Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Know You Love Me, But Do You Like Me?

Michael Hyatt, former CEO and now Chairman of Thomas Nelson book publishers, has a good post about what kind of love keeps a marriage together. It's a guest post by counselor John Marshall, who was asked that question by a young man he was counseling whose marriage was ending.

For Christians, the standard answer has always been agape love—the selfless, sacrificial love where spouses love from the will; they choose to love as God chose to love the world in Christ.

But from the history of his own 30-plus years of marriage, Marshall gave a different answer. He thinks the kind of love that allows marriages to endure is philia, the Greek idea of brotherly love and affection. (Think Philadelphia, city of brotherly love—theoretically.) That's not to discount agape (selfless love) or eros (physical love), but without philia people don't remain friends in the long run. And that's what causes marriages to dissolve.

After painful years of thinking about this subject myself, I think Marshall is addressing a question that I've always put in these terms:

"I know you love me (and thanks for that), but do you like me?"

You can read Michael Hyatt's re-post of John Marshall's original post here. (Or on John Marshall's site here.)

(WK idea: What if significant others, instead of saying, "I love you," started saying, "I like you"? Just a thought.)

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