Way back in 1993, when the award winning movie “Beauty and the Beast” was still popular, I attended a Conference on Youth Violence. The teenaged speaker, Brian Atkinson called people out of the audience and dressed them up in costumes to act out the story of this old fairy tale. It was uproariously funny, but there were a lot of good lessons to be learned. No wonder Michael Medved, the conservative Jewish movie critic, stated in Sneak Previews: “The best movie I have seen this year. Period. The best for adults. The best for kids.”The theme of Beauty and the Beast is based on the concept of the Four Loves, masterfully described by C.S. Lewis in his 1960 classic "The Four Loves". English is unique because it only has one word for Love, whereas Greek was more precise. We love our children, our wives, our parents, a good meal, our money, classical (or rap) music, our country and we love sex. And God is Love. Certainly we are not talking about the same thing! Or do we fallen humans distort love in different ways? Lewis discusses four different categories of Love. They are: Storgē (affection, or familial love), Philia (friendship, or brotherly love) Eros (or affective love: often, but not always sexual) and finally Agape, (unconditional positive regard). But Agape is more than that: it is the kind of selfless love that God demonstrated when he sent his Son to die for us.
Storgē is the first love we experience as infants: when our diaper is too wet, or the tummy hurts, something responds to our cries and brings warm comfort and security. It is marked by affection and nurturance. Anyone who has held their new born baby knows the powerful emotions and even hormonal responses that it calls forth. This love is powerful enough to motivate an exhausted parent to wake from a warm bed and feed a hungry infant or nurse a sick toddler. Older siblings may also experience this kind of love for younger relatives, and even extended families are aware of the Storgē love that grandparents, aunts and uncles can have for their younger relatives. The main driving force in Storgē love is the family ties: sharing the same blood. Nevertheless, children, who have only experienced Storgē love will display it with playmates, and eventually with mentors or surrogate parents like Big Brothers or Sisters.
In the story of Beauty and the Beast the Storgē love between Belle and her father Maurice is delightfully portrayed. The townsfolk thought both of them somewhat odd because they just didn’t fit in: Maurice was a visionary inventor, and Belle loved books. But since they were family, they didn’t care that they deviated from societal norms: they loved each other sacrificially and were mutually supportive and encouraging.
Belle worried about her father and went searching for him when Phillipe the horse came back with an empty wagon. When she found he was imprisoned she volunteered to take his place. Upon gaining his freedom. Maurice tried to motivate the townsfolk to free his daughter from the dungeons of the Beast. When he could get no support he feebly tried to rescue her by himself, nearly dying in the attempt.
Impressed by the intensity of Belle’s Storgē love, the Beast relented and allowed her to go to her father’s side and nurse him back to health. She even took on “the medical establishment” who were trying take poor old Maurice (who they thought was demented) out of his comfortable home and put him into an insane asylum. There is an inherent imbalance of power in Storgē: One person must do all the giving and the other must do all the taking. In the case of a sick child or a feeble, elderly parent, this is inevitable. But when a marriage is based on Storgē and yet both partners are equally capable of caring for each other, this kind of love is immature and can become toxic. Power must be kept in the hands of one and not the other. A man who is looking for a woman to “mother him” the way his mother did will not experience an invigorating and vitalized marriage. In the same way, a woman who wants her husband to spoil her like her father did, but give nothing in return, can never enjoy a fulfilling love. John Bradshaw has much to say about the wounds caused by role reversal, when children feel obligated to parent their parents. This is very damaging to a young child who has to care for an irresponsible parent who is incapacitated by depression or substance abuse. But as people are living much longer nowadays, caring for one’s parents is has become a pressing issue. Some would call this a form of co-dependence. Thomas says “Sacrifice has taken on such negative connotations that people fear being a ‘codependent’ more than they fear being perceived as selfish.” Storgē is confusing.
Even the Bible challenges us to move on between the immature characteristics of Storgē love. “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” 1 Corinthians 13:11 Like a garden, a marriage that is not growing and maturing is dying.
Philia is the kind of love that encompasses friendship. Friendship is often based on the perception that your friend is similar in many ways. Thus we have friendships based on common interests: we make friends at clubs, the workplace, the gym or church. Our time is spent sharing common interests and encouraging common values. If we seek friends that are not like us, it is perhaps because they possess some qualities that we covet: musical talent, athletic prowess, intellectual ability or even self discipline. By associating with them, we hope that some of those “qualities” will somehow rub off! Some people only look for mates in their immediate social circle so that they can continue the camaderie they experienced before marriage: it seldom works As children mature beyond the childish experience of Storgē and discover that the opposite sex doesn’t have “cooties” they may suddenly find that they have found a special friend whose presence they find intoxicating. This is what we call puppy love or infatuation. We all know that this is a very fragile and transitory relationship. Gary Thomas writes: “Infatuation can be an intoxicating drug that temporarily covers up any number of inner weaknesses.” Actually the infatuated lover can only see those qualities that are either similar to his or qualities that he wished he had. By its very nature, Philia tries to ignore those qualities that they don’t like (they plan to change them later). While friendship does involve some mutual give and take, it is easily threatened by differences in appearance, values and opinions, and even ethnicity. While it is possible for Philia to bridge those barriers, it is more challenging. Many happily married people announce that their spouse is “my best friend.” While this is noble, marriage has the potential to be so much more. As we age, and bodies begin to deteriorate, the activities that defined friendship may gradually become more difficult: the couple who enjoyed the camaderie of long hikes together will suddenly be stressed when one partner becomes unable to take part.
In the movie Gaston may have been the villain, but he was the hero that the townsfolk admired and tried to emulate. With his physical prowess, aggressiveness, and hunting skill he had the potential to be a good provider. He was the popular life of the party and everyone lifts a glass in his honor. Relationships based on Philia like parties. They all agree on everything and so they are willing to work as a team. They conspire with Gaston to persuade and even try to manipulate Belle into marrying Gaston. When the town’s safety is threatened by the information that some Beast has stolen away one of their citizens, they rally behind Gaston’s crusade to conquer his rival and rescue the object of his affections. Church communities have a natural tendency to be made up of people who are similar in background and socioeconomic status. It is strengthening to marriages and young families to have friends who are going through the same struggles and have similar interests. But those very groups have a tendency to shut out those who they consider as “different” or behave in different ways. Gaston’s buddies thought Belle was weird because she was always reading books. But worse, they considered her father crazy because he was always trying to invent something. When people like Maurice who are considered “different” turn to the community for help, they are often ignored or ridiculed as Maurice was. The main goal of Philia in marriages and communities is to maintain the status quo. Philia does not have the resources to respond effectively to different needs and changing needs, which occur in every marriage.
Brian Atkinson nicknames Philia “label love”: people can become objects to be labeled and then classified and sorted. A relationship based on Philia cannot tolerate major differences, and it can’t adjust to differences. Philia as the basis of a marriage is bound to run into difficulties, because the gender differences between man and women are present. A Philia love remains secure when roles are rigidly adhered to, so a relationship based on Philia tends to be a rather traditional one. Labels have a tendency to alienate: “co-dependent”, “single parent”, “dysfunctional” or “liberal” set up walls to communication. In a marriage based on Philia, the application of labels such as “just like a woman”, “bipolar”, “whiner”, “lazy”, “careless” can be used to force the partner into repressing uniqueness and complying with an expected role: usually the role the person played when the relationship began. But people grow and change and seldom remain the same forever. Philia can hinder individual growth. A marriage based on Philia love will soon founder when they discover how different they really are. A common complaint is “why can’t you be like you used to be?” Philia is the basis behind hero worship and idolatry. But our heroes and idols have feet of clay and will disappoint us some day. If they are blindly followed, they can lead one astray. The exclusivity of Philia can lead to labeling people with derogatory names like “nigger”, “drunken Indian”, “welfare refugees”, “perverts”, or “infidels”. Corrupt Philia can be the basis for all organized violence: gangs, terrorists, and even war.
Eros includes, but is not limited to erotic, sexual love. It is essentially a love that says: “I love you because my make me feel good.” The tavern floozies cling to Gaston because he is “such a hottie”, but the hunter in him distains their affection: he loves the chase more than the catch. This is the essence of the cheap love portrayed in Hollywood romances. It can be a powerful motivator: both for good and evil. Since it was implanted by the Creator, we cannot condemn it as inherently evil. Without the driving force of sexual attraction, it is doubtful if any person would volunteer to subject themselves to the painful burden of childbearing. God put sexual desire within us so we could obey His command to our first parents: “Be fruitful and multiply.”Gary Thomas has studied how the church has struggled with the power of sexual love for 20 centuries. The general assumption was that to become truly holy, one had to become an ascetic: a priest, nun or monk who took vows of chastity. It is significant that none of the holy persons that were recognized and canonized by the Roman church were married. Yet those ascetics spend lifetimes in sexual and physical mortification to try and achieve spiritual experiences that would make them “feel good.” Recently, there has been a move towards a more balanced view: and sexual love is not necessarily devoid of spirituality. This was already well known to the Biblical writer of the Song of Solomon, who reveled in the physical beauty of his beloved and the delights of sensuous love.
In the movie, the lover motivated by Eros was the handsome and powerful Gaston. Not only was he admirable for his physical prowess, he knew it and admired himself. Whole libraries of books have been written on improving self-esteem, but Gaston didn’t need to read them. But he could have used some lessons in humility and conquering narcissismDespite Gaston’s overdone conceit and bragging about himself, he does not seem unrealistic. Our world is full of braggarts and the marketplace encourages them. Hero worship is aggressively promoted by our culture: whether it is Brad Pitt, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears or Oprah Winfrey. They seem to get everything they want (which causes us to want it too) Superstar status overshadows and camouflages their very obvious moral failures and character defects. By their example of temporary marriage, they make light of perseverance and fidelity and promote early divorce. Gary Thomas says: Evaluating your marriage so soon is like trying to eat a cake that’s half baked. In fact some experts suggest it takes from nime to fourteen years for a couple to truly ‘create and form its’ being”. (Mary Ann McPherson Oliver, Conjugal Spirituality: ThePrimacyfo Mutual Love in Christina Tradition, Kansas city: Sheed and Ward, 1994 quoted in Thomas, 107)Despite the fact that in psychology and psychiatry, excessive narcissism is recognized as a severe personality disorder, there does not seem to be much scholarly interest in studying it. A new name for a narcissist is “metrosexual” where narcissism and consumerism come together. The post-modern challenge is to become attractive to both sexes. The British soccer team captain David Beckham is the poster boy for narcissism. Mark Simpson says: For some time now, old-fashioned (re)productive, repressed, unmoisturized heterosexuality has been given the pink slip by consumer capitalism. The stoic, self-denying, modest straight male didn't shop enough…(BUT) given all its obsession with attractiveness, vanity for vanity's sake turns out to be not very sexy after all.”Gary Thomas tells a story about a famous actress who spent up to five hours a day in the gym to refine her body enhancing surgery in preparation for a movie where she would appear naked. (213) He notes that people “put more effort into changing physically than changing internally by growing in godliness.” (216) Our bodies have somehow become marketable commodities like garments.While women have long been considered vulnerable to narcissism and focusing on their outward appearance, it seems males have now joined them The biblical injunction in this post-modern age applies equally to men and women: ”3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.” (1 Peter 3:3-4) Physical bodies fade (and sag). The quality of character that creates inner beauty is eternal.
Eros when thwarted is not prepared to suffer. Thomas says: “Romantic Love has no elasticity to it. It can never be stretched; it simply shatters. (15) When the object of love does not make the lover feel good any more, the response can get ugly: such self seeking love will quickly turn to jealousy, anger and manipulation to get what it wants. When his plans are thwarted, Gaston even sinks to manipulating Belle to say yes by throwing her beloved father into an insane asylum.John Bradshaw says: “When sex is disengaged from awe, reverence and mystery (healthy shame) it becomes a sickness of soul and falls into the hogpen of spiritual bankruptcy.” (269)
Eros can be described as “Gillette Razor blade love”. Just as a fresh, sharp razor blade feels good when it is new, it soon becomes dull and is thrown away and replaced with a new one. But humans are not like things that become obsolete. Eros overlooks inner qualities and only values the attributes that make them “feel good”. Thomas writes: ….good marriages work hard to preserve a sense of romance. But the idea that a marriage can survive on romance alone, or that romantic feelings are more important than any other consideration when choosing a spouse, has wrecked many a marital ship. (14)
Agape love loves a person just the way they are. It is the highest and noblest love. According to C. S Lewis, it is not a love set apart from the other varieties of love, but a fulfillment of them. This love comes from Jesus Christ: St. John said: "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." 1 John 4:10-12 C.S. Lewis says that “this primal love is Gift-love. In God there is no hunger that needs to be filled, only plenteousness that desires to give.” the very reason God created humankind was to love them and give to them. “Divine Gift-love in the man enables him to love what is not naturally lovable; lepers, criminals, enemies, morons, the sulky, the superior and the sneering.” But the root, the well from which this Agape love springs is the ability that humans have to love God Himself.
When Belle tries to escape from him, the Beast bravely protects her against a pack of wild wolves, which attack him instead. Beast has “fallen in love” with Belle, but he lets her go to care for her ailing father. An anonymous proverb states: "If you love something let it go, if it comes back to you it’s yours, if it doesn’t, it never was.” He subsequently falls into the suffering of depression, which is made worse by Gaston and the townsfolk storming his castle seeking to destroy him. But his selfless love has captured Belle’s heart, and she runs to his side weeping while he writhes in pain from the near fatal wound that Gaston has inflicted. Charles Lindbergh’s wife Anne stated: “I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable.” Brian Atkinson gives an example of Agape. Bill, a US Marine whose face and arm was blown off by a grenade in Viet Nam is in hospital where several veterans were being treated for devastating injuries requiring plastic surgery. His wife visited him and assured him of her undying love and promised to stay with him: she told him she would be angry with him if he died! But other men in the ward were told by their wives that their marriage was over. They soon died, but Bill had a reason for living. Such devotion and Agape love is live giving. Unfortunately, the reality is that many marriages founder when touched by disfigurement, disability or sickness. Nearly three quarters of terminal illness patients are deserted by their spouses. Very few people take seriously the public vow they made during their wedding ceremony. “to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part; according to God's holy ordinances.”
The story delightfully unfolds as Belle’s interest begins to grow due to the Beast’s efforts to win her approval despite his horrid looks, his uncouth mannerisms and lack of social skills. His effort to love and win her love begins to transform him. The Beast had an advantage over most men, because he knew there is a time limit or he will lose all. Too many marriages have ended in divorce because one partner (usually the man) procrastinates on the necessary changes he needs to make. He thinks he will get around to it some day. He knows he needs to learn better communication skills, spend more time at home instead of the office, go to the marriage counselor or just get up off the couch and exercise to become more physically fit. However, God said in Genesis” My spirit will not remain in human beings forever for they are corrupt”. Genesis 6:3 (TNIV) Similarly, spouses may also get tired of waiting for the relationship to improve and suddenly the invisible line is crossed and irreparable harm has been done to the marriage. So they leave.
The climax of the story occurs when Belle finally at the last minute expresses her love for the Beast just before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose. In the story, the ugly, repulsive Beast is transformed into a classic, handsome prince.Although this is a fairy tale legend, it contains a timeless truth. True Agape love transforms. The path to Agape love may not be easy, but the results are worth it. It involves a dying to oneself and living for the good of the beloved.
Francis de Sales told a young woman: “The state of marriage is one that requires more virtue and constancy than any other. It is a perpetual exercise of mortification…From this thyme plant, in spite of the bitter nature of its juice, you may be able to drawn and make the honey of a holy life.”Agape love is best demonstrated by the example God gave us in sending his Son into the world to conquer death for our salvation: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17-18 (NIV)
A very meaningful ritual takes place in a Greek Orthodox wedding. The bride and groom are crowned with laurel wreaths: deliberately similar to the crown of thorns born by our Savior. These symbolize the Martyrs’ crown of glory that they will receive for enduring suffering for the name of Christ. “Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 (NIV) Marriage is meant to be a demonstration of God’s self sacrificial love. “Scripture tells us that the husband must love his wife even as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for it (Ephesians 5:25). Just recall Christ's words to His followers: “Greater love hath no man than that he lay down his life for his friend.” Love, then, from the Christian standpoint, means sacrifice, and self-denial. A husband must take as much care, concern, thoughtfulness, attention, regard and precautions for his wife as Christ takes for the Church. The husband's attentiveness might even have to extend to death itself. For just as Christ was put to death for His love of the Church, so too the Orthodox Christian husband must yield all things - even his life, if necessary - for his wife.” The same must hold true for the wife. Gary Thomas writes: “Persistence doesn’t make sense unless we live with a keen sense of eternity…I promise you, you won’t find one reference to a ‘crown in heaven’ that goes to the person who had the ‘happiest’ life on earth.” “The ‘paschal mystery of marriage’—the process of dying and rising as a pattern of married life for married people. Each day we must die to our own desires and rise as a servant. Each day we are called to identify with the suffering Christ on the cross and them be empowered by the resurrected Christ. We die to our expectations, our demand and our fears. We rise to compromise, service and courage.
Agape love in marriage is not in essence a different category of love, it is a richer quality. It is the fulfillment of the three other loves, which C.S. Lewis calls “the natural loves.” Agape “indicate[s] where their glory lies.” The marriage based on mothering Storgē love, can develop into a “differentiated unity” as described by the Balswicks. It is a love based more on giving than taking. A marriage that has degenerated into a boring routine of Philia love can be rejuvenated. Stanley et al advises: When differences arise, the partners need to “stop wearing fig leaves” become vulnerable and begin meaningful conversation so that intimacy can be restored. Les & Leslie Parrot remind us never to forget the two most overlooked romantic phrases: “I was wrong.” and “Will you forgive me?” A love that is merely romantic eroticism can transform into what Thomas Moore describes as a spiritual marriage:“We find the spiritual marriage not beyond the sensual, but through it, by means of it. The lover explores the body of his beloved and discovers himself at his source. His partner has brought out his erotic potential and given it an opportunity for realization; but what is exposed to real love is always the deep soul, never only what mentality we intend or understand.” Jack and Judy Balswick write; “The free-flowing exchange in which two persons intermingle to form a mystical one-flesh union is deeply satisfying emotionally and intellectually and spiritually.” “Agape is patient,Agape is kind.Agape does not envy,Agape does not boast,Agape is not proud.Agape does not dishonor others,Agape is not self-seeking,Agape is not easily angered,Agape keeps no record of wrongs.Agape does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.Agape always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”1 Corinthians 13:4-7
While Belle and her prince lived happily ever after, in reality the struggle for Agape love in marriage cycles throughout life. It is the Christian hope in the resurrection that gives this struggle purpose and meaning.Illustrations were captured electronically from the Award winning Disney Movie “Beauty and the Beast” and royalty free posters from the Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101414/ Quotes were taken from the following sources:Bibliography Atkinson, Brian. "The Love of Beauty and the Beast." BC Attorney General’s Conference on Youth Violence (1993). Balswick, Jack O., and Judith K. Balswick. A Model for Marriage : Covenant, Grace, Empowerment and Intimacy. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2006. Bradshaw, John. Healing the Shame that Binds You. Expanded and Updated ed. Deerfield Beach, Fla.: Health Communications, 2005. Church of England in Canada. Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, Hymn Book Canada. Edited by Synod of the Church of England in the Dominion of Canada. Cambridge England ; Toronto: University Press, 1918. Lewis, C. S. The Four Loves. London: Collins, 1963. Parrott, Les, and Leslie L. Parrott. 51 Creative Ideas for Marriage Mentors : Connecting Couples to Build Better Marriages. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006. "Meet the Metrosexual." in Salon Media Group, Inc [database online]. San Francisco, CA July 22, 2002 [cited 2009]. Available from http://dir.salon.com/story/ent/feature/2002/07/22/metrosexual/index.html. Stanley, Scott. A Lasting Promise : A Christian Guide to Fighting for Your Marriage. 1 ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998. Thomas, Gary. Sacred Marriage : What if God Designed Marriage to make Us Holy More than to make Us Happy? Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House, 2000. Trousdale, Gary, and Kirk Wise. "Beauty and the Beast." VHS Video (1991). Yancey, Philip. Where is God when it Hurts? : A Comforting, Healing Guide for Coping with Hard Times. Rev & updat , 1 Zondervan mass market ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997. Young, Alexey. "The Orthodox Christian Marriage." Orthodox America Vol XVII, No. 6, no. Issue 154 (1998). Journal on-line. Available from http://www.roca.org/OA/154/154f.htm.htm, 25 June 2009.
Philosophy of Marriage
A Model for Marriage ACTS Seminary PTH 616A Barry Neufeld Beauty and the Beast(Based on C.S. Lewis & the Four Loves)
Storgē: ςτοργή• Familial Love is the first we experience• Affection• Nurture• As parents• Sisters• Brothers• Relatives• Childhood friends• “Big” Sister, “Big” Brothers
Storgē: ςτοργή• Belle was loving and Supportive to her father Maurice• Despite eccentricity (differences)• When he was in trouble• When He was ill
Storgē: ςτοργή• Belle was loving and Supportive to her father Maurice• Despite eccentricity (differences)• When he was in trouble• When He was ill
Downside of Storgē: ςτοργή• Can be co-dependent• control• Power imbalance• Immature• Can interfere with marriage• Role reversal
Storgē: ςτοργήWhen I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When Ibecame a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11
Philia: φιλία• Friendship, brotherly love• I love you because you are like me• Similar: – Appearance – Values & opinions – Ethnicity“• Puppy love”• Camaderie
Philia: φιλία• The townsfolk admired Gaston• Wished they were like him• Parties & fun• Teamwork• Quick to label thoseConsidered “different”• Common goal: – “Protection of status”
Downside to Philia: φιλία• Quick to “label” those considered different• Can’t adjust to gender differences• Forces roles on others• Suppress individualism• Can lead to: – Prejudice & Racism – Gangs – War and terrorism
Eros: Ἔρωσ• A powerful force implanted by the Creator• I like the way you make me feel• Being “In love”• Sexual chemistry• Values physical beauty• Feels good
Eros: Ἔρωσ• Gaston had athletic prowess & power• No problem with self esteem – Irresistible – Was narcissistic • Determination: Motivated to win his “prize”: marriage to Belle
Downside of Eros: Ἔρωσ• Overlooks inner beauty• It wears off• Self Seeking• Jealousy• Easily angered• Manipulation
Downside of Eros: ἜρωσGillette Razorblade Love
Agape: αγάπη• I love you just the way you are• Is not put off by differences• Self giving• A mature love
Agape: αγάπη• Is willing to suffer• Protects• Seeks the best for the beloved
Agape: αγάπη• Is time sensitive• In the Story, the Beast is running out of time to win Belle’s love• The Petals of the Rose were falling• Too many marriages have given up too soon, before Love can blossom into Agape
Agape: αγάπη Modeled by God in giving us His Son The Martyr’s crown in an Orthodox WeddingBut God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
1 Corinthians 13:4-7Agape is patient, Agape is kind. Agape does not envy, Agape does not boast, Agape isnot proud. Agape does not dishonor others, Agape is not self-seeking, Agape is not easily angered, Agape keeps no record of wrongs. Agape does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Agape always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
a Philosophy of Marriage: Beauty and the Beast