Isn’t it safe to say the majority this Western culture knows little to nothing about real love?
In his book, The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis illustrates the four classical loves: storge, agape, eros, philia (all of Greek origin) – in their fullness.
Philia` is friendship. The root word of Philadelphia (the city of brotherly love; also an ancient Biblical city in Asia Minor) This is considered the least valued of all the loves because so few people actually experience it. We can have a thousand “friends” on Facebook and still be socially isolated. One is fortunate to have just a few real, authentic friendships.
Storge` is affection. Such as a parents love for their children. This is great for some but many come from homes lacking this affection. In some cases, parents are distant or addicted. Many children suffer because the full weight of parenthood rests on the shoulders of a single parent or extended family member making the child feel like they are a burden and leaving them emotionally scarred. How many single parent families are there in North America today? Sadly, far too many.
Eros`, is intimate, romantic love. This is intended to be the most beautiful of loves (within the boundaries of marriage) but can also be the most destructive. When eros is separated from the other loves, it is twisted into an unrecognizable form with great potential to damage our very souls as well as our physical, emotional and mental health.
Agape` is gift-love. It is not a matter of emotion, but a matter of will. We’ are commanded to demonstrate agape love to others regardless of how we feel about the person. Agape love is impossible to experience apart from the grace of God – and the one type that is most needed today. So how is your relationship with God these days?
Do you have a friend or family member you need to make amends with? Isn’t it time to put aside your differences? How about your spouse? Are you going to continue playing the game of withholding your love because he or she “doesn’t deserve it” or are you still trying to prove your point? Are you thinking about compromising your morals in order to satisfy your selfish desires?
Let’s be kind of people who demonstrate AGAPE love this Valentine’s Day! It’s a great place to start because no one or nothing can ever fill that void in your life expect for Him who created you.
1 John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”