1 Peter 1:22
You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. (New Living Translation)
What kind of love do you have?
John 3:16 For here is the way God loved the world—he gave his only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life. (The Passion Translation TPT)
Love is a word that is passed around as often as the word friend. Often people use it because it is soft and sounds nice, not because it is true. Sometimes it simply a warmer way of saying, “I think you are nice.” Often used instead of saying “thank you”, for a kindness that is exchanged between two people. Family members, both close and distant, say it. As you progress in the things of God, you learn there the difference in the love you will display when referring to your interpersonal relationships. Growing in God should also give you the liberty to change the way you love. Here are some examples of love[i].
- Eros—Romantic Love
Eros is an intense sexual desire for someone. Usually, it is so passionate and overwhelming that the Greeks often thought it would cause someone to lose control of their words or actions. Today, we might call it lust. Samson slept with harlots (Judges 16:1), Samson met Delilah (Judges 16), King David toward Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11).
Ezekiel 23:20a “She was filled with lust for oversexed men.” (Good News Translation GNT)
- Philia—Affectionate Love
All love is affectionate in some manner, but philia love is one that doesn’t involve any passion or sexual impulse. It’s more like love between good friends or goodwill between you and someone you respect or admire.
1 John 3:16,18 By this we know love because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. (New King James Version NKJV)
- Storge—Familiar Love
Though people confuse storge with philia (love among friends), it has more to do with the love a family feels for each other. It is most recognized as the love a parent has for his or her child. It’s a powerful bond that is not easily broken.
Mark 5:23 He pleaded with Jesus, saying over and over, “Please come with me! My little daughter is at the point of death, and she’s only twelve years old! Come and lay your hands on her and heal her and she will live!” (The Passion Translation TPT)
- Pragma—Enduring Love
Those married for a while know that there comes a time when the honeymoon is over. The eros you both had has added to it storge and philia and life goes merrily along. However, if you last long enough, eventually you have pragma, an enduring love. It is love that stands the test of time. It’s the kind of love a husband and wife have after fifty years of marriage, and they still want to kiss and hold hands. As the opposite of eros, where the passion burns white hot and fades quickly, pragma matures and grows over time into something truly special. Abraham was 50 and Sarah was 40 when they got married. They were married for 77 years when Sarah died.
Genesis 23:2 So Sarah died in Kirjath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. (New King James Version NJKV)
You learned the dangers of ego on September 20 and October 23. However, philautia love refers to a healthy self-esteem. It is your emotional appraisal of your own worth, how you think, feel, and act. It also reflects and determines how you relate to yourself, to others, and to the world. You can also think of philautia as how you take care of yourself, in that you try to eat healthy food, get enough sleep, and exercise. If you don’t care for yourself, you won’t have philautia.
Daniel 1:8, 12-13, 15, 17 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile (taint, dishonor) himself with the king’s finest food or with the wine which the king drank; so he asked the commander of the officials that he might [be excused so that he would] not defile himself. 12 “Please, test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance and the appearance of the young men who eat the king’s finest food be observed and compared by you, and deal with your servants in accordance with what you see.” 15 At the end of ten days it seemed that they were looking better and healthier than all the young men who ate the king’s finest food. 17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all kinds of literature and wisdom; Daniel also understood all kinds of visions and dreams. (Amplified Bible AMP)
- Ludas—Playful Love
If you’ve ever been in love, you have no doubt felt ludas . It’s the butterflies in your stomach, the quickened heartbeat, the anxiety you feel when you’re waiting for your love interest to walk through the door. It’s the flirting and teasing and playing you do in the early stages of dating. The focus is usually more on fun rather than building a relationship.
Song of Solomon 1:4a “Draw me away with you and let us run together!” (Amplified Bible AMP)
- Agape—Unconditional Love
Agape love is by far the most special, most respectful of all the types of love. It is the kind Jesus refers to again and again throughout His ministry and is the one the Christian faith encompasses. Agape love is a universal, unconditional, selfless love for others. It involves being altruistic and caring more for others than for yourself. Jesus perfectly exemplified agape love when He died on the cross to save us from sin and death. He suffered so He could set us free.
Romans 5:8 But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly! (The Passion Translation TPT)
Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus answered him, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you.’ 38 This is the great and supreme commandment. 39 And the second is like it in importance: ‘You must love your friend in the same way you love yourself.’ (The Passion Translation TPT)
The love God requires of you is agape love. The love He has for you represents it. It does not change depending on the person. It is sacrificial. Love is caring in action. Love isn’t what we feel, it’s what we do.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a – Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (New King James Version NKJV)
Please agree with me as I pray:
Father, I thank You for Your love. I repent for not loving the same way You do at all times. I am often overwhelmed at the magnitude of Your love. It is unconditional; thank You that there are no strings attached, no hoops to jump through. I have never had to and will never have to work for Your love. Though You have expectations for me, You continue to love me even when I don’t fulfill them. It is not an easy to love Your way and completely impossible without You. Yet, I know I can do it if I take myself out of the equation. I have to allow Your love to flow through me. When I do, I can expect to help someone else experience Your love. My only goal is to be submitted to You to the extent You can and will use me to show Your love. It is more than turning the other cheek. It is stepping into a completely different place where my actions can transform a person’s life. It is being a conduit where someone can come in contact with genuine love. Thank You for the opportunity to show Your love as I live on this earth…
Ask the Lord what He wants to say to you about today’s devotional and journal His response as described here.