Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Arrows of Love: Eros Love

Big Idea: The Ancient Greeks had a word for love, eros, with Valentine's Day imagery like an arrow, piercing the recipient, the source of many emotions: desire, pleasure and pain, distress.

Love at First Sight

The Ancient Greeks had a word for sensual activity. Eros. We get the word erotic from it, like the literary genre of erotic explicit novels.

The Greek imagery of the god of Eros (in Roman mythology, Cupid) is what we get bombarded with on Valentine’s Day. It’s pictured as the chubby little winged creature who shoots an arrow at a target

Love at first sight. Smitten. Desire. Pleasures. The agony of separation. All of this is part of the eros drama. Eros may seem cute but it is intense about both pleasure and pain.

Eros in the Bible

The Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) used the word eros in the Song of Solomon. The book celebrates the love and sex life of a newly married couple.

Curiously the word eros was never used in the Greek New Testament. In New Testament times Greek and Roman civilizations portrayed eros love in such a corrupted and excessive way, the New Testament writers would not even use the word.

New Testament writers celebrated exclusive marital love. Sexual intimacy is an important part of a healthy marriage. Sexual intimacy in marriage is part of eros love. It is assumed by the Apostle Paul. 

Because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. I Corinthians 7:2-3 NLT

May her breasts satisfy you always

When I worked in West Africa, a pastor left his wife for another woman. Much is destroyed in both the family and church by that.

I mused to a Guinean pastor’s wife, "How he could have let that happen?" 

“He forgot to celebrate the breasts of the wife of his youth."

Interesting perspective. She reminded me of these verses in Proverbs.

Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love. Proverbs 5:18-19 NLT

A retired U.S. Military Chaplain's wife and I reflected on the challenges of deployment with sexual separation over a long period of time. When her husband returned, in a private moment, he'd reach for her breasts and say, "I really need to touch my woman's breasts!"

Celebrate your wife's breasts!

Eros then and now

Eros took over the culture in New Testament times with a warped view of this gift from God. Our culture too has a warped view of sex. It even has a destructive force for many to mind, body and family.

If you have the gift of a spouse, consider your mate to be a blessing for you.  Find freshness in your marriage.


Up next: Does your family say "I Love You"?: Storge
Previous post: Five Ways to Love a Friend Well


1. What do you think has influenced you most on your attitude toward sexual intimacy? Movies? Your parents? Your church?

2. If you are married, do you cultivate this aspect of your marriage? If not, how might you work on that?


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