In the Greek language there are four different words for Love.
Photo taken from Flickr – Lomo Love – by Party0 The Beatle song has it right.
When love is the God kind (Agape), that is all we need. The other forms of love fall short of perfection.
1) Eros – is physical passion, gratification and fulfillment. This word is not mentioned in the New Testament probably because its name comes from the god of love, Eros. Biblically this love is to be between husband and wife, in marriage. Ephesians 5:31-33 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
God gave us this kind of love as an earthly picture of the heavenly kind of love. God’s ideal of eros is that husband and wife are merged so completely that they become one flesh – if this occurs it is easy for the husband to love the wife as he loves himself and easy for the wife to respect her husband. The Bible tells us that a husband should love his wife the way Christ loved the church. Christ laid down His life for us. If our husbands love us with that depth of love, it is easy to respect them. Sadly, many do not fall in love, they fall in lust. If a relationship is based solely on lust, the relationship lasts only as long as the lust lasts.
2) Storge – Is the natural bond between a mother and child, a father’s love, children, family. Some say, “Blood is thicker than water.” It is familial love. There are families where this bond is strong and positive and all members of the family grow strong and confident together. Then, there are families, like mine, where this kind of love was destructive. When Storge love is damaged, it makes it hard for a person to trust Father/Mother God.
3. Phileo – Is affectionate love. The city of Philadelphia (the City of Brotherly Love) comes from this word. It is an intense, warm feeling among people. Often this love is based on feelings, and one can fall out of affection as easily as one can fall into Phileo. It is hard to have Phileo love for one’s enemies.
4) Agape – is God’s kind of love. It is not based on feelings, it is a choice. This kind of love seeks the welfare of others over and above our own, even the welfare of enemies. When Jesus went to the cross to die for our sins, even though He was sin-free, that is agape love. None of us can demonstrate complete agape love, but our goal should be to approximate it. Here are some of the qualities of agape, pulled from First Corinthians Chapter Thirteen.
- Love suffers long and is kind.
- Love does not envy.
- Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.
- Love does not behave rudely.
- Love does not seek its own.
- Love is not provoked.
- Love thinks no evil.
- Love does not rejoice in iniquity.
- Love rejoices in the truth.
- Love bears all things.
- Love believes all things.
- Love hopes all things.
- Love endures all things.
- Love never fails.
In each of the above bullet points, if you insert your name, the sentence is not true. If you insert God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Mercy, Grace, or Love, the passage is true. This is what agape love is. It puts the other person before self. This is the kind of love that Abba, Father has for us. It is why we can trust Him even when our earthly fathers or mothers let us down. I pray you feel the agape love of God in your life. Let God wrap you in His arms and comfort you as you walk on your journey of healing. My next post will cover the second Bible verse covering who we are in Christ. If you want to peek ahead to see what the other verses are, here is a link to the list posted on my other blog. Have a blessed day. Heather (Note, Bible verses come from the New King James Bible)