In today’s society, and even throughout history, love seems to be one of the most sought after things. I say things deliberately because I don’t exactly know how to label it. Sometimes it seems to be a feeling while other times it is more of an action. Although I have experienced many different forms of love I do not believe I have yet experienced Eros. Consequently, I will focus mostly on Eros because it most interests me. I have experienced both storge from my family and agape from God. I have felt the beauty of philia from my brothers and sisters in Christ but have not, however, experienced the mystery of Eros. Granted, I have had my crushes and flings. But when I consider Eros the way Lewis explains it, I come to the conclusion that it goes deeper than sexual attraction or companionship. It is the purest form of love between a man and a woman.
I was most struck by Lewis’s description of Eros when he mentioned the mindset of a man in love. He said, “The fact that she is a woman is almost irrelevant” her essence as a person is, instead, the most important thing. Eros is more than the meaning we give it today. In today’s time we see Eros as an erotic, passionate, and sensual love. We tend to think of Eros in terms of the airbrushed models in magazines and the love-at-first-sight stories in Hollywood. In reality Eros is much more like the Lewis quote. It is the passionate love between a man and a woman. Just as agape is the ultimate form of love between God and man, Eros is the pure love between a man and a woman. In true Eros the man and woman are not exactly preoccupied with sex, although that sub-form – called Venus – is present, instead they are two human beings that are committed to each other. They choose to love and look out for the best needs of the beloved.
Although I am not particularly familiar with Eros, due to my inexperience in that field, I understand that it involves focusing upon the beloved. Storge is the basis on which families are built. In Philia we walk side by side with our brothers and sisters in Christ while in Eros the two lovers are intent upon each other. Agape, the most important of all loves, permeates everything and is the unconditional love God has for us. Without Agape Eros is nothing. Thus, when the man and woman focus upon the Lord the foundation of Eros is laid which, in cooperation with philia, sets up the framework for storge.