Love is everywhere today. We love movies, pizza, cars, ipads, Say Yes To The Dress and we even love people. Yet, we should know that none of that is love. John said it best in his letter. Here is what love is: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us. CJB
Love can only begin with God.
The Greeks used six words that we translate as love. Sadly, Eros is generally the love of others. I eros that woman. It is sexual passion, but love of objects like cars can also be eros.
Philia is the second order of love. It is deep friendship and should form at least a large part of the bond within marriage.
Ludus is playful and generally accounts for the long list of objects we associate with the word love . I ludus pizza.
Pragma is longstanding love, and should make up part of that marriage bond.
Philautia is love of self. There has been a great deal of that in the US of late. I’m OK, You’re OK. Many experts and non-experts have insisted that I must love myself. That can be useful for surviving this world, but it does not help us get closer to God.
The Greeks considered Agape a vague love of everyone, but the New Testament writers changed the meaning. For followers of the Messiah, Agape is that love John wrote about, the Love that God has for us. In the hands of God/Son, Agape has no relationship with the other five; makes the other five subservient to Agape.
Yes, that is a contradiction; no, that is not a contradiction. If I allow the Love of God to take over my life and remake me in the image of Jesus, I will love myself, my wife, and everyone else. The church has been guilty of trying to eliminate eros from our lives. What we really need to do is make sure that our eros, our erotica, is in line with God’s Love, His Agape.
If it does not begin with God, it is not love.
Be righteous and do good.