I love Valentine's Day. It is a time we are all reminded the importance of showing our love for and to others. Sometimes just knowing someone is thinking of you fondly can bring great joy into your day!
Where we read about love in the bible, we often think in generic terms, not really grasping what is intended in the scriptures for our benefit. There are four types of love spoken of, actually five, if we really get into it:
1. Storge (love of family) although not specifically used, it is often implied in God's Word. Honor your father and you mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12
The book of Ruth is a great place to start when learning of this great love of family!
2. Phillia (love of friends or brotherly love) Christians are to treasure phillia without question. Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10 The Apostle Paul and the early church founders teach so much about this love through out their journeys as they taught believers to cherish their brothers and sisters in Christ.
3. I have often spoken of the Agape as the unconditional love of God. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. John 15:13 This love Jesus expressed for us and the pain He endured can be experienced in Isaiah 53.
4. On Valentine's Day we are inundated with reminders of Eros (a romantic or erotic love,) which in my opinion, from the world's view is portrayed as the most important of them all! You need not look any farther than The Song of Solomon in the Old Testament to know what God's teachings are on the subject of Eros. God is all for romantic love if it is kept within His guidelines. He knows we enter into many pitfalls if not disastrous consequences when we do not keep Eros in a moral setting. In the New Testament, we are reminded, "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral." Hebrews 13:4 His restrictions are for our good because of His Agape for us.
5. There is one more; This is the Agape love of God which took up residence in us, enabling us to love Him and others the way He loves. Wherever you find His children, you find His love. It would be such a better world if this love were celebrated and given the same attention as Eros on Valentine's Day. God is love, Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 1John 4:16b
I'm not certain, outside of heaven, I will ever fully attain the sense of loving as God loves. Seems a great distance away, some days more than others. However, He knows to what capacity I can love and IN FAITH, He... expects that I express my love at my level best. He does not merely suggest it. He commands it.
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:37-40.
Let's look at God's definition of this love we are very much capable of when we cooperate with His instructions and enabling.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails... 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Sound like anyone you know? It would be great if we could let those we love know just how much we AGAPE and appreciate them this week!
A Prayer to Share:
I know I fall short in the expression of the love You would have me extend to others. It is my prayer that You remind me to love when I don't feel lovely. Bring the joy of my salvation to the forefront of every life challenge as well as every victory You give!
No Greater Love - Rescued from the Waters
There are many pages in Cherbear's Den where the Gospel of Christ is presented.
I have listed links to some of them on these pages.