‘’Love. Love. Love. Love. Love.’’ My brother in law constantly repeated that word while hugging and kissing my sister in public. I was ten years old at the time and always asked him why in the world he would do such a disgusting thing. He always gave me the same answer: ‘’Because I’m just SO crazy about her!’’
What is love?
I’ve always loved it. Pure love between two beings. The tears in the eyes of a mother when she’s full of wonder about her firstborn. The face of a groom when his bride walks into church along her father. An old couple that looks so deeply in love with each other, that it seems like they met yesterday. A mother that fights for her babies and protects them with her life. The raw pain on his face, when she says it’s over. Pure, fearless and almost touchable love.
Loving someone who’s kind to you is easy
Then of course there is love like in Dear John, or The Notebook. The unrealistic love. Over exaggerated and romanticized love, which gives us a wrong and idealistic image of what true love looks like. Subconsciously, it makes us unsatisfied about our own love life and possibly drives us towards wrong decisions.
Different types of love
I just described two kinds of love, but in our language we only know one word for love: Love. The ancient Greek culture however had four:
1) Phileo, which means an intimate friendship. A two-way street. The Bible uses this word to signify a strong and deep friendship, for example between Jesus and Lazarus.
Besides Phileo, there is 2) Storge, a word that has not been used in the Bible. In our language we would translate it as affection. Like love between a parent and child.
Then there is 3) Eros, a word we come across in the Bible in Song of Solomon. The ancient Greek would define it as a sexual attraction. The kind of love that won’t last for long and is fully based on emotions. Love we see going hand in hand with Phileo and Storge in basically every romantic comedy we have ever seen. Like the kinds of love I described before, these three are human types of love. Love that anyone can experience and feel.
There’s one more kind of love lasting that is, unlike the others, not emotional and has less to do with feelings: 4) Agapè.
A love that’s impossible in the eyes of people, but which God longs for you to experience.
What makes Agapè so special, is that it’s everything except naturally and self-evident. Agapè is a divine, unconditional and committed kind of love. It’s the highest form of love that exists. A one-way street. Loving someone who’s kind to you is easy, but Agapè means loving someone that might hate your guts. Loving someone who irritates you incredibly. Loving someone without expecting anything in return. Where Eros means ‘loving because’, Agapè means ‘loving despite’. A kind of love that isn’t based on your feelings of affection for someone, but on your willpower to just love them. Despite what that person did to you. When apostle Paul talked about love in Romans 5 and Galatians 5, he used the word Agapè.
Love never fails
This is the love that God has in store for you. Love that will never fail or lose. This is the kind of love that God pours out into your heart at the moment you become His daughter. A love that’s impossible in the eyes of people, but which God longs for you to experience.
Try not to think about Dear John today when you hear the word ‘love’, but think about Agapè. Think about His love for you and ask Him to fill your heart with this beautiful love. Even when it seems impossible.
Especially when it seems impossible.
Read also: God is after your heart