â€œAnyone who does not love does not know God, because God is loveâ€ (1John 4:8).
What is Love?
When we think of God, we think of His pure and authentic love so poetically communicated in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. It reads: â€œLove is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is notÂ quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoice with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.â€
Agape,Â Phileo,Â Storge andÂ Eros Love
Not only does the Bible teach us that this type of love, also known as Agape love comes from God, but also it reveals three other types of love: Phileo love, Storge love and Eros love. Agape love is defined as a divine love, Phileo as brotherly love, Storge as family love and Eros as romantic love. Jacob expressed Eros love toward Rachel by agreeing to work seven years for her father in exchange for her hand in marriage. Bible states that he loved her so much that the years he spent working for her father seemed â€œbut a few days (read Genesis 29: 1-30)â€.
Jonathan and Davidâ€™s friendship was one of Phileo love, so much so that when Jonathanâ€™s father, King Saul, threatened to kill David in his jealous rage, Jonathan risked his own life to protect his friend (1 Samuel 14). The story of Joseph depicted Storge love in which he forgave his brothers and provided for them in spite of the fact that they had sold him into slavery (Genesis 37-50).
And the greatest love story found in the Bible, John 3:16, encompasses Agape love. It states, â€œFor God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting lifeâ€.
Read the poem : She Loves God
All of these biblical figures knew God and therefore, they loved. And because they loved, they labored, defended, forgave and sacrificed unselfishly and unconditionally. Their stories seem to suggest that the act of giving is not loving; the act of loving is giving. In other words, you can give someone something and not truly love them, but you canâ€™t truly love someone and not give them anything.
Unfortunately, certain worldly systems deceive us into believing we must be selfish with love. Basically, we must only give and/or express love if it going to benefit us. These subtle lies are dressed up in clever marketing strategies and rhetoric and embedded into our minds through books, movies and songs. If we are not careful, they can easily attack our knowledge of God as Christians.
It is noÂ wonderÂ why the Apostle Paul warned,Â â€œSee to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christâ€ (Colo. 2:8).
We cannot afford to allow the truth about love to become tainted by deceptive philosophy because it will only alter our view of God in a negative way. Letâ€™s defend and uphold real love that can only come from God and can only be expressed through the power of God.
– – – written byÂ Stephen Tharayil