LOVE:There are four Greek words for love:Eros,Phileo,Storge and Agape
Eros:Romantic/intimate/passionate love among ‘lovers’:“A loving doe, a graceful deer– may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love(Eros).-Prov 5:19.
Eros has 3 disadvantages:
a)It is conditional.Provided the parties involved satisfy each other,the love thrives.
b)It is based on ones perception.It either grows strong or weak based on your definition of love.
c)It can easily crash in the presence of reality/hardship because it is majorly fantasies!
d)Hormones of the body(testosterone,oestrogen etc) and the five senses play major roles in this type of love.
Note:Eros is a selfish form of love! It is about ‘I’, ‘I’ and ‘I’.
Phileo:This type of love exists between friends. Phileo was used to describe the love between Jesus and Lazarus:”Lord, behold, he whom You love (phileo) is sick” (John 11:3).
“No, the Father himself loves(phileo) you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.”-John16:27
This type of love is on a higher level than Eros.While Eros is parasitic,Phileo is symbiotic in nature.The people involved benefit one another in a mutual way.This is why people say ‘love is reciprocal’.They are actually referring to Phileo love.It is a brotherly and affectionate love.
Storge( familial love):It is the love that exists in families between parents and children,a man and his community etc.It is a natural and instinctive form of love.The word is not found in the Bible except its opposite form,a-storgia:“Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection(astorgia), implacable, unmerciful”
In a nutshell, eros is between lovers,phileo is between friends and storge is among family members.All these 3 are human types of love.These are not fruit of the Spirit.You don’t need the inputs of the Spirit to show these kinds of love.
This is God-kind of love.This is the highest level of love.No human being born of a woman except Jesus Christ has this nature in him/her! God can only share it with us through the Holy Spirit.What are the characteristics of this love:
I have combined three Bible versions of 1Cor 13:4-8(NIV,AMP and MSG) for better understanding of agape love and beside each point is written the fruit of the Spirit it depicts:
1)It is patient/It endures with patience and serenity/It never gives up.(PATIENCE)
2)It is kind/It is kind and thoughtful/It cares more for others than for self.(KINDNESS AND GOODNESS)
3)It does not envy/It is not jealous or envious/It doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.(GENTLENESS AND SELF CONTROL)
4)It does not boast/It does not brag/It doesn’t strut.(GENTLENESS AND SELF CONTROL)
5)It is not proud/It is not proud or arrogant/It doesn’t have a swelled head.(GENTLENESS)
6)It does not dishonor others/It is not rude/It doesn’t force itself on others.(PEACE AND GENTLENESS)
7)It is not self-seeking/It is not self-seeking/It isn’t always “me first.(AGAPE LOVE)
8)It is not easily angered/It is not provoked nor overly sensitive/It doesn’t fly off the handle.(AGAPE LOVE)
9)It keeps no record of wrongs/It does not take into account a wrong endured/It doesn’t keep score of the sins of others.(PATIENCE AND GENTLENESS)
10)It does not delight in evil/ It does not rejoice at injustice/It doesn’t revel when others grovel.(KINDNESS AND SELF CONTROL)
11)It rejoices with the truth/It rejoices when right and truth prevail/It takes pleasure in the flowering of truth.(JOY)
12)It always protects/It bears all things regardless of what comes/It puts up with anything.(PATIENCE)
13)It always trusts/It believes all things looking for the best in each one/Trusts God always.(FAITHFULNESS)
14)It always hopes/It hopes all things,remaining steadfast during difficult times/Always looks for the best.(PATIENCE AND FAITHFULNESS)
15)It always perseveres/It endures all things without weakening/It never looks back(PATIENCE).
16)It never fails/It never fades nor ends/It keeps going to the end.(FAITHFULNESS)
As Christians,we need the Holy Spirit to help us bear fruit.Or maybe I should ask you sir/ma:
If you are to rate yourself on these 16points what will be your score? Hmmmmm.Truly without the Holy Spirit we cannot do any of these!
You can Eros,phileo and storge anybody but you can’t agape nobody without the Holy Spirit.
“I am the vine; you are the branches…”-John 15:5a
“No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”John15:4
When we remain in Him,the Holy Spirit brings about the fruit bearing:”…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”-Romans5:5
Do you notice most of the other fruit of the Holy Spirit can also be seen in this agape love?
Truly the fruit (and not fruits)of the Spirit is LOVE!
If truly you have received the love of God(an unconditional love),you will extend that love to others!
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.John15:12
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.-Romans 12:10
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us-1John 4:12
Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.-Romans 13:10
Let us ask for this fruit of the Holy Spirit.If we ask,God won’t decline our request.
Stay blessed and rapturable.