The Truth about Love

There are three common types of love. Each one is distinctly different, but we can feel all of them at one time – for one person or many people. EROS is passionate physical love. It includes sensual desires and longing.

Relationships built only on Eros usually end when sexual passion wanes. That is why people have affairs or casual physical relationships. Therefore, marriage needs more than Eros to survive.

PHILIA means friendship and connotes affectionate love between friends and family. It displays dispassionate camaraderie. Philia includes loyalty to friends, family and community. It exhibits Godly virtue, impartiality and delight.

Philia denotes a friendly type of affection between family and friends. It is a desire for companionship and enjoying activities with each other. Having a friendship with the people in your life and enjoying time to play, pray and share in common pursuits is vital in any relationship.

AGAPE means unconditional love. It refers to a deep sense of God’s pure, holy love. Instead of the sexual attraction of Eros or the deep affection of Philia, Agape is sacrificial.

Agape provides us with the feeling of contentment and satisfaction as we put each other first and highly esteem one another as better than our self (Philippians 2:3-4). True love takes effort and is not dependent on the other person.

Christ lives in us and is love personified. Regardless of how someone treats us, we love them with God’s love within us. It is not how we feel, but what we do to express God’s love to one another.

This does not mean that we do not honestly communicate to others how their behavior makes us feel; but we never give up on the relationship. We may have to establish boundaries, but we keep the relationship active.

Love is not what we expect from others, but what we provide for those in our life whom we care about. We are called to love one another, just as Christ loves us. Sometimes, that is a tall order to fill.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to display love to our parents, spouse, children, church family and even strangers regardless of how they treat us. This is only possible as we submit to Your will for our life and allow Your Spirit to reprogram our thinking to have the mind of Christ. Remind us that once we have this spiritual love, then the physical and the emotional feelings will follow after it.

Cause us to submit our self to You and to resist the devil. Then he must flee from us (James 4:7). His destructive suggestions that putting our self first, estrangement and divorce are not wrong, and that You want us to be happy, will vanish with his departure. Remind us that You want us to be holy. Help us to develop Agape love for others as we focus on submitting our self to You.

Thought for the Day:
Most people realize that we are far from loving one another with true self-sacrificing, lasting and sincere love; Eros and Philia come and go throughout the years, and they are never intense for long periods of time, but Agape lasts forever.

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Overwhelming Love

Eros love is physical and human; Phileo love is what we feel for our friends; but Agape love comes from God. It does not depend on how we feel or even if we like the person or not. Agape is contingent only on Christ within us. God loved us while we were still vile sinners, and He calls us to allow Him to use us to love others in this same way (Romans 5:8).

We love God, because he first loved us and gave Himself for us as a ransom for our sins (1 Timothy 2:6). If we truly love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15). God’s love for us does not depend on our lovability, and does not require that we act in a loving manner. God’s love is unconditional; however, any negative behavior on our part will break His heart.

God would not love us any more if we walked in perfection before Him, and He does not love us any less if we fail unexpectedly (1 John 3:6; Hebrews 10:26). His love for us is contingent upon His dependability, not on our deportment. Christ’s death on the cross is love in action (John 3:16). If we accept this sacrifice as the payment for our sins, we are justified and have peace with God (Romans 5:1).

Although we all deserve an eternity of condemnation, at the moment of our salvation, our spirit is reborn and our over-riding desire for sin dies. We are in Christ and He is now our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). As authentic Believers, we no longer need to wonder if we are pleasing God or doing enough to earn His love, because Christ’s sacrifice already made us an acceptable member of His beloved family (Ephesians 1:6).

Prayer:
Father God, due to the saving work of Christ on the cross, we can draw near to You and enjoy Your blessings and presence every moment of every day (James 4:8). We enjoy our continual fellowship with You. Our sins are forgiven and Christ in us makes us suitable to fellowship with You (Galatians 3:16). Remind us to set aside time for You every day and to remain in Your presence all day long regardless of the duties of family and employment. We give You all of the praise, glory and honor for everything we are, everything we accomplish and everything we have in this life.

Thought for the Day:
We enjoy the privilege of being near to God, because we made Him our sovereign Lord; He is our refuge, and we enjoy His overwhelming love and all of His generous benefits.      – Psalm 73:28, 103:2