When I was a small girl, there was a TV show called “Love American Style”. Why this popped into my head I have no clue since it aired 1969-1973 and I was very small. I became familiar with it in reruns as a teenager. It told many short stories about love in a one hour time slot. Away, I digress.
This show popped in my mind with a different twist, “Love Bible Style”. I decided to research the types of love that are in the Bible and learn about them. Surely there was only a few right? Wrong, I came across six good examples of Biblical love that we can utilize every day in our lives to live a better life in God’s love.
Let’s look at the first love, Philia love. This is a love between good friends and family members. This love is not romantic but based on shared beliefs and values. This is referred to as “brotherly love”. Jesus taught us that we would know other Christians by their love for one another. Remember as Christians we are one big family so this love doesn’t mean immediate family it means God’s family.
John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Next, let’s look at Philautia love. This is the love you have for yourself. This love can be healthy or unhealthy depending on how you view yourself. This love is essential for all relationships so if you are not kind in your love for yourself, you cannot be kind in your relationships. God made us and makes us with imperfections. That is His design. When we learn to look in the mirror and say, “Father, I know You made me in Your image (His characteristics) and I love myself for who You want me to be, not who I want to be.” . Yes, we can pick ourselves apart physically and emotionally but God doesn’t want us wasting time on that, He want us to love who we are. He also wants us to care for our bodies and treat our bodies with respect. Eating healthy foods, exercising, limiting alcohol, not smoking or vaping are a few examples of how to care for our temples God blessed us with.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Then we have Storge love. The easiest way for me to explain this love is when a baby is born and the parents have an immediate bond with the baby. This love grows through memories and life experiences the family goes through together throughout the years.
Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Eros love is a primal love. This is a passionate love displayed through physical affection. This love is a desire for another person’s physical body and driven by hormones. We see several examples of this type of love in the Bible with bad endings, Kind David and Bathsheba as well as Sampson and Delilah.
2 Samuel 11:2-4
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.
I do want to mention that Eros love is important in a marriage in a marital bed as God designed. This is a love that enhances a marriage and intimacy between a husband and wife.
Pragma Love is a unique love that matures over many years. It the uniqueness of “standing in love” through all things. This love strengthens the relationship and can be found in sustained marriages and friendships. Think about Abraham and Sarah and the many years they tried for a child and then at the age of 100 and 90 respectively, God blessed them with a son. They waited patiently on God’s promise and stood in their marriage. This is pragma love.
Genesis 21:2 And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him.
Agape love is unconditional love given no matter the circumstance. This is where forgiveness comes in. You may have been a victim of physical or emotional abuse yet you offer love. This is a tough process but can be learned. Agape is the highest level of love to offer. It’s given without any expectations of receiving anything in return.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
In closing this blog, I want to emphasize that to have good relationships you must start with your relationship with yourself and our Heavenly Father. Build this relationship first fully and the other relationships will follow in success. Mix Eros love (passion) and pragma love (enduring) together for a balanced marriage. Mix Philia (brotherly love) and Storge love (emotional connection) for a good friendship. Most importantly, always remember this:
John 1:48 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Everything is centered in God which is centered in LOVE-LoLo