The Greatest of These is LOVE


 

I am sure that everybody knows the history of Valentine's Day and has heard all of the legendary stories of Cupid or Eros or whatever you want to call him. So today, instead of all of that, I thought it would be a welcomed change to talk about the different forms of love mentioned in the Bible.

The English language is so limiting that when we tell someone we love them, we have to add adjectives to describe the degree and an adverb to describe the quality (ex. "I truly love you very much). The Greeks had an entirely separate word for each degree and quality of love, so there is no fluff and filler to the expression.

 

  1. Storge is family love. This is love that a mother feels for a child or members of a family experience between each other. You have a sense of affection because you are of the same family. This kind of love is one of three forms emphasized in the New Testament.

  2. Eros is physical love between a man and wife. God made eros so mankind could be fruitful and multiply, as in Genesis 1:28. This form of love is not an evil thing. In Hebrews 13:4, it states to "keep the marriage bed pure"; therefore, eros is holy and sanctified. It only becomes evil when it is taken out of context or perverted.

  3. Phileo love is friendship love. It is endearment to another person with whom you have emotionally bonded. This is the second form of love mentioned in the New Testament.You can experience this form of love in combination with others. Family members can be best friends and have storge and phileo love for each other. If you are a happily married couple, you could experience all three: storge, eros, and phileo. 

  4. Agape is unmerited love. This is the highest type of love and is not a human form of love at all, but divine. Agape does not rely on emotional bonding, as with phileoThis is the third and most important (and the most mentioned) form of love in the New Testament Here is more of an explanation of how God is love:

  • Agape is universal, "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."- John 3:16 

  • Agape is eternal, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:37-39 

  • Finally, agape is undeserved love, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."- Romans 5:8 

I will leave you with two of my favorite verses about love. Please feel free to post your favorite love verses in the comments!

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." I Corinthians 13:4-8

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35


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