What is Love? Understand the real meaning of love
Lost in love or lost love
Since the very beginning of human kind love has been the spark igniting all creation and for all human kind.
We hear people speaking about love and sharing love all the time. Love is the universal expression through which we all communicate with one another.
But do we really understand what love is?
Do we really know what is love?
Do we really know how love is manifested and shared?
Before answering these questions and getting to our final conclusion on love, there are several factors that I would like to share with you all.
I understand that my thoughts might seem controversial and to some of you, not acceptable, but I kindly ask you to read through and then determine your best thoughts on my approach on love.
Did you know that ancient Greeks had more than 20 terms to refer to love? Yes, it might sound too much, but it is true. However, we will just explore the ones we need to understand best.
Some of the great minds of the past have chosen three, four, five and even six kinds of love according to the Bible. C.S Lewis spoke openly about four types of love in the past.
We will first analyze the main six words used to express love in Greek and then, we will move on to our main Bible focus on the term of love.
- Sexual Passion’s Love (Erōs – ἔρως)
This is the first kind of love, which was named after the Greek god of fertility. It is associated with sexual passion and desire. And a connotation of irrational and dangerous love that could make you lose your mind and do things you normally wouldn’t do. Eros is the kind of love used to express the feeling between a man and a woman.
- Friendship’s Love (Philía – φιλία)
This term is used for expressing love to a friend or friendship love. This is not a simple friend’s love, it is a very deep friendship’s love, like the one you demonstrate when you sacrifice yourself for your friends. We perfectly understand this type of love, because we have friends or people throughout our life that have been there for us unconditionally and we are willing to do whatever it takes if that person needs us. That is the kind of friendship we are talking about here.
- Family’s Love (Storgē – στοργή)
This is the love expressed among family members, parents, children and so on. Even when society has decreased and the love among family’s members is decaying, I believe this is something we must stand for and uplift the standards of our homes and family, so this kind of love flourish again in our homes and lives.
- God’s Love (Agápē – ἀγάπη)
This is the term used for selfless love, loving one another without boundaries and most important the term used for God’s unconditional love. This is the type of love Gods shows to human kind, unlimited love.
We have seen the four main types of love and its definition, let me know share with you my understanding and the biblical point of view for love.
I am going to focus on Eros and Agape love, which is my main approach, because I really want you to understand and digest the real meaning of love.
People have always been confused with love and the way we express it between a man and a woman.
We have confused love with attraction, passion and sexual desire, that is the main focus and thinking of the new age and people through ages. You’ve believed for years that when you feel attraction and that fiery passion for a person, that is love and you even lose your mind, you are willing to go the extra mile for that person.
You don’t reason anymore, you just want to be with that person, therefore you get married and settle a family, but what happen when that attraction and passion is gone?
This is the spark destroying families and marriages all over the world, because our belief is that love is passion and attraction, that is what we have been told, but we are wrong.
Our ancient fathers understood love better than us, they really practiced love. There was no attraction nor passion, they didn’t even knew who they were going to marry, their marriage was already ordained by their fathers. In some cases, their fathers just sent to look for a woman and that was all to have a happy family.
If we read in Ephesians chapter 5, we will understand the commandments for a husband and a wife.
The Bible does not speak about feelings and passions, the Bible does not say that when you start feeling or when things go wrong, you just leave, that is not the Bible’s teaching. The Bible speaks about commitment and everlasting bounds, something not familiar to this new generation.
You have to understand that love is not passion, love is not feelings, love is commitment with one another, love is friendship, love is understanding, love is endurance.
If our society continues the way it goes, only the grace of our Lord can save this generation, because society is teaching our generation that love is all about feeling, attraction and sexual desire, when the reality is all the contrary.
Love is commitment and for you to understand that you have only one possible way out of love and / or marriage “it is infidelity”, Apostle Paul gives another possible way out of marriage and love (the way people think of it).
When a Christian is married to a non-Christian and there is no way for understanding, then Apostle Paul tells us that we are not called to slavery, but guess what. We are called to be the spark or example so our non-Christian partner can be saved.
What is love then? We have been taught about “love at first sight”, but such kind of love does not exist. The correct term would be “passion, attraction or sexual desire at first sight”. Love is a relationship that takes time to build, you don’t get to know a person in one day, same way, you don’t get to love someone in a week.
You need time to know one another, to develop a friendship, understand one another, accept each one with the good and bad sides, and embrace each other the way you are.
Why is it so hard to think about love without feelings? We have been taught that love is a feeling and now, I am giving you a different approach. I know it is hard and you might not even accept my thoughts, but if you think it thoroughly you will finally come to the conclusion of what I am saying.
Of course, we all want passion and attraction in our love lives and must seek for it, because it will keep the flames on in our lives.
I am not saying we don’t need feelings, on the contrary, I am saying that we don’t need to depend on feelings when we are speaking about love. Nevertheless, love with these incredible feelings are the maximum expressions of our minds and souls; we can combine them, but let us never rely on them for the sake of love, because we must understand that love is really a Commitment.
Do we really understand God’s love and the way it is manifested in us? God loves is unconditional, He loves us even when we don’t deserve it or even when we are stubborn and sin constantly.
The love of God for us surpasses human understanding and we can only get to comprehend a fraction of it.
What we need to understand about God’s unconditional love is that He loves us because He sees Jesus in us. When God looks at us, our actions, our flaws, imperfections, mistakes, sins and stubbornness, He does not see us directly, God sees the image and sacrifice of Christ in us.
That is why, we are not cursed and set on fire because of our evil concupiscence. Even when we still think that there is something good in us, we are so wrong, because every kinds of evil comes from our heart and desires, we are still human and imperfect, therefore, we are prompt to evilness, but the Spirit of the Lord is us, creates the little good coming out of us. It is not our merit, it is the Lord’s merit. Jesus is us is portrait through us so God can see him in us.
We filled our hearts and mouths saying that we love God, in fact that is all we say, but do we really love God?
John 14 gives us the correct answer, the one we most like don’t want to accept “if you love me obey my commandments”
God is not speaking about feelings either, He is speaking about actions above all. It often reminds me of the Parable of the two Sons, when the father sent them out, one of the them said no, but the one that said yes, did not go; at the end of the day, the one that refused to go, was the one indeed that went to do his father’s will.
Which one of them show real love? The one that said he would and did not, or the one that said he wouldn’t and did go?
Jesus asked Peter three times on John 21 “Do you love me”, while there are many speculations on why Jesus asked three times, I will not enter into it, what I want you to see is Jesus response. In other words, Jesus is simply telling Peter, just do your job, just do what you are supposed to do, nothing else. It is not saying that you love me, it is doing my will.
That is the goal and purpose of love, if we really love God, we will follow his commandments, no matter our feelings and mood. We just need to obey God’s word to say that we love God.
Most of the time, I tell my audience that we come to understand a little bit God’s love when we have children, because no matter if our children are good or evil, smarts or dumbs, they are our children regardless of that and we love them no matter what. Take that formula and multiply it by thousand and you still will only have a fragment of God’s love for us.
Combining our understanding of Eros and Agape love, we get to the conclusion that love is not what we thought it were.
Let us understand that love was expressed in the Bible using the terms most known in ancient time, Greek terms, which were the common terms for the Greek people and culture. That was what human kind knew and was taught through centuries, but guess what. I dare to say that in God’s mind, it has always been the same concept for love.
Love is doing, obeying His commands, love is learning to love and respect your partner. I am 100% sure that God was not speaking about human emotions and feelings when He created the term “love”.
Therefore, are we lost in love or our love Lost? Reflecting on the title of this article, I can say that we have been lost in love for so long that we got to the point of losing our love, thus our love has been lost.
My prayer for you is that you rediscover the real meaning of love and embrace it in all its aspect so our lives can change.
God is love, we show His love when we obey His commandments. Let us love one another, as if we would love ourselves. Let us develop a loving relationship with our partner (fiancé, husband, wife), so true love can endure and last forever or until death sets us apart.
“Lord Jesus Christ, in this moment, I intercede for everyone reading this article, that you may touch his / her heart. Fill it with the real love as you have commanded. Let your Holy Spirit shine through them, so they can embrace one another, In Jesus’ almighty name, I pray, Amen!”