Is it a sin to have #sex with your wife on her #period? – | #vagina #menstruation #biblestudy #Christianity #marriage #WorshipJesus

Helloo everyone,

I’m baaaaack 😛

It’s been really busy at hopelikerivers HQ but I am slightly less busy for now. This pause gave me some time to reflect upon the hard-hitting, unusual and taboo issues that I like to address on my blog regarding Christianity and women. Today we’re looking at the issue of married couples having sex whilst the wife is on her period. What does the Bible have to say about this? Well lets take a look!

 

Biblical Prohibitions

For most women periods take up three to five days each month for around four decades. That adds up and women and their husbands are almost guaranteed to want to have sex at some point during that time (Kubota 2020) but some passages of the Bible appear to prohibit this.

Under the Law of Moses, a woman was considered ceremonially unclean during her period. Sex during this time was forbidden.

(Leviticus 15:19 NLT) “[19] “Whenever a woman has her menstrual period, she will be ceremonially unclean for seven days. Anyone who touches her during that time will be unclean until evening.”

Not only were women ceremonially unclean during this time but also the men they had sex with and anyone who came in contact with her menstruation discharge.

(Leviticus 15:20-24 NLT) “[20] Anything on which the woman lies or sits during the time of her period will be unclean. [21] If any of you touch her bed, you must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening. [22] If you touch any object she has sat on, you must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening. [23] This includes her bed or any other object she has sat on; you will be unclean until evening if you touch it. [24] If a man has sexual intercourse with her and her blood touches him, her menstrual impurity will be transmitted to him. He will remain unclean for seven days, and any bed on which he lies will be unclean.” (Bible Study 2020)

Further on in Leviticus the Bible gives us more prohibition:

(Leviticus 20:18 NLT) “[18] “If a man has sexual relations with a woman during her menstrual period, both of them must be cut off from the community, for together they have exposed the source of her blood flow.”

It is important to understand the purpose of the Law of Moses concerning blood. In the sacrificial system, blood was sacred:

Leviticus 17:11 [NLT] “[11] for the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the LORD. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.”

A woman’s state of being ceremonially unclean during her period was symbolic of the value placed on blood. As a result, contact with a woman who was having her period was forbidden (Got Questions 2020). Furthermore, emphasis on cleanness and uncleanness was to weave the importance of holiness and “separation unto the Lord” into the everyday understanding of what it meant to serve the true and living God. The distinction between cleanness and uncleanness functioned as a continual reminder of the difference between God (holy) and God’s people (sinful and fallen) (Bohlin 2020).

As a result of the above mentioned verses, some take the view that a married couple should practice the Law of Moses and not have sex while the wife is having her period (Got Questions 2020) in an attempt to please God.

 

Challenges To Period Sex Prohibition

There are 3 problems with taking the view that practicing the Law of Moses will please God and absolve you of sin.

1.) Firstly, it makes the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross pointless as you are not living by “faith” as it says in Galatians 2:16-21 [NLT]:

“[16] Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.” [17] But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not! [18] Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. [19] For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law–I stopped trying to meet all its requirements–so that I might live for God. [20] My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. [21] I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.”

2.) Secondly, as Paul said, if you start practicing the Law of Moses as a means of somehow making your life right in the eyes of God you have to obey all of them and if you don’t you are guilt of sin anyway. This is vocalised when the issue of circumcision came up in the New Testament:

(Galatians 5:3-5 NLT) “[3] I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. [4] For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. [5] But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.”

This sentiment is reiterated in James 2:10-11 [NLT]:

“[10] For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. [11] For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.”

So the moment you start observing one law, you have to observe them all. Those of us who know the Bible and have studied the Law of Moses know that it is simply not possible to practice the Law of Moses as a way to find favour with God because it is not practical. Buying all the animals for the sacrifices would bankrupt you for a start. MOST IMPORTANTLY, the Law of Moses is not a perfect means of atonement unlike the death and resurrection of the Lord King Jesus Christ.

3.) Lastly, along the lines of the practical challenges to practicing the Law of Moses on this particular issue. If the Leviticus instructions were applied consistently, even touching a woman on her period would be forbidden. As, mentioned above according to the Law of Moses you even cannot sit on the same seat as her, sleep in the same bed or even touch something that she has also touched (Leviticus 15:20-24) (Got Questions 2020). This is not practical to do today. Imagine what your daily commute would look like trying to avoid menstruating women? It’s not possible. You couldn’t even share pens at work lol.

Thanks to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ Christians today do not need to practice the Law of Moses in order to be atoned to God (made right with God) as we see in the following verses:

Romans 10:4 [NLT] “[4] For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.”

Galatians 3:24-26 [NLT] “[24] Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. [25] And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. [26] For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

The prohibition does not apply today because the purpose of the Law of Moses has been fulfilled. There no longer is a sacrificial system of atonement to God like the Law of Moses that involves actions such as avoiding menstruating women. You should avoid menstrual blood because it’s unhygenic not because it will make you spiritually impure. Jesus’ blood sacrifice fulfilled the requirements of the Law of Moses for sins once and for all. Therefore, the Levitical ceremonial laws that partly make up the Law of Moses do not apply today (Got Questions 2020). The sentiment behind those laws DO APPLY but animal sacrifices and ceremonial actions such as avoiding menstruating women are no longer necessary for spiritual purity. Those laws were designed to protect and provide for the purity of the Jews until the Messiah came. Now, Christ has torn down the barrier between Jew and Gentile and the Law of Moses was a major part of that barrier—which is no longer necessary.

It should, however, be noted that moral laws, such as what we find in the Ten Commandments, will never pass away because they are rooted in the very character of God. (Bohlin 2020).

 

So Period Sex Isn’t Out Of Bounds Then?

As I have made clear the need to observe the practices of the Law of Moses is no longer there. This has been replaced by the need to live by faith since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Does this mean we can ignore the laws from Old Testament? Romans 3:31 says:

“Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.” (NKJV)

God did not give laws just to give a law. There were reasons for each law given. Since we do not know all of God’s reasons, we can only speculate here are 5 possible reasons:

1.) Sanitation – There was no readily available plumbing to the Jews in the desert when Moses first received the law in Exodus. This meant that it was a lot harder to bathe and clean up. We know that a woman’s monthly period is messy and has an unfortunate smell…

2.) Spread of disease – A woman’s monthly period consists of blood. We now know that several infections and diseases are carried and spread through blood (Panell, M. 2020). There are two types of infection that may occur due to sexual activity: STIs and problems caused by changes in normal vaginal flora, such as yeast infections and Bacterial Vaginosis (Medical News Today 2020).

STI’s are viruses that live in blood and they can spread through contact with infected menstrual blood (Healthline 2020). While yeast infections can also occur without engaging in sexual activity but people may have a higher risk of getting a yeast infection due to the hormonal changes during a period. Yeast infections, spread by Vaginal-penile sex, can cause the head of the penis to become inflamed which is a condition called Balanitis (Medical News Today 2020) and FYI, one of the treatments for recurrent Balanitis is a circumcision soo, yeahhh… Additionally, during a woman’s monthly period, the cervix widens to allow the uterine lining to leave the body. This widening of the cervix would increase the risk for pelvic infections and HIV (Panell, M. 2020).

For those weirdo’s who will actually attempt this – Tami Serene Rowen, Assistant Professor at UCSF’s department of Obstetrics, in the division of Gynaecology cautioned against Oral Sex during a woman’s period in Mens Journal, due to the health risks associated with the increase in bacteria and inflammation in the blood itself during a woman’s period. Please don’t do it people it doesn’t seem to be a good idea (Kubotu 2020).

Side note in the medical section – For the more dozy women, there’s the risk of forgetting the tampon. If you plan to have sex during your period and you’re wearing a tampon, you need to remove it beforehand. A forgotten tampon can get pushed so far up into your vagina during sex that you’ll need to see a doctor to have it removed (Healthline 2020).

Another side note – something people may not be aware of is that Sperm can live up to 5 days in the woman’s body after ejaculation (Medical News Today 2020) so just be aware having sex during woman’s monthly period is not a form of birth control. Women can and do ovulate during their monthly period, so can also become pregnant at this time (Panell, M. 2020).

3.) Delayed gratification – Bohlin (2020) suggests that the law of abstaining from sexual relations during a womans period could have been God instituting a “built-in anticipation builder” for both husband and wife for when they could come back together again. Bohlin feels that many married couples know the joy of “reunion sex” and to her, God’s “off-limits for seven days” rule, insured “reunion sex” without somebody having to go away! (Panell, M. 2020). You can debate among yourselves the validity of the claim. I think most men would just like to have sex everyday if they could tbh and the break wouldn’t make any difference to their sex drive but that’s just me.

4.) Demonstration of Grace – Since the New Testament teaches equal value of the sexes (Gal. 3:28, “In Christ there is no male or female”), it may be that the purpose of the gender inequity (the woman being ceremonially unclean during her period) of the Old Testament was to set up the contrast for the glory of grace in the New Testament.

5.) Maybe this was God giving women a breathing space written in law to make allowances for their periods which is a time when there are hormonal changes in a woman which we can’t help, that may make some not want anything to do with sex, while others have an increased desire for sex. It is the same way with pain. Some women do not have pain if they have sex during their monthly period while others may have an increase in pain. Apparently, some women have noted a decrease in cramps if they have sex during their monthly period (Panell, M. 2020).

 

Benefits to period sex

With there no longer being any biblical reasons why a married couple cannot have sex during the wife’s period (Got Questions 2020). Let’s have a look at this phenomenon with an open mind and see if there are any benefits to Period Sex. In order to write a properly balanced article I must note any advantages as well as disadvantages anyways. Here we go!

According to my research (which was in no was extensive) there seem to be some benefits to Period Sex. Disclaimer: not all the benefits have been scientifically proven. Please take this with a pinch of salt and don’t go crazy, you read the health risks I included above so be sensible. The possible benefits of period sex that I have found include:

  • Shorter periods due to uterine contractions during orgasm
  • Lighter, less painful periods
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved sleep
  • Headache relief
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Improved fitness (Medical News Today 2020)
  • Less need for lubrication When a woman is on her period there’s just that extra fluid in the genitals to make things spicier
  • More enjoyable sex due to libido changes (Flo Health 2020) – Fluctuating hormones and increased blood flow to the pelvic area may both play a role. (Estrogen and testosterone are low on day 1 of menstruation but they start to rise by day 3.) Woman’s sex drive tends to peak around ovulation—roughly 10 – 16 days before menstruation starts—but some women also report feeling extra desire during their periods (Health 2020).

 

7 tips for happy Period sex

So is there a way to conduct Period Sex that makes the whole thing less disgusting. Why yes! I’m being super open-minded and cool about the whole thing and have decided to include some tips I found for those interested:

  1. Be open and honest with your spouse. Tell them how you feel about having sex during period time and ask how they feel about it. If either of you is hesitant, talk about the reasons behind the discomfort.
  2. Women if you have a tampon in, FOR GOODNESS SAKE REMOVE IT BEFORE YOU START FOOLING AROUND.
  3. Spread a dark-coloured towel on the bed to catch any blood leaks as your period can cause a small crime scene on your sheets (Flo Health 2020). Or, have sex in the shower or bath to avoid the mess entirely – (I’m Dyspraxic (a bit uncoordinated) so sex in the shower is probably not a good idea for me, I guarantee you I would slip hah hah! You can try it if you want to though lol).
  4. Keep a wet wash cloth or wet wipes by the bed to clean up afterwards.
  5. Use latex condoms, good for family planning and protection against whatever stuff either half of the marriage has brewing in their nether regions lol.
  6. If your usual sexual position is uncomfortable, try something different. For example, you may want to try lying on your side with your spouse behind you or stay in the missionary position (as a Christian, with knowledge of what missionaries do I am confused as to why is it called that?..) (Healthline 2020)
  7. Wash your sheets afterwards. They’ll need it…

 

 

Conclusion

When it comes to sex during period time, some medical professionals do not recommend it as touching the blood of another person is unhygienic and usually women have no desire to have sexual relations during their period anyway, so that is definitely something to consider.

As far as the Bible goes, basically, this issue must be decided by a husband and wife in the spirit of “mutual consent” as 1 Corinthians 7:5-6 [NLT] describes:

“[5] Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. [6] I say this as a concession, not as a command.” (Got Questions 2020).

A husband and wife need to study the passages like the one above and seek God in the matter of having sex during the wife’s monthly period (Panell, M. 2020). Especially as Period sex could turn out to be messy and not everyone is comfortable dealing with bloody sheets or getting naked during what tends to be a bloated, crampy, unsexy time of the month (Health 2020). If either the husband or wife is uncomfortable with having sex at this time, this should be respected and the couple should refrain from having sex. Remember, sex is a way of demonstrating your love for each other. Therefore, a couple should only do those things that the husband and wife are both comfortable with (Panell, M. 2020).

 

Authors concluding thoughts

Although I have been super open-minded in writing this blog post, my personal conclusion as a Christian and a woman who is still in her menstruating years is thus: Blood coming out from the mysterious nether regions is particularly unsettling and to many men and women, a little gross (Kubotu 2020). Considering that sex already involves a wide range of fluids and excretions, including sweat, urine, sperm, and even faecal matter (Flo Health 2020), I don’t really think it would be very nice to add to that. Also, if you do a little research, you find that there are many sound medical reasons for abstaining from intercourse during the time of a woman’s menses (Bible Study 2020).

As the Bible does not give any specific prohibitions that are relevant today. I guess you don’t have to let periods put a halt to your sex life. If you do a little prep work, sex can be just as enjoyable during those period days as it is the rest of the month (Healthline 2020).

However, to be perfectly honest, the whole thing just sounds really unhygienic and I remain unconvinced lol. It’s good to know that no sin is attached to the activity but I just think it’s gross lol. When I’m on my period I feel icky, grumpy, emotional, my tummy hurts and my everything is sore. I would just prefer some chocolate, paracetamol, hugs and junk food over penis… Therefore, this issue goes in “The Things I Can Do But Wont” box. To quote St Paul:

1 Corinthians 10:23 [NLT] “[23] You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is beneficial.”

Indeed…

xxx

 

 

Bibliography

Panell, M. 2020. Sex during her period <https://bible-christian.org/sex-during-her-period/&gt; June 17, 2020

Bible Study. 2020. What does Bible say
about intercourse during menses? <https://www.biblestudy.org/question/is-intercourse-a-sin-during-period.html&gt; 17 June 2020

Bohlin, S. 2020. Why were women unclean during their period in the Old Testament? Also, why were the number of unclean days different for the birth of a male child vs. a female child? Why doesn’t this apply today? <https://probe.org/why-were-women-unclean-during-their-period-in-the-old-testament/&gt; 17 June 2020

Flo Health. 2020. Can You Have Sex on Your Period? Pros and Cons of Period Sex <https://flo.health/menstrual-cycle/sex/sexual-health/sex-on-period&gt; 17 June 2020

Got Questions. 2020. Is it acceptable to God for a husband and wife to have sex while the wife is menstruating / having her period? <https://www.gotquestions.org/sex-period.html&gt; 17 June 2020

Health. 2020. 5 Reasons You Should Have Sex On Your Period <https://www.health.com/sex/health-benefits-period-sex&gt; 17 June 2020

Healthline. 2020 Is It Safe to Have Sex During Your Period? Tips, Benefits, and Side Effects <https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/sex-during-periods#side-effects>17 June 2020

Kubota, T. 2020. 8 Things Every Man Should Know About Sex and Her Period <https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/8-things-every-man-should-know-about-sex-and-her-period-20151216/&gt; 17 June 17, 2020

Medical News Today. 2020. Is it safe to have sex during menstruation?<https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321667#is-it-safe&gt; 17 June 2020

Sorry Baby I still loves you xxx

Hello lovelies!

I’m so sowwy I have been really busy. To be fair, I just picked up not one but two new qualifications 😀 (more about that another time!).

Anyway, to make up for me not being so vocal on the blog these past couple of weeks I have a few treats lined up for you, so you know mummy still loves you xxx

But you have to come back next week to see them 😛

I am such a tease!

hehehe

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#harp #freelance #musiciansofinstagram 😋

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#Sexy #Sex and #Christian #Worship

Posted this on Wednesday by mistake instead of Thursday but it’s all good 😄

Hellooooooooooo!

Now you know me and my juxtaposition of sexual activity and expressive worship. Well in my travels in academia doing my PhD in Womanist Theomusicology I came across something quite insightful that has really changed the way I worship. The idea came from a response to an interview question found in an ethnographic study by Travis Cooper (2011) Masters Thesis from Missouri State University: “Ecstasy and the Kinesthetic Body: An Ethnograhpic Study of Contemporary Pentecostal Worship”.

When analysing the responses Cooper received from the qualitative questionnaires regarding the worship techniques and ideas of Pentecostal Christians, Cooper found that one Pastor said something that really struck me. He related worshipping Jesus to a husband and wife having sex. Now, stay with me….!

The Pastor warned that when worshipping Jesus we should not perusing a good knees up with some songs that make us feel good. Instead, the pastor said we should be pursuing a relationship with Jesus. The same way a husband should not be having sex with his wife just for his own sexual gratification he should be having sex with his wife because he loves her.

The pastor said the following:

“…the ultimate goal for sexual relations between a husband and wife is not simply pleasure or childbearing, but facilitation of love between the two agents in the physical act of intercourse, so it is with worship.” (Cooper 2011, pp.182)

I learnt soo much about worship and love in that one profound sentence. There’s just so much I could say but I really think that sentence says it all. We should be thinking about Jesus when we are worshipping not looking to pleasure ourselves with little ditty’s that make us feel good.

So here’s how my worship practice has changed: Instead of sitting there singing/playing songs that make me feel good I think of Jesus more of a lover that I am pursuing. So I think well this should be about Jesus, what does Jesus want? How can I make Jesus happy? What can I do to make us closer?

Sometimes I just play the guitar to Jesus now because I think well, maybe Jesus just wants to listen to some music same as we humans do! Also, I try to improve my professional practice because I feel like Jesus wants me to improve.

When we worship and love our spouses it should be about the other person and getting to know them better not about ourselves.

Remember, pleasure should be a consequence of the pursuit not the other way around!

A revised #theology on #sex through #song (I WROTE A NEW SONG)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

(I wrote a new song it’s at the bottom)

Sorry it’s late I was still doing work. I need to learn when to stop lol.

Anyway, remember the song I wrote based on Song of Songs called “I hope The Neighbors Don’t See? It was about marital sex in the garden. Follow this link to read my previous post on that song.

Anyway I wrote a Part Deux to that song, it’s a medley of another song I wrote called Right Here and a new part to I Hope The Neighbors Don’t See I affectionately call I Hope The Neighbors ALL See… heh heh 😏.

It’s still based on Song of Songs and mirrors follows the tripartite-metaphor in that the love poem represents love between:

1.) Women and Men

2.) King Solomon and a dark skinned woman and

3.) Jesus and the church.

However, this time I remembered the verse of scripture in the Bible that says:

Luke 8:16 NLT
“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.

So I thought yeah, hoping the neighbors don’t see you in the garden doing it with your spouse fits our Western sense of propriety, however, the lovers in Song of Songs are very public about their connection and hiding your love away doesn’t seem to be biblical, especially when it comes to your relationship with Jesus. (No I am not advocating public indecency, do have sex behind closed doors but do aspire to show your love for your fellow man, spouse and God publicly).

It also says in the Bible that we are not supposed to be ashamed of Jesus, if we are ashamed of Jesus and the message of the Gospel Jesus himself said He would be ashamed of us:

Luke 9:26 NLT
If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man* will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.

*a title Jesus gave to Himself.

But what does this talk about, marriage, sex and public displays of affection have to do with Jesus? There’s something you need to know about Jesus and our relationship with Him. Psalm 1:6 says:

Psalm 1:6 KJV
For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

The Hebrew word used for “knoweth” is “yada” it’s also the Hebrew word for sex. In the Torah sex is not just something necessary for procreation but it’s about intimate knowledge of another individual it’s about knowing, recognizing and understanding each other (Gold 2020).

The word is used both in reference to a man and wife having sexual
intercourse and—get this—in reference to a person being in deep
fellowship with God (Gresh 2020).

Indeed Paul says that:

Ephesians 5:31-33 NLT
As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” [32] This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. [33] So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

The mystery of sexual and romantic relationships explains to us the depth of relationship we are supposed to have with Jesus.

Additionally, the church is described as the bride of Christ in Revelation. What do husbands and wives do? Yada yada… heh.

Properly understanding and appropriately practicing sex within the covenant of marriage is actually vitally important in understanding the Gospel and our relationship with Jesus. That’s why I’m so open about the topic.

So, we s supposed to be in an intimately deep relationship(sex metaphor) with Jesus (husband metaphor), in covenant(marriage metaphor) which would be the covenant of Salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus and acceptance of that and Jesus does not like it when we are ashamed of Him .

So the same way you would show your love publicly to your spouse, have intimacy with your spouse and not be ashamed of the person you’re with its the same with Jesus.

Therefore, in light of the above I have come to the conclusion that, metaphorically, you would want the neighbors to see your relationship with Jesus publicly.

Therefore, I have written a new version as an add on to the original I Hope The Neighbors Don’t See to reflect this. In keeping with the husband and wife metaphor from Song of Songs, it’s actually about relationship with Jesus. It sounds raunchy but with a revised theology on sex it makes sense:

Ok here’s the Original:

HERE’S THE NEW SONG:

Xxxx

Bibliography

Gold, M. D. 2020. The Purpose and Meaning of Sex in Judaism
<https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-purpose-and-meaning-of-sex-in-judaism/&gt; 02 January 2020

Gresh, D. 2020. Yada yada. <https://liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/yada-yada-yada/&gt; 02 January 2020

[Video Essay] The Seven Kinds Of LOVE

Hello lovely subscribers and guests,

Welcome! For those of you in the know I said that I have decided to start reading my longer blog posts to you, as it’s more accessible for some people. To test this out I’ve decided to reblog this post about the different kinds of love. You can either watch me read this to you or you can read it below or you can listen and follow the text it’s up to you enjoy! Follow this link to see my other YouTube videos! Don’t forget to subscribe!

Essay

The ancient Greeks had various words to describe “love” and the various forms it comes in. Let’s have a look at the first one in no particular order:

1), Agápe (ἀγάπη)

Agápe (ἀγάπη) – love: esp. charity; the love of God for man and of man for a good God (Liddell and Scott 2010, p.4). Agape is used in ancient texts to denote feelings for one’s children and the feelings for a spouse. Also, used by Christians to express the unconditional love of God for his children (Romans 5:5; 5:8) (Wikipedia 2019, Greek words for love). In his book The Four Loves (1960), C. S. Lewis describes this as the love that exists regardless of changing circumstances and recognizes this selfless love as the greatest of the four loves and a specifically Christian virtue to achieve (Wikipedia 2019, The Four Loves).

Canadian psychologist John Alan Lee wrote a set of typologies about love (types of things) in his book Colours of Love: An Exploration of the Ways of Loving (1973) and these are Lee’s recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love:

  • Attracted to several types of people
  • Meets people easily so most likely will begin with a stranger
  • Feels concern and care for each partner they have
  • Is neither jealous nor obsessive
  • Enjoys sex and is willing to improve it (Sternberg 1988, p.48) (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

2.) Éros (ἔρως)

Éros (ἔρως) – love, mostly of the sexual passion (Liddell and Scott 2019, ἔρως) The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “intimate love”. In the Symposium (360 B.C.), the most famous ancient work on the subject, Plato has Socrates argue that eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and understanding of spiritual truth, the ideal “Form” of youthful beauty that leads us humans to feel erotic desire, that is, finding its truth, just like finding any truth, leads to transcendence (Plato 1973) (360 B.C.) (Wikipedia 2019, Greek words for love). Lewis saw this love in the sense of “being in love” or “loving” someone, as opposed to raw sexuality (Lewis 1960, pp.108-109). Additionally, Lewis also warned against the modern tendency for Eros to become a god to people, a justification for selfishness and even a phallic religion (Lewis 1960 pp.127-132, 113). After exploring sexual activity he also notes how Eros (or being in love) is in itself an indifferent, neutral force (Lewis 1960, p.124) (Wikipedia 2019, The Four Loves).

Lee’s recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love:

  • Feels strong physical and emotional connection through the relationship
  • Begins with a partner who is a stranger and evokes immediate excitement
  • May be exclusive but not possessive
  • Seeks early sexual adventure, variety and technique
  • Is ready for love and its risks (Sternberg 1988, p.51) (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

3.) Philia (φιλία philía)

Philia (φιλία philía) – affectionate regard, friendship, usually between equals (Liddell and Scott 2019, φιλία). It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle (Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 2014). In his work on ethics, Nicomachean Ethics (350 B.C.), Philia is expressed variously as loyalty to friends, family and community and requires virtue, equality, and familiarity (Wikipedia 2019, Greek words for love). In the same fashion Lewis saw Philia as the friendship love also and a strong bond existing between people who share common values, interests or activities (Hooper 1996, p.654). Lewis differentiates friendship love from the other loves describing it as “…the least biological, organic, instinctive, gregarious and necessary…the least natural of loves” (Lewis 1960, p.70). He expresses a strong distaste for the way modern society ignores friendship and felt that few people in modern society could value at its worth, as so few actually experienced true friendship (Lewis 1960, pp.77, 84–85, 70) (Wikipedia 2019, The Four Loves).

Storge is also used to describe this kind of love and Lee uses it instead of Philia so does not provide recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love). See below for Lee’s recognizable traits for a person exhibiting Storge.

4.) Storge (στοργή)

Storge (στοργή storgē) – love, affection and especially of parents and children (Liddell and Scott 2019, στοργή). It is the common or natural empathy, like that felt by parents for offspring (Strong et al 2008, p.228). Rarely used in ancient works and even then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family. It is also known to express putting up with situations, as in “loving” the tyrant. This is also used when referencing the love for one’s country or sports team (Wikipedia 2019, Greek words for love). Lewis has an interesting take on this kind of love, describing it as liking someone through the fondness of familiarity, for example, the natural love and affection of a parent for their child. Lewis describes this as the most natural, emotive and widely diffused of loves. Natural because it is present without coercion, emotive because it is the result of fondness due to familiarity and most widely diffused because it pays the least attention to those characteristics deemed worthy of love and as a result, able to transcend most discriminating factors (Wikipedia 2019, The Four Loves).

Lee’s recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love:

  • Is not looking for love but is ready if encountered
  • Quietly possessive but not overly jealous
  • Believes love comes from friendship but not a goal of life
  • Only has sexual desires after commitment is declared (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

5.) Ludus

Ludus – “game” in Latin (hence the name of the game Ludo, remember that? Old Schooool! Totally showing my age!!! lol). Lee uses the term to describe those who see love as a desiring to want to have fun with each other, to do activities, tease, indulge and play harmless pranks on each other (like me lol). The acquisition of love and attention itself may be part of the game (Lee 1973, p.16) (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

Lee’s recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love:

  • Ludic lovers want to have as much fun as possible.
  • When they are not seeking a stable relationship, they rarely or never become overly involved with one partner and often can have more than one partner at a time.
  • They don’t reveal their true thoughts and feelings to their partner, especially if they think they can gain some kind of advantage over their partner. The expectation may also be that the partner is also similarly minded.
  • If a relationship materializes it would be about having fun and indulging in activities together.
  • This love style carries the likelihood of infidelity.
  • In its most extreme form, Ludic love can become sexual addiction (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

6.) Mania

Mania – from the Latin for “mental disorder”, from which we get the term “manic” or mainiac! Lee defines manic love as flowing out of a desire to hold one’s partner in high esteem and wanting to love and be loved in this way. This type of love leads a partner into a type of madness and obsession. It is a mix between Ludus and Eros.

Manic lovers speak of their partners in possessives and feel they “need” their partners. Love is a means of rescue or a reinforcement of value. Manic lovers value finding a partner through chance without prior knowledge of financial, educational, or personality dispositions.

Insufficient expression of the love of mania by one’s partner can cause one to perceive the partner as aloof, materialistic and detached. Lewis doesn’t go into this in the book, probably because Mania isn’t love at all.

Lee’s recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love:

  • Anxious about falling in love and has expectations of pain
  • Quickly becomes overwhelmed by thoughts of their partner
  • Forces partner into showing affection and emotion
  • Is easily frustrated and does not enjoy sexual intimacy
  • Is very possessive and jealous (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

7.) Pragma

Pragma – from a Greek term meaning “businesslike”. Lee defines Pragma as the most practical type of love and not necessarily derived out of true romantic love, rather, Pragma is a convenient type of love.

Pragmatic lovers have a notion of being of service, which they perceive to be rational and realistic. This also translates to having expectations of a partner and of the relationship. They tend to select and reject partners based on what they perceive as desirable, compatible traits. Pragmatic lovers want to find value in their partners, and ultimately want to work with their partner to reach a common goal. The practicality and realism of pragmatic love often aides longevity of the relationship, as long as common goals and values remain shared for the duration.

In a culture where arranged marriage is practiced, pragmatic love is very common at the time of mate selection. Values are likely to be shared by a couple in developing countries, where survival and wealth building are often prioritized over other life pursuits.

Lee’s recognizable traits:

  • Certain of their preferable “types”
  • Begins a relationship with an already familiar person
  • Believes a loving relationship is desirable for a happy life
  • Expects reciprocation of feelings
  • Believes sexual compatibility can be worked out (Sternberg 1988, p.51).

Further Theories On Love By C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis distinguishes between three main kinds of love Need/Gift Love, Pleasure and Appreciation Love.

Need- Love and Gift- Love
Need-Love – as the love of a child for its mother. However, a child’s need for parental comfort is a necessity, not a selfish indulgence. Gift-Love – epitomized by God’s love for humanity to the disparagement of the former (Lewis 1960, pp.9-12).

Pleasure and Appreciation Love
Lewis distinguishes Need-Pleasures e.g. such as water for the thirsty from Pleasures of Appreciation, such as the love of nature (Lewis 1960, pp.20; 27) from the latter. He developed what he called “a third element in love … Appreciative love” (Lewis 1960, p.26) to go along with Need-love and Gift-love (Wikipedia 2019, The Four Loves).

In my mind I rationalise it like this – Need/Gift Love is “I need you”. Need-Pleasure Love is “I want you” and Pleasure/Appreciation Love is “I want you because I need you”.

My Thoughts On The Matter

I think I personally am a mixture of a couple of those loves, they show what I have said for ages. Love is an emotion that comes from being physically around someone. Real loves is bourne out of real life situations. Sometimes what you are feeling is not love at all it’s Maaaanniiiiaaa! Simple Ludus or Pure unadulterated Eros!

So back to my point that I keep on going on and on and on about…

You cannot fall in love with someone purely based on your interaction with them online. If you have not met them in person and do not have a real life physical rapport with them, it’s not love. You are in love with the idea of them, as without meeting them in real life, you cannot possibly know who or what they actually are. Your relationship is with your computer or smartphone via WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook or even WordPress!

Do you find that when you see those little notifications from that person you have been stalking online ahem *cough* I mean that person you chat to online… that you begin to get a bit turned on? It’s not because you are truly in love with that person. You just enjoy the rush of interacting with them or stalking them online and you have conditioned your brain to receive pleasure from that kind of interaction, instead of interaction with a human face to face.

It’s not my place to judge why people do these things, I am just pointing out the flaws in such interaction. I’m just saying, God made humans as two naked people. Naked to show the intimacy and transparency that comes from real friendships.

Genesis 2:21-25 [NLT]
“So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. [23] “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” [24] This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. [25] Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”

God didn’t make Adam and a computer screen with Eve sitting in some other part of the Garden of Eden. Humans are supposed to be relational and together, face to face, more often than not. Online interaction is not a substitute for real life relationships.

Follow this link to read my previous blog post on this issue, it’s important > Can you fall in #love with someone #online? #onlinedating #communication #internet #relationships

X x x (do not misinterpret that as a kiss…)

Bibliography

Books

Hooper, W. 1996. C. S. Lewis: A Companion & Guide. United Kingdom: Harper Collins Pub Ltd

Lee, J. A. 1973. Colours of Love: An Exploration of the Ways of Loving. Toronto: New Press.

Lewis, C. S. 1960. The Four Loves. London: Geoffrey Bles

Liddell, H. G. and R. Scott. 2010. An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon: Founded Upon The Seventh Edition Of Liddell And Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon. United Kingdom: Benediction Classics.

Plato. 1973. The Symposium. W. Hamilton Trans. 1973. Repr. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Sternberg, R. J. 1988. Triangulating Love. In The Psychology Of Love, R. J. Sternberg & M. Barnes eds, pp.119–138. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Strong B, W., L. Yarber, B. W. Sayad and C. Devault. 2008. Human sexuality: diversity in contemporary America. 6th edn. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Websites

Aristotle. 350 B.C. ‘Nicomachean Ethics. Trans W. D. Ross’ The Internet Classics Archive Web site, at: <http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.8.viii.html&gt; 02 May 2019

Internet Encyclopaedia Of Philosophy. 2014. ‘b. Philia’ Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy Web site, at: <https://www.iep.utm.edu/love/#SH1b&gt; 24 August 2014.

Liddell, H. G. and R. Scott. 2019. ‘ἔρως’ Perseus Web site, at: <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3De)%2Frws> 02 May 2019

Liddell H. G. and R. Scott. 2019. ‘στοργή’ Perseus Web site, at: <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dfili%2Fa&gt; 02 May 2019

Liddell H. G. and R. Scott. 2019. ‘φιλία’ Perseus Web site, at: <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dfili%2Fa&gt; 02 May 2019

Plato. 360 B.C. ‘Symposium. Trans. B. Jowett.’, The Internet Classics Archive Web site, at: <http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/symposium.html&gt; 02 May 2019

Wikipedia. 2019. ‘Color wheel theory of love’, Wikipedia Web site, at: <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_wheel_theory_of_love&gt; 01 May 2019

Wikipedia. 2019. ‘Greek word for love’, Wikipedia Web site, at: <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love&gt; 1 May 2019

Wikipedia. 2019. ‘The Four Loves’ Wikipedia Web site, at: <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Loves&gt; 01 May 2019

I Saw #Jesus!

Hey everyone,

So yesterday I had some spare time and I was just (wasting it lol) spending it laying on my bed, on top of the covers, pretty much doing nothing but daydreaming, thinking about nothing important really. In fact, what I was thinking about was something rather silly, I was imagining being on one of those chat shows and thinking about what I would say and wear and so on lol.

Then I looked over to the right and I saw Jesus just casually sitting on the other side of the bed. I thought to myself wait a minute…. Jesus just stealthily came into my room, sat next to me on my bed without my knowledge and was listening to me think stupidness lol, nothing particularly holy or inspiring but Jesus just seemed to be happy to chill. At first I noticed and carried on thinking, then the Holy Spirit said to me I should thank Jesus for being there. So I did.

I thought to myself – how long has Jesus been there? Lol. Also, how often does Jesus do that? Lol. Also, I realised that Jesus must be there the whole time. We think we are alone but we’re not.

I thanked Jesus for being there because we know that Jesus “loves” us but sometimes it’s really comforting when Jesus does things to let us know that He “likes” us. You hang with people you can stand lol.

Interestingly – when I thought something that I knew was naughty, Jesus disappeared, I then asked forgiveness for that thought then Jesus reappeared!

My experience showed me that the following scriptures are true:

Psalm 34:7 NLT
For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

This is because I realised through my experience that Jesus must there all the time!

Also:

1 Thessalonians 5:2 NLT
For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.

Jesus came into my room stealthily like a thief in the night, without my knowledge, it was just – boom – Jesus is here. My goodness when the rapture happens no one is even going to know what hit them, Jesus will just be not there and then be there!

N.B. I was at the sink this morning, my mind somewhere else again and I saw Jesus again! Standing in front of me, facing me, body angled slightly to the side, looking at me like he was walking past, saw something interesting and had just turned around to look to see what it was.

Fascinating!

Catherine x