My Devotion to Him #255
It’s interesting how much we say “love”. We say it for everything; I love pizza, I love my wife, I love my dog, I love my house, I love my school, work, job, kids, car, state, sports team, and the list just grows and grows. But another interesting aspect of this is when we are talking with another person we understand the difference between someone loving a certain food and someone loving another person. We understand the difference between someone loving their kids and loving their spouse. We use the word love as a much stronger stance on something over the word like. We like a lot of things as well and we have plenty of dislikes. But we aren’t afraid to overuse the word love and hate. This gives the notion to whoever that we have no room for any change. Loving something shows we give that thing or person more attention than other things in our life. I like paint, I have know idea why but I like it, to me It’s not as bad as others make it seem but it’s possibly because they do not like it as much as I do or they may dislike/hate it. Now I like it but I don’t love it. If I loved it I might work at a paint store, or become a painter, but I don’t because I don’t love it. In the same context, I love to write and read. I read a lot of books and I have a lot of books. I write stories, music, and devotionals because I love to write and found I have a knack for it. Now I love to read and write but I also love my wife and daughter. Loving them is different than loving something and there is two different levels to loving them.
Am I wrong for loving them differently? No. Loving your spouse should be in its own separate section away from everything else. Your spouse is apart of you as the Bible declares you become one when we marry. That union forms a special bond between you, your spouse, and God. Loving your children should also be in their own special section because they are your bloodline, your legacy, they are you and your spouse combined in human form. Interesting how that relates to God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ isn’t it? Loving God would also be different than loving my spouse. Loving His Holy Word would be different than me loving Jesus.
It would seem complicated but somehow we make it work in understanding that we can love a lot of things but within all that love we can actually separate things into sections of love.
Same is actually true for the very word love. There are four words for love that can help us understand this word that has so many layers and depth to it and its meaning.
Storge love is a natural affection for someone or something . It is love that members of a family feel for one another. A mother’s love for her child. The love that people feel for their pets. It is almost an inmate or default kind of love. We feel this kind of love simply because we are in a relationship with something or someone. We may not always like that person but they are apart of our family this kind of love pushes past whatever we may feel at different times. This usually makes us loyal to them and care for their wellbeing.
Philia love is the love that friends have for one another. It is the way that you and your best friend have for each other. It emits a strong bond based on experiences, respect, and affection. You both have things in common and care deeply for each other and even look out for one another, you will commit your own time to be with them.
Eros love is where we get the word erotic from. Our world is obsessed with this. It’s in our music, books, movies, marketing, websites, and just about everywhere you turn you can find Eros. This is the romantic love. It is the passionate feeling between men and women. Flush on your cheeks and funny feeling in your stomach when your loved one walks into the room. It’s the chemistry bounded into a word. Eros is potent and addicting. It is a beautiful thing when shown and at work within a marriage. But its addictive nature can also bring about destruction within culture and even marriages. Eros is highly unstable if used poorly and with that can bring havoc on all who dare. Eros is the love that should come with the Surgeon Generals warning. If used out of God’s blessing this will bring dismay, hurt, and brokenness. Because of its powerful impact on people this is why God restricts it. This is one of the reasons why His Word is so strict on marriage. Because outside of His blessing we are left to fend for ourselves against a formidable power.
Agape love is so very different from the first three, which are all different in their own right. We feel affection and love for family, friends, and spouses. But Agape is not the feeling. Agape is the love of action. Agape love is the commitment to actually work for the good of another. It is a choice. It has nothing to do with feelings, connections, blood, or loyalty. It doesn’t even have anything to do with the worthiness of a person. Because of the power and force of this love we don’t have any word that can be used as a substitute. The only word we can use to bring a little clarity to this word for our own understanding is charity. But when we hear this word we think of groups of people or organizations like Lions Club, Salvation Army, United Way, etc. Which does help people in need. But that still does not capture this word called Agape. These groups and organizations have goals, mission statements, capacity limits, and limited resources and don’t have divine status. So it’s still not fair to use this word for Agape. The Agape love is the unconditional help. When the Bibles describes Jesus’ love it is talking about the Agape kind.
Verse Passage: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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 truths, always hope, always perseveres.” – NIV
The first three are amazing, powerful, and needed in our life. But they are not enough. We need a different kind of love. A love that forgives, a love that doesn’t quit, a love that is not based off chemistry or my relation towards that person or our common interest. We are in need of a love that is thicker than blood, stronger than two friends, and deeper than a marriage. We need a love that is totally and utterly unconditional.
Some of us go through our life searching for a certain kind of love because when we find Storge it’s not enough, when we find Philia it’s not enough, when we find Eros its still not enough for us. As hundreds of millions of people go through this life not knowing what is wrong with them because they are not getting that fullness of love. And they will never obtain Agape. Why? Because this love is a different kind of love. There is only one place where we can obtain this kind of love and that through Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the answer. He has always been the answer. The three kinds of love have their own place but we will never come full circle, we will never be fully satisfied, we will never experience the vastness of what love is if we are without Agape. We will forever be without it if we are without Christ.
He is here. He is waiting for pour out in a million different ways His Agape love into your life. But we must come.
Copyright © 2020 by Jacob Olinger