“These things I command you, that ye love one another” John 15:17. Among the great disciplines that characterized the life of Jesus was His perpetual determination to practice genuine love toward those who crossed His pathway.
If we would be true followers of Jesus Christ, we must see life as an opportunity to love, and we must see people as those to whom we have the opportunity of demonstrating genuine Christian love.
We are commanded to love. John the beloved Apostle declares, God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another”. I John 4:8-11. (RSV)
We are commanded to love God supremely Matthew 22:37. We are to put God first and foremost at all times. We are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. Most of us have a problem at this point because we do not love ourselves by which to know how to truly love our neighbor.
We are commanded to love our enemies. Most of us have difficulty at this point because we think of love as an emotion, a sentimental attachment, or a romantic attraction. Remember, we are commanded to love one another. It is not an option, nor is it a suggestion.
The Apostle Paul issues a command that we are to love our wives Ephesians 5:25-33. This presents problems because the only kind of love that some people know anything about is romantic love.
The Greeks used different words to describe different kinds of love. We overuse and abuse and misuse the word Love. The Greek languages was much clearer at helping people to understand the different forms and expressions of love.
- STORGE love refers to natural family love. This describes the love of parents for children and children for parents. It describes the love of grandparents for grandchildren. It is even used for the love of an animal for her young.
- EROS love was used to describe sensual love, “need” love or “me” love. Love on this level is often self-seeking rather than self-giving. Love on this level seeks gratification and pleasure.
- PHILIA love is “friendship” love or love or “respect” love. It expresses itself in philanthropy and friendship. It is love without a romantic content. Often it is love based on the worth of the one who is loved.
- AGAPE love is self-giving, Christ like love. This is the kind of love that God demonstrated in the gift of His Son for our sins. AGAPE love is “help” love. It is “gift” love. It is unmerited goodwill. AGAPE love finds its source in the heart of the giver rather than in the loveliness of the recipient.
- In a good marriage one can observe all four types of love as signified by these four Greek words. Not to make this distinctions can lead to confusion about the type of love that is commanded in the scriptures. Remember, we are commanded by Jesus “to love one another”.
To Be Continued…
Because He Is – I Am