In today’s society, we often use the term “love” loosely and without thought. But the word has several meanings, of which we need to be aware. I offer you three.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
Valentine’s Day may be over, but love never ends. And in the Bible, it has several forms. Eros, a word representing the Greek god of sensual love and desire, is one type of love most of us recognize. Phileo, another type of love, refers to friendships and brotherly love. The third type is called Agape love, which speaks of our social and moral feelings of benevolence.
Agape (ah-GA-pay) love describes a love based on the deliberate choice of the one who loves rather than on the worthiness of the one who is loved. Its focus is on giving, such as the love of Christ toward all mankind. Love was His passion. He made people feel special and important, especially those perceived as unlovable discards of society. He affirmed their uniqueness. And through Him, we are to be examples of agape love.
In fact, God continually tells us how much He loves us. We find His love for us in every page of His Word and we see it in His marvelous creation. We also experience it through His Son when we accept His perfect love into our lives. Sometimes we walk away from His love. Perhaps too often. I think of my selfish desires, my shallow actions against others, my neglect to use opportunities to show love to people other than my family and friends, and I am appalled.
We all need to be constantly reminded of His perfect love, asking ourselves how well we love Him. Do we sound off our love while singing to Him in church, then forget to praise Him later? Do our daily actions reflect a desire to love and honor Him? Or are we stuck on our to-do list of the moment?
A Bible passage used often during weddings is found in 1 Corinthians 13. Paul states that if we have gifts from God, including faith and generosity, but don’t have love, we accomplish nothing. He goes on to say: “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (verses 4-8)
We are God’s beloved. When His life is lived out in us, then we love like He does, not only on Valentine’s Day but every day.
Lord, thank You for Your great love for us. Show us each day how we can love others unselfishly, using Jesus’ example to guide us. In Jesus’ name, amen.