Love is a funny ting isn’t it? It can make our stomachs flutter like a butterfly, our palms sweat with anxiety and our throats lock up in fear. It can thrill us and send us floating on a cloud number 9 somewhere in the stratosphere and send us spiraling in a downward abyss when it is not returned or reciprocated. But how do we really define “love”?
In english it’s a little hard to nail down this word love. We use it so causally in reference to our Love for foods and sports teams to much deeper and meaningful uses with our families and even God. Yet it’s the same word: LOVE.
Even though many people may feel like they have a handle on love, there has to be some redefinition about this crazy little thing called love. In our day and age, it seems to me that many people tend to define love as such: “Something that someone does to us or for us“.
To Us: This would mean that if someone makes me feel different than any other person has ever made me feel, then this must be love! If someone makes my palms sweaty or my stomach flutter, it must be love!
Addressing this fallacy, I have to say that my palms can become sweaty and my stomach can certainly flutter after about 20 hot wings and that’s not love!
For Us: This would mean that if a person did more for you than any other person to this point, then that would surely be love! If they bought you more, treated you better, paid you more attention then that would surely be love. But is it?
Addressing this fallacy I would have to say that simply because a person can give you more or has the resources unlike another, that does not intrinsically mean they “love you more”. It simply means they have more access to things. Money and things cannot buy love.
I feel like a better and perhaps more “real” definition of love would be: the giving of oneself in selflessness to the betterment of another.
Love in our society is really more about what we “feel” like we get “out of it” than what we give to it. When we don’t feel like there’s anything left in the relationship to get…we move on. Real love is when we are actually committed to another person and to the betterment of that person, regardless of what it personally costs us. If this were the definition of love, I think we would have to really look more carefully at how we used this word. We wouldn’t be throwing that word around so flippantly. It would really take on an entirely new life.
In the scripture, we can see a few different words for “love”. They are Stergo, Phileo, Eros, and Agape: each has an entirely different meaning and context.
Stergo is a love that one has for their family. Moms and Dads, brothers and sisters, sometimes. This is the natural affection and love one has for the members they live with and grow up with.
Phileo is the love mentioned in the Bible that we know as “brotherly love”. This is a love and affection we have for our comrades and neighbors. It’s the bond shared between a “band of brothers” in societies, fraternities, sororities, armies, etc. Places like Philadelphia derive their name from this love. Hence Philadelphia is known as the city of “brotherly love.”
Eros is the love associated with the physical, sexual kind of love. They love that makes your heart go pitter patter and hubba, hubba. There’s no need to explain this one. We understand it quite easily.
The last love I’ll address quickly is Agape. This is defined as unconditional, unmerited love. This is a love from God that is undeserved, unmatched and in all honesty, unbelievable! Every other love in our lives, we tend to feel like we have to earn, maintain, or run the risk of losing but not with this love. We NEVER have to earn, maintain or run the risk of losing God’s agape love. We could NEVER EVER understand or fully grasp how immense and intense God’s love for us truly is. It is this love that motivated God and Jesus to do what they did for mankind.
This love is the love that changes everything!
John 3:16 in the Amplified Version reads:
16For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
Whether you know it or not….whether you believe it or not…you are greatly loved and dearly prized! God loves you…he likes you…he cherishes you and thinks that you are not only valuable but that you are worth it! He values you so much that he gave his one and only son. What kind of love is that???? Anyone else you know given their life for you? Maybe. But most of us have never had our lives spared by the death of another. But certainly no one, nothing at all could secure our eternal life except for the death of Jesus Christ. Look at Romans 5:6-8 (Amplified Version)
6While we were yet in weakness [powerless to help ourselves], at the fitting time Christ died for (in behalf of) the ungodly.
7Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a noble and lovable and generous benefactor someone might even dare to die.
8But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.
This is truly an incredible and awesome love! God gave his son to demonstrate his love! It wasn’t enough for God to simply sit in heaven and tell us he loved us. No. He wanted to show it. He wanted us to believe. He wanted us to never have a doubt in the world that the God of the universe, the Creator of all…of you and me, loves us with an unfathomable love!
Check out this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iB8FeoUoQI