While most sources mention four Greek words for love, Ed Wheat also uses the word epithumia in “Love Life for Every Married Couple.” Other sources I’ve looked at concerning the Greek words for love seem to combine epithumia with eros. Epithumia means “strong desire” - to long for, or covet. Negatively, it is translated as lust in the Bible. Positively, it means desire. Married couples should have a strong physical desire for one another.
Couples (often women) seem to confuse this aspect of love with feelings. Sex is a very important part of marriage and a true indicator of the health of a marriage. When couples allow their negative feelings to interfere with the frequency of their sex life, trouble begins.
Couples that marry naturally carry a physical desire for each other (if they marry for the right reasons.) That desire needs to be nurtured and kept alive for a marriage to survive. It is very important that we continue to meet the needs of our spouse in order to have a healthy sex life. (ALL needs - not just sex.)
I’ve talked before about problematic issues with sex, but the bottom line is that you must put your spouses needs ahead of your own - even if you don’t “feel” like it. Men and women get caught in a selfish, vicious cycle of holding back on sex (and other needs) because they allow anger and frustration and the troubles of the day to get in the way. Most of the time, a good roll in the hay will melt away the troubles of the world! We just need to put those initial distractions and feelings aside.
I’m always amazed at the emotional cleansing sex can bring. There may be a wall of worldly garbage between Rick and me that has caused us to ignore physical and emotional intimacy. Once we break through, our bond is powerfully strengthened and we feel closer than ever; we can conquer the world.
THAT is why sex is so important. It continues to reunite you as one when the weight of the world and the old devil threatens to tear you apart. Sex is so much more than a sporting ritual. It is the miracle bond that God gave us to keep a marriage together.
Though not mentioned in the bible, eros is another Greek word for love that the word erotic derives from. Eros means romance, passion and sentiment. It is the kind of love that initially draws a couple together. It is the kind of love people write poems and songs about. It is often called rapture, or exquisite pleasure and can be terrifying because it is all-absorbing.
The problem with eros is that it can change. It is a selfish love. It cannot last a lifetime on it’s own. It needs a deeper form of love to withstand the difficulties marriage can bring. This is why divorce has become so popular. Many couples have not developed their love any farther than eros. Promises are easily broken when eros disappears.