What kind do we need?
The word love sounds like such a wonderful word; comforting yet exciting, gentle yet powerful, vulnerable yet overcoming. The whole world cries for love and cannot find it. They seek for it and cannot identify it.
Many get married for love, divorced for love, care for love, kill for love, nurture for love, and destroy for love. Love seems to be so confusing and elusive that no one seems to understand it. Yet people want it, crave it, and need it.
Love comes in three basic forms which are best described in the Greek language. The first is “eros” or erotic love. This type of love is expressed by two people of the opposite sex who join themselves together in a reciprocal, emotionally gratifying physical relationship. This type of love is not self-sustaining and of itself cannot effectively keep two people together.
The purest form of this love is not lust, but all too often lust is expressed as love. Only when other forms of love are in full operation will eros have its fullest and healthiest expressions which is designed for marriage (a monogamous relationship between a man and a woman).
The second form of love is “phileo” or fondness. This type of love has a variety of degrees of strength ranging from friendship to a parental-child love relationship. This type of love is based upon one’s feelings or emotions toward another and is basically mutual. It offers security, comfort, and acceptance which is what most people want but have confused it with eros. Phileo in its purest form is essential for sustaining eros in marriage. Even without eros a marriage can survive if phileo is healthy and mature.
The third form of love is “agape” or a perfect, unselfish, and volitional love. It is dependent upon nothing outside of one’s self and is not governed by an impulse from feelings. It is a love that never stops caring and is benevolent in character. The character of this love is best described in 1 Corinthians 13:1-7. This form of love is most essential when relationships are strained and feelings are hurt. The person who resorts to agape will be the restorer, the peacemaker, and the stabilizer in a situation. We all need agape, especially when we are unlovely, hurting, disgraced, or a failure.
From where does agape come and how do we appropriate it to our lives? The answer can only be found in the Bible. Romans 5:8: “But God commendeth his love (agape) toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” John 3:16: “For God so loved (agape) the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
This type of love comes only from God and is obtainable only through His Son, Jesus Christ. (John 17:25-26). When you acknowledge that you are hopelessly lost in sin before a holy and righteous God, call upon Him for His loving grace, and believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sin and rose from the grave bodily, the love of God will flood your soul and cleanse you from all sin by the blood of Christ. Agape, as well as eternal life, will then be a part of your life. Romans 10:9-13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
How is your love life? Try God’s love. You will never be the same.
In His Grace,Pastor Ernest F. Brodie Sr.