I remember when our friends first visited our church assembly, oh, sometime in the year 1993. My daddy was the preacher at that time while mama supported and encouraged him and the congregation. The visiting couple were newlyweds and his job had moved them to our small town from Big City. I now know why the Almighty placed them there—to change our lives!
All of my life I had been “in the church” and around church folks. I have heard many sermons where the speaker mentioned the different meanings of a commonly used word, “love”. Apparently the Greeks had four distinct meanings of this word which we generally throw around when we say, “I love that pizza place!” and “Yes, I love you and will marry you.” Or, “Honey, I have loved you for the 59 years we have been married.” Different types of love but we toss the one word around….because we don’t speak Greek.
If this concept is new to you, would you allow me to put the definitions in my own words while you keep in mind I am no Greek scholar?
- Agape—expecting nothing in return; unconditional love; action, not necessarily feeling; unwilling to abandon the other person; the nature of God; agape-ing the person but maybe not liking the situation; a choice and expecting nothing in return [Staying up with a sick loved one all night… don’t necessarily enjoy it but do it because of agape for that person; adopting an orphan child]
- Eros—romantic; erotic; leads to complete bond and trust [Kissing your spouse on your 59th wedding anniversary…years after you said “I do” when you used to kiss with more of a phileo love than erotic]
- Storge—dutiful but strong; family and close friends; parents + children; siblings; husbands + wives; natural, effortless; makes us feel secure, safe, comfortable [Visiting with a dear friend you haven’t seen in many years; hugging your son who has just returned from overseas military duty]
- Phileo—love between close friends; a strong liking and connection of sharing same values, culture, interests; easy but felt in the soul; emotionally connected [Raising a glass to toast that group of longtime friends; enjoying the comfortable, intimate, weekly gatherings of Bible study group or Book Club or Bunco]
It is safe to say that when our new young friends entered the church building that morning I had no idea Continue reading “Foreign Languages”