Discerning and getting down to the true meaning of Love.
I love autumn. I love a good caramel macchiato and I love my family. In each of these statements love has a different meaning. We tend to use the word “love” in a different ways meaning; enjoy greatly, or hold a favorable opinion towards, or infatuated with. This week we are going to define the three kinds of love listed in chapter 4; Eros, Phileo, and Agape.
Eros Love : Attraction, sexual desire. Song of Songs 1:1,
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is more delightful than wine.
God created us with passionate desires, and these things are good when we observe God’s design and sanctity of intimate passion and sex between a husband and wife. (Don’t worry we will dig deeper in chapter 6)
Phileo love: Brotherly Love, companionship, and fellowship. Romans 12:9-13.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Having fellowship, companionship, and community are important. It is very dangerous spiritually to be alone. God wants us to have community and companionship to offer us a chance to relate to Him by relating to other Christians. It also helps us hold each other accountable for our actions. Jesus spent a lot of time in fellowship using it as an opportunity to teach and in Genesis 2 God saw that Adam was alone and needed a partner. So God created one for him.
Agape Love: Giving, sacrificial, and selfless. John 17:22-23
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Jesus prays for his disciples and all believers just before he is arrested. This is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Every time I read it I am humbled. Agape love is given even when someone doesn’t deserve it. A person with this love see’s beyond their own personal reasons, gain or needs. They do not focus on the small picture, but the big. A mother will overlook her own personal needs to see that her children are provided for, and Christ died to see that we would have life everlasting.
Love is confusing and we often misuse the term when we are actually just infatuated. Next time you think you are “falling in love” reflect on the three kinds of love listed here to help you determine where your love lies. Next week we will touch on 12 differences to help you further discern between Love and Infatuation.
Additional Verses for Reflection:
Eros-Genesis 2:24-25, Phileo- Genesis 2:20, Agape-John 17