[I issue a warning before a rather long post, largely due to quotations, but only because Mr. Lewis supports his claims better than I could.]
My parents were watching television in the den and on my way to the kitchen I overheard one of the characters asking, earnestly (though poorly acted), “Did you ever love us? At the end of the day… did you ever really love us?” She went on and on, and I don’t quite remember what the context was, but I was struck at how empty her life must be if whether or not that other character loved her (and whoever “us” were) was the highest meaning in her existence.
Not to be harsh, or to be read myself out of context, as I have just finished reading C.S. Lewis’s The Four Loves. The purpose of this book, and of its delineations between Need-love and Gift-love, natural loves and love by appreciation, Affection (familial), Friendship, Eros (romantic), and Charity, is to point out that all earthly/natural loves are finite, limited, and unable to achieve their fullest potential without appealing to a Higher Love, to Love Himself, and, as Lewis begins and ends with: God is love.