ONE of a kind
By Charlene Evans
Many have heard of the 4 different types of love based on the ancient Greek language and some have not. Well, If you have not, allow me to introduce you to the four kinds of love and a brief description (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love)
- Agápe means “love” (unconditional love) in modern day Greek, such as in the term s’agapo, which means “I love you”. In Ancient Greek, it often refers to a general affection or deeper sense of “true love” rather than the attraction suggested by “eros“. Agape is used in the biblical passage known as the “love chapter”, 1 Corinthians 13, and is described there and throughout the New Testament as sacrificial love. Agape was appropriated by Christians for use to express the unconditional love of God. Before agape love there was no other word to express such great love.
- Éros is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “intimate love;” however, eros does not have to be sexual in nature. Eros can be interpreted as a love for someone whom you love more than the philia, love of friendship. It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage.
- Philia means friendship or affectionate love in modern Greek. In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.
- Storge means “affection” in ancient and modern Greek. It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family. It is also known to express mere acceptance or putting up with situations, as in “loving” the tyrant.
We all, after reading the four types, can probably more than likely fit people in our lives in one of the categories or multiple. But the one category that I would like to focus on is Agape. In my opinion, it’s listed first because it is supreme! It requires you to look beyond the conditions that are hindering you to give love in the manner where it has no boundaries. I have heard pastor’s preach about Agape love and reference this type of love that Jesus has for all of us but practicing this type of love is not impossible but challenging. Disappointments and offenses, unmet expectations and betrayal are only a few of the types of conditions that can cause you to fall out of love with someone. But what about the command that Jesus has placed on us,
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34) It doesn’t get any simpler than that, huh? I didn’t think so, but what I thought about is if we love HIM (Jesus) and He is asking us to do something, no matter how hard it may be, shouldn’t we just do it? Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
So, what God commands is not a debate but a requirement and when the love of the father is spiritually in us, we will do it because we LOVE Him. There is none like HIM on the earth…never have and never will be. And if we never had “Agape” love mirrored in front of us in our childhood or never taught what it meant to love anyone on that level, I have good news! You have an example in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He Loves US so much that he died for our sins and HIS desire is that no man should perish but have everlasting life! So, if we represent Jesus Christ and our God is LOVE (1John 4:8) we will strive to love like HIM and represent exactly what we are as an example of the love HE has shown…. “One of a KIND”.
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