Chances are, if you were to walk into any store today, you would find that Cupid, the ancient Roman god of love, has worked his magic everywhere.
Mythology teaches us that Cupid was the son of Mercury, the winged messenger of the gods, and Venus, the goddess of love, therefore making him the winged messenger of love. Every child and adult has likely heard of Cupid, but most of us have never learned about its Greek counterpoint – Eros.
Eros is romantic love. It’s about physical attraction and sexual desire. While Eros is not directly found in the Bible, the book of Song of Solomon paints a very sensual picture and the New Testament makes inferences to this type of love.
We crave passion. In 1 Corinthians, Paul warns the church about sinfully succumbing to Eros and having it result in sexual immorality. But, within the boundaries of marriage, Eros helps to create a delightful intimacy between husbands and wives.
When I was a young child, my mom often played Steve and Annie Chapman albums when we were in the car. (And I grew up in the boondocks, so we were in the car a loooong time whenever we needed to go anywhere.) 30+ years later and I can still recite many of their lyrics by heart. But it wasn’t until I experienced marriage for myself that their song ‘Cup of Love’ resonated. Now, I truly understand the importance of this message:
“You got to keep his cup filled up with love, and don’t ever let it run dry. Keep him drinking at home and when he’s out there alone… it will help him let temptation go on by.”
Sexual sin, as a result of Eros, was evident in the Old Testament, was evident for the early church in the New Testament, and is evident for the 21st century believer today. Our feelings for our spouse can quickly change with a lingering look, with the swipe of a finger, or with the click of a button. If we let it, Eros is capable of destroying relationships – affecting generation upon generation.
But Eros, within the boundaries of marriage, is breathtakingly beautiful. While my own marriage is far from perfect… I can confidently say that Eros is something my husband, who I’ve been in a relationship with for 21 years, and I experience on a daily basis. Society would have us believe that romantic love must always be passionate and self serving. Personally, I believe Eros was meant to be so much more!
It’s about gentle touches; the way my husband flirts with me as he walks by, the way I play with his hair when he’s exhausted, and the way we rub each other’s feet (sorry to gross you out) after a long day.
It’s about selfless acts; my husband doing the dinner dishes each night, me fetching his tools as he works on projects in the garage, and both of us working side-by-side on household tasks.
It’s about sharing our joys, our hurts, our annoyances, and our successes with one another. It’s the day-to-day life we share. We fulfill our godly desire for love by choosing to do it, all of it, with only each other!
Eros is part of God’s design for us. That’s why he created Eve from (and for!) Adam. Delight in your spouse this Valentine’s week… and remember to keep their cup of love filled up!
Abundantly More – Knowing God and Making God Known.
“Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage.” Hebrews 13:4a NLT