LOVE – it has been the topic of many songs, books, poetry, plays and movies. We all talk about it, but do we really understand what is love?
I love my wife. I love my mom. I love blackberries. I love my guys in our Bible study group. I love to sleep in on Saturday mornings.
Tina Turner sang about love….
What’s love got to do, got to do with it
What’s love but a second hand emotion
Can all of these be using the word love in the same context with the same meaning? I don’t think so. I understand love to be more than just an emotion it is an action we do for someone.
We show our love by actions – not by words.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary love has the following definitions:
- strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
- attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers
After all these years, they are still very much in love.
- affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests
love for his old schoolmates
- warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion ::love of the sea
the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration :: baseball was his first love
- a beloved person : DARLING —often used as a term of endearment
- unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: such as
- the fatherly concern of God for humankind
- brotherly concern for others
- a person’s adoration of God
- a god (such as Cupid or Eros) or personification of love
- an amorous episode : LOVE AFFAIR
- the sexual embrace : COPULATION
- a score of zero (as in tennis)
These definitions do describe how we understand love in modern day America.
However, in studying my Bible I read in the New Testament that there are several Greek definitions of the word love which give the word a deeper personal attachment.
Eros – represents the idea of sexual passion and desire. It was not always used in a positive way either. Eros had the idea of a dangerous and irrational form of love that could take hold and possess you.
Phila – was considered a friendship that developed between brothers in arms who had fought side by side on the battlefield. It was about showing loyalty to your friends, sacrificing for them, as well as sharing your emotions with them.
Storge – is the love and affection that is naturally shared between parents and children, and to other siblings. It is a family love.
Ludas – is a playful love. This can be seen in childlike love or the early stages of a relationship.
Pragma – is a longstanding love. A love that is considered in making compromises over a long period of time for the good of the relationship.
Philautia – is self love – what we would consider on one hand a narcissist, but on the other hand a satisfaction of loving who you are and where you are.
Agape – is the most radical of love in that is unconditional. God has an unconditional love for humans. We can’t earn it and we can get away from it. He loves us no matter what we do!
From what I read and understand about love I like to think of love as an action – something you do for somebody. Yes I know that I still love blackberries, but I have no other way of saying that. Other than I really like the taste of blackberries. Correct it is, but not as short of a way to say it.
I found this quote somewhere and I use it often. Love always does what is best for others.
Think about that. When you say you love someone, do you do something for them that is best for them – sometimes over even your own comfort or desires? To me that is love.
In John 15:13 Jesus said “No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.” Then He went on to demonstrate that love toward us – He set the perfect example of love. In our world today, to me the ultimate display is to give the very core of who you are right now – your life – for someone else. That is the ultimate high bar setting that we can only look to achieve.
So when you think of love, I hope you think that there has been a high bar set and that love is more than an emotion it is an action word.