What Love’s All About
Originally written 2/17/2012 Updated 12/12/2019
Oops. The word storge may be pronounced stor-ge or stor-gay. On the podcast, I erroneously pronounced it storg-jay.
February is the month in which we traditionally celebrate Valentine’s Day, but love is not limited to one day of the year. We should exemplify true love every day. Remember, God is love.
1 John 4:7 (KJV) says,
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
Let’s talk about the four types of love. Since Love is a simple little four-letter word, you’d think that its definition should be easy. Most of us feel that we understand the word. But, one of the problems that we have is that this one word has several different definitions. The Bible talks about or alludes to four types of love. They are eros, storge, philia or phileo, and agape. Let’s examine each of these types of love.
Agape Love – Agape love is God’s kind of love. It is a love that is demonstrated by action, based upon obedience to God. Another word for agape love is charity, as discussed in 1 Corinthians 13. True agape love is putting the needs of another ahead of your own needs. Agape love is a decision to love another, in spite of what your gain or feelings might be. An example, of course, was Jesus’ decision to obey His Father when he asked that Jesus would come into a sin-cursed world and die for our sins. He knew the humiliation, the pain, and the momentary separation from His Father that he would experience. But because He had agape love for you and me, and because He was obedient to His Father, He did it anyway. Jesus In Matt. 26: 39 prayed, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt”. John 3: 16 says:
John 3:16 (KJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
1 Corinthians 13:4-13 (KJV) has this to say about love:
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
That’s agape love. True agape love should be the foundation of each of the other three types of love.
Eros Love refers to physical passion; its gratification, and fulfillment. It is inferred in many scriptures and is the only kind of love that God restricts to the bounds of a God-approved marriage. Some of the scriptures that refer to this type of love are:
Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)
4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
Ephesians 5:31 (KJV)
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Storge Love– Storge love is family love, the instinctual bond among mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. It is the natural love among kin. It is also the type of love that is referred to when we use the expression “blood is thicker than water.” This is the type of love that God stirred in my heart after I was filled with the Holy Ghost. It was storge love that sent me on a quest to get my family saved. True storge love is enhanced by Agape love, for once you know who Christ is, you want to assure that the family that God gave you also knows Him.
When Daniel, in Daniel 9:4-19, sought the face of God for his people, he was demonstrating storge love. He said in Dan 9:19: O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
My family-love experience. In 1975 God began to deal with my heart and to stir up my desire to know him in a real way. About that same time, my youngest brother was involved in an auto accident and broke his neck. He developed quadriplegia, only able to minimally use his hands. He was paralyzed and it broke my heart to see him in this condition. Before his accident, I knew that I loved him but after his accident, I found out just how much I loved him.
Finding an answer to my brother’s state became a driving force in my life. I had been a nurse for about five or six years at that time, so I knew the physical problems and the wasting that his healthy and robust body would go through. In a Christian bookstore looking for a book on healing, one of the workers witnessed to me about being filled with the Holy Ghost. God began to put people in my life, and by March 1975, I was saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost. My love for my brother compelled me to search for an answer to his situation. As a result of my search for him, God saved me.
Immediately after I got saved, I called my sister and best friend. I talked to her about God and how He was moving in my life. When she saw how God had blessed me and changed me, she wanted to come to my church in Dallas and see about this Holy Ghost. God saved and baptized her with the Holy Ghost, too. She is now a Prophetess and a Missionary, carrying the Gospel of Deliverance.
After my sister got filled we both went to La Marque, TX, to my youngest brother, the same one who had become a quadriplegic. As brand new babes in Christ, the Lord blessed us to pray him through to the Holy Ghost.
Next on our agenda was my Mother. I was blessed to pray with her in her back bedroom and she was filled with the Holy Ghost. She became a faithful witness for the Lord. My Mother passed away in 1986 and, after the funeral, we were all sitting around her dining room table singing some of the songs that my sister and I wrote. This particular song stirred up my Aunt, my Mother’s sister. Some of the words to this song were: “You can’t hide, no you can’t hide. The Word is going to find you, and you can’t hide.” This song was based on an older song that we had heard.
After that night, we went our separate ways, and sometimes later, we got a call that our Aunt was in the hospital. She had cancer and was near death. Cookie and I rushed to her bedside and when we walked in the room, she began to cry and praise God. She let us know that she wanted to be saved. She said that the words of the song that we had sung following my Mother’s funeral haunted her. Only she remembered the words this way: “You can’t Hide, No you can’t hide, The devil’s gonna get you and you can’t hide.”
Well, when Sister and I prayed with her, she repented and she was baptized with the Holy Ghost. When all was said and done, peace flooded her soul and she passed away not long after, knowing that she was saved and prepared for the Kingdom of God.
My Grandmother, both of my other brothers, my own son, as well as other family members, have also gone on to be with the Lord since that time. God gave all of them tremendous testimonies of deliverance before He took them home. They were all baptized with the Holy Ghost. And I feel confident that when we get to Heaven, our family members will be there because God allowed us to witness to them about Jesus and His love.
Sister and I continue our encouragement of our remaining family members to be saved, based on our storge love for them. That storge love is rooted and grounded in agape love.
Phileo or Philea Love – Philia means close brotherly love or the love that one has for a friend. Christians are frequently exhorted to love their fellow Christians. Phileo love is a love of the affections. It is that warm feeling that one has when he is in the presence of another. It is the type of love that you have for a best friend. The Bible frequently tells us that we are to share this type of love in the church. 1 John 4: 20-21 says
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
This scripture lets us know that if you do not love your brother or sister with philia love, something is lacking in you.
Do you find yourself tensing up every time Sis. Jolynn gets up to solo? Does Bro. Ronson rattle your nerves every time he testifies? Have you ever seen yourself choosing to exit from a particular door of the church just so you do not have to speak to Sis. Suzy? I understand that Sis. Jolyn might have taken your solo; that Bro. Ronson likes to testify about the sweet wife that God gave him that you wanted to marry, and even that Sis. Suzy owes you $20.00 that she refuses to pay. The Bible still tells us that we must love our brothers and sisters in Christ. If you undergird your philia love with agape love, you will seek the good for your brother and sister. You will find yourself praying for even the most irritating individual.
We have to remember that Jesus loved us while we were yet in our sins. Even when we were lying, cheating, drinking, smoking, cursing, stealing, womanizing and all of the other nasty things that people do before they are saved, His love for us was agape.
The fantastic thing that happens when we undergird philia love with agape love is that it will change you. Your dreaded mother-in-law will become sweet. Your “sorry-bum-of-a-husband” will suddenly have positive virtues. You will see your “nosy” neighbor as a concerned and watchful citizen. We should allow the agape love of God to prevail in all that we do.
Some of you may be crying out for a change in your situation, but what you need is a change in your attitude. You may simply need to repent of your sins and ask God to save you. Then ask Him for the Holy Ghost so you can have the power to live like He says we should. Acts 1: 8 says you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you. Then you can have that love that flows from heart to heart and breast to breast.
In closing, agape love is the highest level of love. May we all seek to attain the same love that God showed towards us through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
May God bless you all.