There is bible verse stuck in my head ever since I read it the other day. It imprinted in heart, even got stuck in my throat. You know that feeling right? It is impossible to imagine life without people around who love you unconditionally. It is easy to think of needing love like you need water. Imagine if you did not water a plant. We all know what would happen. At first the plant would be fine continuing to stand strong but after a few days it would begin to wilt. Its strength fading each day until all of its leaves begin to fall to the ground until the plant eventually dies. It is simply impossible to live without water and I would say the same thing is true for living without love.
Is there truly only one type of love?
On a quest for understanding the search began in one of the oldest books found in the library. The discovery was interesting as paging through verses and verses in the bible. Among the verses and the stories you can find four definitions of the love. As a researcher, there would be not satisfaction unless there were several references supporting my opinions. My students understand this to be my obsession. There within the pages of the bible were four Greek words that described love.
- Storge Love-This is considered the type of love a family has for one another. This type of love is found in extended families too. For example this type of love is same love that a mother or father has for their children. This instinctual love seems part of how we were created.
- Eros Love-This is the erotic love between a man and women which is sensual love. The type of love we see on the wedding day supported by the bible verse Corinthians 13 4-8. You know the verse well… love is patient, love is kind, the verse you could probably repeat over and over in your head if you tried.
- Agape Love-This is the most superior type of love and is best described as the love of Father God. In Luke 23:24, this type of love is scene as Jesus displayed on the cross saying “forgive them for they know not what they do.” This is devine love.
- Philia Love-This is the type of love that David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 20) had in the bible. These two men would have died for one another. This type of love creates a bond that eros and storage love cannot compare with. This is the type of love where soldiers display while trying to save a fellow-man who is wounded. It is the type of love you see among best friends.
We need agape love because some of the things that God requires of us are not fun or easy. We need to have phileo love because we need true friends to stand with us, people who are emotionally connected to us and with whom we can share our deepest thoughts and feelings. We need to have storge love between us, a deep family affection that comforts us and helps us feel connected to all our spiritual family. And lastly, eros love becomes essential and explains why in marriage two souls become one.
Reflecting on this research the answer got clear. There are many people in life who love you throughout your journey. I have always deeply felt the love of my wife Diane. There is no question in my mind of the significance of that love. There really is not words to describe the love I feel for my family, other than I feel very thankful for their love everyday. My love of our Father God is above all the most significant love in my life.
The last type of love that resonates strongly with me today is Philia. Reflecting, I am blessed with so many significant friends in my life. They have been my mentors, my counselors, they have had my back loving me unconditionally, validating my insecurities, boosting my confidence, teaching me and loving me when it felt like there might have been no one else who really understood my feelings.
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron so a friend sharpens a friend.
Today, I am thankful to my best friends.