The Four Loves

Lewis, C. S.

Fontana, 1963

p. 7

Lewis distinguishes what he calls “Gift-love” from what he calls “Need-love.”  Gift-love is the kind of love which a dying parent shows by making provision for children—a kind of provision the parent will not share or even see in action.  Need-love, by contrast, is “that which send a lonely or frightened child to its mother’s arms.”  This is the same distinction as Anders Nuygren’s in his Agape and Eros: here agape is Greek for Gift-love and eros is Greek for Need-love.  (While celebrating agape Nuygren almost entirely disparages eros.)  Lewis argues for the legitimacy, normality of Need-love.