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LOVE cannot be Defined

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Abraham Inetianbor
Happy Valentine to everyone. All I heard today was mostly "I love you" from one person to another. Then I thought to myself, do these people really know what love is or is it just lip service. Love is an active word, not to be used lightly. It's not just something you say passively, it is evident in something you both say and do. Love cannot be defined unless it is practiced. The true definition of love is in how we do what we do. Caring for someone is showing love but giving someone a "black eye" is not love. Because love is an action doesn't mean every action is love. The act of true love is selfless just like Jesus, who did not consider it a robbery when He agreed to leave His throne to come take our place on the cross.

  • "For God so love the world that He gave..."
  • "Greater love has no man than this, for a man to lay down His life..."
  • "If you love me, keep my commandments..."
  • "You are my friend if you do as I command you..."
These are all bible verses that I paraphrased above. I can go on forever but we get the point. Love does require us to do, not just say.
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The word "Love" is often used in general terms to mean a lot of things but without going too deep into the word origin or being too theological, here are the forms of love below. They all carry a form of action or an act being shown.

AGAPE LOVE - The Greek word Agape is used to describe a form of love that is truly Selfless and unconditional. This is loving someone regardless. You may not agree or support what they do or represent but this doesn't mean you should wish them bad. Our heart should be clean and free of hatred even when we make clear our disappointments and disagreements with anyone. This kind of love is what God showed towards us in that while we were yet sinners, He sent His Son to die for us.

EROS LOVE - This is as clear as it sounds; erotic love. This kind of love is sexual in nature and if you are a married couple, there's a chance you've told your spouse at one point: "Let's go make love"; "Make love to me"; "Let's make love tonight" and the list goes on. If you ask a couple who just finished a sexual activity in the bedroom where they were, the answer would either be "we were making love" or "we were having sex." The sexual encounter is often replace with the word love because this kind of "love" is erotic.
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PHILIA LOVE - First thing that most Americans often think about when they hear philia love is the city of Philadelphia. This city in the state of Pennsylvania is often referred to as the city of brotherly love. Philia love is actually a love of friendship. A friendship that is so close that the friend is almost like a family member. This is why it is called brotherly, which suggests "like a brother." Peter the apostle once had a conversation with Jesus when he told Jesus that he loved Him like a brother. Jesus needed Peter to understand that spiritual relationships require Agape love that is unconditional with a selfless desire to take up the cross for Christ; not just "BFFs" or best friends kind of love. I bet there's been a time or two where you told someone that they are like family to you because the relationship between you both is so natural that you almost forget it was created by two strangers.


STORGE LOVE - Most people do not talk about storge love because it is the most common and natural form of love there is on earth. It is so common that we ignore it and sometimes confuse it with philia. Storge love is the kind of love a parent have for their own kids. It is also the kind of love kids have for both their parents and siblings. It is a natural or instinctual love for family so much so that it is kind of expected. No one is going to be surprised or pat you in the back because you love your own kid. However, people tend to appreciate when you love a stranger (friend) like a brother or sister. They would learn something new when they see the selfless love between you, your spiritual family and God. And obviously eros love is in non-existence until two people agree to become one.

Storge love may be the least talked about but it shows why the other kinds of love is special and takes more effort than we are willing to sometimes admit.


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