The Many Faces Of Love

This month is February, Valentine’s Day is coming, and we will see an outpour of symbols of love. Some better than others, but what does God say about love?

We know that in the Greek language and thus in early times, there were various words for the different types of love.

  • · Agape – sacrificial (1 Corinthians 13)
  • · Eros – passionate
  • · Philia – friendship
  • · Storge – affection (parental)

Many times we actually burden others with our “need” for love. Now hold on, I am not saying that we don’t have a healthy and natural human desire to feel loved and furthermore that God has commanded us to love one another. (John 15:9 As the Father hath loved me so have I loved you…, 1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.).

I am talking about the unrealistic expectations. It’s as if we expect one person to fulfill our expectations for each of the different types of love we desire as humans.

Some of us were blessed with great childhoods, feeling loved by family and surrounded by friends. We then carry that into our adult relationships and feel hurt when someone “doesn’t love us that way”. Some of us may have had bad childhoods, feeling unloved and are seeking closeness with everyone we meet. We can become that kind of “needy” friend that others may shy away from.

Here is where the problem lies……NO ONE PERSON can meet our every need. The deep relational longings can only be met by a true love relationship with God. If we can realize this, loving others and feeling loved will be secondary and more forgiving. In other words, we will not burden others with an unrealistic expectation that they (as humans) cannot live up to. We will, instead, aim to love others as God has loved us (John 15:9).

God places many people in our paths. We develop friendships and relationships with them in different ways. We should nurture each of them in a special and unique way modeling how God has done this in our own lives. He does not answer prayer to two of us the same manner, He does not reveal Himself to each of us in the same way. He knows what our own needs, wants and desires are, and He responds to each of us personally. Hence our friendships and love towards others can benefit from this realization.

You may have that friend that enjoys long walks with you, another that enjoys your taste for fine dining, and the friend whom you have not talked to in weeks or even months and yet you remain so close that the minute you pick up the phone and talk to them, you are right where you left off.

So during this season of love, take the time to cherish the loves in your life. Most importantly, continue to nurture your love relationship with God the Father and continue to seek Him in all that you do. Reach out to others in His love, don’t wait for others to love you first. The blessings will surely follow.

1 Corinthians 16:22-24, If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

-Alex B