Love is an emotion that we experience in various forms, depending on the context. It involves affection, compassion, care, and even self-sacrifice. This deep human emotion is rooted in the Triune Godhead, in the eternal relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is an emotion unique to the human experience, which is an image-bearer of God. For example, a pet owner loves his dog, but the dog does not love his owner.
Although love is a powerful emotion, it can also be the worst thing that can happen to a relationship. Though there is no absolute definition of love, it is generally accepted that it involves strong feelings of affection for someone else. The opposite of love is hate. Both feelings have different meanings, but when they are combined, they produce a completely different response.
Among the many theories of love, the emotion complex view emphasizes the fact that love is a complex emotional attitude toward another person. Such a view avoids overly reductionist language and the overly narrow teleological focus of the robust concern view. It also avoids the need to specify the formal object of love.
Greek philosophers referred to the love of gods as Agape, which is an unconditional love. Despite our actions, it never ends. It exists in all things, including children. Parents’ love for their babies is a form of Agape love. They love their children unconditionally and without conditions. They also love their spouses and other family members.
The bestowal view does not fully answer the question of why love is necessary. The truth is that love is an experience that transcends the rational mind. It is an emotion that is creative, not a reaction to an antecedent value. Therefore, any love account that understands love in terms of appraisal is missing something fundamental about the process.