I sometimes like to get to the heart of the matter. I have had love on my mind this week. I know! I know! I am a sappy kind of person but this week I have been especially sappy. The concept of love has weighed on me so heavily and I feel it is what I must talk about. As most of you know, the Bible speaks of three specific kinds of love.
Eros or “erotic love”
Philos or “brotherly love”
Agape or “un-conditional love”
Eros love is all about me, how I feel and what I get out of a relationship. It is the butterflies dancing in my stomach and the quickening of my pulse. Euphoric and lovely for sure but it is all about me, me, me! If the circumstances change, the feeling can evaporate into thin air and I am left acting like a pouty spoiled child that just lost my favorite toy. My body is disappointed and the dream is gone.
Philos love is about you and me. It is the love of give and take. I love you and will do for you as long as you love me and do for me. This is at least a little more satisfying for me personally because it takes a higher level of commitment for each person involved. Still, it can quickly evaporate as well if one party slacks off and again I am left like a pouty rotten child. Only this time, I am crying and acting a fool because I invested myself and by golly, I feel ripped off. My mind is bruised and my companion is gone.
Agape love is all about you. There is no preconceived notion of what I will gain. It is not about me anymore. It is not about what I will gain or how you will give me pleasure. It is a choice to love in spite of your short comings and flaws. It is the freeing of my spirit and the gateway to peace. It allows the other two types of love to thrive against the odds of a cruel world. I am not disappointed or bruised. I am not left dreamless and alone. I am free and blessed. I keep the love because it was my choice to love without boundaries.
Each love represents a different part of our humanity…body, mind and spirit. Note that if the spirit is not fed first, the body and mind evaporate to nothingness. It seems simple but so many fall for body and mind and neglect their spirit.
The Bible also tells us that God is love and Jesus gave the ultimate gift of love by laying down His life for all of humanity. God is love but He chose to set Himself on a humanity that breaks His heart daily and denies His very existence. Jesus did die for our sins but He chose to lay down His life for the unworthy and unclean.
Real love is a choice! God wants us to have Agape love even for our enemies. This is not something that is easy to do. What I remind myself of is the fact that I have no clue if that enemy will some day become my sister or brother in Him. I remind myself that God loves me unconditionally and shows me a great mercy in that. He even gave me the choice to love Him or not. I should at least try to treat my fellow man the same. I will fall short but I think God sees the effort. So, when getting to the heart of the matter, I choose to let His love reign over me.
Peace, love and God’s will.