We are ultimately, and in reality, beings among beings - and human destiny entails becoming fully aware of this fact and freely embracing it in our thinking.
We began (as young children, and in the early days of Man) as un-consciously living as beings among beings - and with our personal being (our self) not-fully-differentiated from the beings around us.
You know what I mean, because you were once a young child. A young child (in an ideal or best possible situation, which can be imagined even if - especially if - not personally experienced) lives in a world of beings related by love - and his own being is not distinctly separable from those of his mother, father and close family... For a young child, his parents are always present, and their love is a constant fact which contains of of life and experience.
Expressed abstractly, like physics: our primordial experience is that love contains consciousness - love is the medium in which consciousness exists, and in which consciousness develops.
But in reality this situation is not abstract, but personal. Abstract is a simplified summary; being is actual.
In terms of love, a young child's love is perfect - he inhabits a world of living and loving beings. If love was the only thing life was about, we would (and probably should) remain as-children. But because not-differentiated, the child is not free. The child cannot act from-himself, because that self is essentially passive. The child is so embedded-in, permeated-by, the loving relationships of his family - that he is almost-wholly-responsive rather than active or agent.
God wants Men to become gods, like God - and this involves passive and unconscious children becoming free and conscious agents. Therefore there must be a developmental growth from the state of childhood to adulthood. And this developmental growth need primarily to be in consciousness - because love doesn't grow.
So... Christianity is primarily underpinned by love: love is primary - that is a fact. However, in this sense Love is qualitative - Love is not the kind of thing that grows, develops, evolves. Mortal life is Not about growth in love - but about growth in consciousness.
Love is somewhat like a growth-medium, the essential medium in which the hoped-for growth of consciousness may happen. That which grows in the medium of love is consciousness - development from passive/ unconscious child to agent/ conscious adult consciousness...
In general terms we begin as unconscious of everything, just-being and taking everything 'for granted' - the aimed-at divine situation is to be conscious of everything: being-aware-of-being...
In sum, abstractly the child and the adult are potentially identical in love but different in consciousness - and the adult consciousness is higher because more-individualised, more-free, more-agent.
Adolescence is the transition between child and adult consciousness - a necessary, unavoidable transition - but a transition and not an intended end-point. In adolescence what is inevitable is the development of consciousness, what should not change is the medium of love. Adolescence ought-to happen in a medium of love.
The ideal development through mortal life is therefore a transition of consciousness into agency; always and continuously in love: agency changes, love doesn't.
In terms of being (which is the reality) we ought-to (are divinely destined/ intended to, hope/ aspire to) grow-up in loving families - and the growing-up-bit is a matter of consciousness.