It has been reported by the Associated Press that “Fifty Shades of Grey” in its opening weekend made an estimated $81.7 million dollars. Described by the AP as an “erotic R-rated drama”, some even say ‘romance’ in explaining the movie brings to the forefront bigger questions. What is love and can it be found in a “Fifty Shades of Grey” world?
A painter uses the canvas as a backdrop to create a masterpiece; and it is that surface which holds things in place and allows the beauty and creative expression to be shown. If our lives are like a paint brush creating a work of art; do we not need some type of canvas to hold our work? Or is life like a zero gravity community where paint floats and contorts as it pleases and that is the beauty despite the fabric of creativity not being woven together? Or could it be that the vividness of the colors woven together expresses the beauty of love and life.
So what is Love? Is love, a secretive contract between two people that take from each other in some erotic sense of expression and communication? Is love, about benefiting myself despite what it communicates to others or how it makes them feel? Is love better expressed in shades of grey or in the vividness of color?
Before a painter ever begins to create a masterpiece, he first chooses a canvas. He will choose a canvas very carefully, so that the medium he uses will shows to the best advantage. The painter understands that the canvas can attract or take away from the masterpiece he is creating.
The idea of a painter, using various colors, from the palette, painted on a canvas to creative express a work of art; illustrates the question, “what is love?” Much like the painter, our lives have an important artistic communication, which is the expression of love. To me, this expression is best found through Divine love. The Bible says, that “God is love” (1 John 4:8b). In fact, the English language uses the same word to express love for pizza, a mother’s love for her child, a close friendship and sexual interaction. The Greek language which the New Testament is written in uses four words to express love. These words are an excellent backdrop to discuss love:
Storge – A word used to express family affection. Like the love of a mother towards a child.
Phila – From this word is the root of the city, Philadephia. The city of brotherly love. This word means love expressed in friendship or brotherly love.
Eros – Where we get our word erotic; which speaks of sexual love. It speaks of sexual love, along with love of things that are highly valued. An example would include a new sports car or a beautiful young woman or man.
Agape – This is a word, that came to describe Christian or selfless love. Please note not all Christians have or are practicing this love. In 1 Corinthians 13, the word love could be replaced by agape. This chapter describes love that is grace filled, not self seeking and is patient in its expression of love.
In fact this type of Agape love is described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (NIV)
The concept of agape love is enduring, the problem with eros love is that it is fleeting. The sports car breaks down, beautiful young people grow old and valued things lose their value. But agape love is enduring and it is a love that never fails. Maybe the pursuit to Find Love in a ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ World is the wrong perspective. A pursuit to find a love that is enduring and never failing seems to be the picture worth painting. Allow the paint strokes of agape love, to paint the expression of love in your life.
Source: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ whips up stunning $81.7 million by Lindsey Bahr, AP Film Writer 2/15/15