Saturday, February 11, 2017

Distinguishing Between Love and Desire

Monroe County

Dallas Willard, in Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge, writes: "Love means will-to-good, willing the benefit of what or who is loved. We may say we love chocolate cake, but we don't. Rather, we want to eat it. That is desire, not love. In our culture we have a great problem distinguishing between love and desire, but it is essential that we do so." (K 810-18)

I've met with spouses who interpret their sexual desire for their significant other as love. They view their partner as a treat to be consumed, like a piece of chocolate cake. Real love thinks of the other. And, of course, even the sex act can be other-centered.

Willard writes: "Agape love, perhaps the greatest contribution of Christ to human civilization, wills the good of whatever it is directed upon. It does not wish to consume it." (Ib.)