Today’s society is littered with things that separate us. Ethnicity, religious beliefs, races, and cultures all exist to form barriers between humankind. Love is the common core. It binds us through friendships, relationships, and families. What is love really, though? How would one define love? Dictionary.com would call it a tender, passionate affection or personal attachment toward a person. But isn’t love much more than that?
1. Eros – romantic love
When a person falls in romantic love with another, I would describe the feeling as a sparkling in the stomach. Stay with me now! When that special person calls, don’t you get giddy inside? When your love hugs you, do you feel a pulling on your heartstrings? That’s described as eros love or sensual/romantic love.
1 Corinthians 7: 8-9
“Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion”
When we speak about passionate eros love in the church, many people turn up their noses. They don’t want to talk about sex! This is unfortunate because open dialogue is important to learn the biblical standards for our life. God desires passionate love in our marriages. The key word here is marriage. Nothing is wrong with being physically attracted to your partner’s body. But, this is something that should be exclusive to your spouse. Giving yourself to a person physically is one of the most beautiful and vulnerable experiences in your life. This is why God desires for us to save this experience for marriage. Doesn’t your future wife/husband deserve a gift so precious?
2. Philia – friendship or brotherly love.
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
This scripture describes how we feel about our family but also how we should love other Christians. Trust me. I get it. The judgmental deaconess that always tells you to cover your arms in church? Yes, love her too. We have to realize that the love of Christ binds us together as a Christian family. We also have to take in consideration that we are imperfect people loving a perfect Christ. Love bears all things. This includes the faults of our Christian brothers and sisters. Push them to be better, yet love them throughout their journey.
3. Agape – selfless or sacrificial love.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Agape is the purest form of love. This is the type of love God gives humankind. It is considered unconditional. Christ’s love is the most vital because from it flows every other type of love. It is this love that allowed Christ to die for us all those years ago. How many people can say they would give their life for another person? Can you say that you would die in the place of an innocent person? How about a guilty person? Would you die for a murderer? This is how much Christ loves us. He died for us even though we were guilty of our sins. He died for people that would abuse his love, lie, murder, steal, and kill. Through our sins he loves us anyway! That is a love like no other.
When we think of love, consider Jesus. Consider his sacrifice on the cross for us. The pain he endured for us. Consider his teachings and how our obedience is for our protection. Consider God. His loves is the model depiction of how we should base every other type of love.
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