by Pastor Dawn Marie Turner, First Christian Church Bowling Green, New Harmony Christian Church
Thursday is Valentine’s Day, a day of professing love to one another. A day of roses, candy, cards, and romantic dinners. We don’t make a huge deal of Valentine’s Day in our house as my hubby finds it to be a bit too commercial and as he says he would rather show me love every day then just one day a year. It took him a few years to convince me of this but now I see and fully understand love in action on a daily basis. And am very blessed by it.
What we will be doing in our house is making heart shaped pizza’s with our mix ‘n’ match crew of kiddos and not talking about romantic love or eros love but we will be talking about agape love and the love of Christ for us and our love for each other.
There are four types of love in the Bible: eros, philia, storge, and agape. Eros love (erotic love, romantic love) as seen in the Song of Solomon (this is a story of courtship), eros is a necessary in a marriage, in a deep relationship. Philia means close friendship or brotherly love in Greek as seen with David and Jonathon or Jesus’ love for his disciples. Storge is family love, the bond among mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. As with eros, this Greek term does not appear in the Bible. However, many examples of family love are found in Scripture, such as the love and mutual protection among Noah and his wife, their sons and daughters-in-law in Genesis; the love of Jacob for his sons; and the strong love the sisters Martha and Mary in the gospels had for their brother Lazarus.
The last is Agape love. Agape love is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. This Greek word and variations of it are found throughout the New Testament. Agape perfectly describes the kind of love Jesus Christ has for his Father and for his followers.
“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14:21, NIV)
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13 NIV)
“Faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13:13 NIV)
Agape love is a sacrificial giving love that goes beyond words and description. The love of Jesus giving his life for the sins of the world, that love of giving without having to ask, to give freely and unconditionally—that is Agape love.
As followers of Christ or pre-Christians (those yet to have found Christ) we need to give love and be love. When we do that we are loved. We need to use the word love to one another and not hesitate to use it. I am reminded as I end this article of the Beatles song…Love is all you Need. God’s love is all we need. Embrace the love of one another and embrace God’s love.