To Be Loved and To Love

Volume 34
Spring 2006
To Be Loved and To Love

Love is a powerful force in human life. It seems to be one thing, but takes on many forms. A major task in therapy is to tap into intrinsic motivations for healthy change; to help people to fall in love with what they can, at their best, become. The Christian Scriptures offer a definition of love that can encourage healthy growth without the narcissistic overtones of self-esteem, which psychology can fall into, or a mechanical set of doctrines into which Christianity can fall. In this article, the nature of love is considered from psychological and theological literature. The various nuances of love are explored in relationship to attachment theory, altruism, some therapeutic schools, and Biblical perspectives. Finally I John 4, as the prototypical theological discussion of love, is applied to the counseling and growth process.

W.R. Clough
23 - 31
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