Knowing Christian Love
Bible Scholars say that the entire Bible is nothing but a Love Story. It is the story of how God loved us so much that He was willing to die for us to save us. In this article, we shall know more about how we ought to love God and others using Christian Love.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not die but have eternal life – John 3:16
Depth of English Love
I saw a poster which said – “Love is in the air.” What it meant was; Love is everywhere like the air we breathe. But can it be true? Whether we crave for food or sex, we all crave for Love. Deep in our hearts, we want to be loved by somebody. As humans, we are emotional beings. Emotions stem from our soul, and the biggest of all emotions is love. The love we receive from our mom and dad is different from the love that we receive from our spouse which is again different from what we receive from our friends and acquaintances. So are there different kinds of Love?
Many believe that English vocabulary does not do justice to the word “Love”. It is interesting to know that in Greek, we find close to eight words for the same English word Love.
Greek words for Love
- Eros – Erotic Love – represents the idea of sexual passion and desire. It is the form of love connected with infatuation and physical appearance. It is also selfish in nature.
- Philia – Affectionate Love – It is love between two friends or two equals. It is not based on sexual attraction and valued above Eros.
- Storge – Familiar Love – It is a form of love that usually flows in the family between children and parents, between parents, between children, and between childhood friends, etc…
- Ludus – Playful Love though similar to Eros, it the affection between young lovers during their initial stages of falling in love – flirting, teasing, feelings of euphoria, fluttering heart, etc. Experts say, it gets lost in long-term relationships.
- Mania– Obsessive love – this type of love leads the partner into madness and obsessiveness. We can see this with jealous lovers with feelings of desperation to be loved.
- Pragma – Enduring Love – this is the love that has matured over a period. You can see these between couples who have lived a long time together.
- Philautia – Self Love – this is a healthy form of self-love. It stems from the concept that only if you love yourself can you love others.
- Agape – Unconditional Love – this is the highest form of love and is selfless. It is a decision rather than a feeling.
What does Bible tell about Love? – God is Love
The Bible defines that God is Love (Agape) (1 John 4:8). Love originates from God. The entire creation came into being because of His love. God did not create anything that He did not love. He saw to it that whatever He created was good. The best way to understand love is to know God.
Love is even greater than our Faith and Hope
God gave Love – the highest of value and priority. The scriptures records in 1 Cor 13:13 – And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. Even the greatest of all the commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matt 22:36-38).
God’s love versus Human Love
It is vital to know the difference between God’s Love and how we love others. As we have seen earlier, there are different words that are used to represent Love in Greek. The first seven words can be used to describe Human love. The word AGAPE expresses God’s love.
The three primary characteristics difference between Human and God’s love is
- Human love is self-centered, but God’s love is selfless
- Human love is temporal in nature, but God’s love is eternal
- Human love is conditional, and God’s love is unconditional
The Love that is in the air – Human Love (QPQ Love)
Some of the common reason why we love someone is
- Blood and close relatives
- Emotionally or physically attracted to them
- They are kind and loving to us
- Help us when we are in need
- Provide protection
- Give us company (remove the feelings of lonely)
- Share a common problem
- Have a common enemy
Though the list is not exhaustive, the main ingredient in Human love is “quid pro quo” – in layman terms – “I scratch your back and you scratch mine.” This “quid pro quo” love or QPQ love disappears or diminished when the reciprocation stops. This love is strongly based on present inner feelings. When there are no feelings, there is no love. Because it is based on present feelings, we sometimes even forget the people who once loved us.
The Love that is in the heavens – God’s Love (Christian Love)
God’s love represented by the word “Agape” is an unconditional love. It is pure and a selfless form of love which is not adulterated by any emotion or feeling. In a nutshell is a decision. Even when man sinned and disobeyed God, He did not stop loving us, to the contrary, His love got better. The Bible says,
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
Even when we were deep in disgusting sin, God loved us and wanted us to save us. When God asks us to love Him, He expects the same form of love (Agape) – Matt 22:37 and Luke 10:27. There is an entire chapter dedicated to Love in the Bible and is worth reading and memorizing. (1 Corinthian 13). I love the verse which says – Love never fails (1 Cor 13:8).
Loving is a Christian Duty & not a Hobby
We are supposed to love God not because He answers our Prayer or heals our sickness. Loving God is never an option, but a duty. As Christians, it is also our duty to love our neighbors as how we love ourselves (Matt 22:39). Having said that, I believe everyone needs God’s help to move from worldly conditional love to Godly unconditional love (Christian Love). There is none better than our Blessed Holy Spirit who is with us to help us. We just need to ask His help.
Selfless love – “I can die better.”
A touching story was published in a morning devotional many years ago. It tells us that when we are rooted in Christ’s Love, we become carriers of His selfless love and even dare to do the impossible.
Empress of Ireland was big ocean liner. On 29 May 1914, it collided with an another ship and went down with 1477 people on-board. Less than 500 survived. There were 130 Salvation Army officers on-board that fateful ship, 109 bodies were recovered – and not one had on a life jacket. Many of the surviving passengers told how, when the Salvationists discovered that there were not enough life vests for everyone, those who had them removed them and strapped them on other passengers, saying, “I can die better than you can.” It was a true act of Christian Love.
It is not very often that God inspires an individual to literally lay down his life for someone else. But He does present us with a similar challenge in the spiritual realm. As 1 John 3:18 says, Let us not love only with our word and tongue but in deed and truth. Let us live the true Christian Love (Agape Love) with the help of God.
PS: More such interesting gospel articles here at Gospel Summary. Read and be blessed. If you have any prayer need kindly do write to us. We are burdened to pray for your deliverance and victory.
Types of love taken from: Loner Wolf