile. According to C.S. Lewis, the idea of “love” should never encapsulate our entire marriage relationship. There is also an element of a promise or a vow, by which both partners can look upon with security knowing that this is meant to last a lifetime. Our modern commitment to marriage is a horrific demonstration of how Christian virtues can be influenced by secularism and romanticism– both fatal philosophies.


[1] Some add a fourth word storge. It refers to natural affection in Modern Greek.

[2] Mere Christianity, pg. 98.

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
This entry was posted in Anthropology, Christian Living, Family. Bookmark the permalink.

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