5 words of love

Ok so idk where to begin but I guess I’ll give you a pet peeve of mine and what have been on my mind as of late. I’ve been thinking about the word Love as of late and words are thrown around so carelessly in our culture that even the words that are meant to encourage and bring happiness have lost their place and vulgar words have become so commonplace that they aren’t noticed except by the older generation and maybe some christians who make a fuss and are seen as different. But I think that it’s weird to say I love my car and then in the next sentence I love my husband I wish we could go back to the greek language who had specific words for different kinds of love. Then there would be no trying to decipher what exactly did they mean by what they said.

The first Greek word is: Mania – Manic love is almost not a love at all.  The word “lust” is probably not strong enough – “obsession” is closer to the word.  This is the love of possession.  I “mania” that which I obsessively desire to own.  It is generally seen as taking over the “lover” like insanity – thus the connection to modern concepts of madness (kleptomania, pyromania).  It is like the opposite of a phobia  – an obsessive need to avoid something. “Mania” is translated as “madness” and “beside yourself” in Acts 26

Second is : Eros – Eros is obviously the root word for “erotic,” but it does not describe sexual love only, it actually describes all emotional love; the feeling of love.  Eros love is that insatiable desire to be near the target of this love.  The exciting, passionate, nervous feelings that sweep over people in the appropriate circumstances.  This is the love that says “I love how you make me feel.”  As an emotion, Eros changes, sometimes suddenly.  Remember that it is entirely based on circumstances and on the target of its emotion.  As an emotion, alone it is morally neutral, however, it can just as easily lead to lust (sinful desire) as it can passion. It is also a good picture to think of Eros as the fruit and flowers of a new relationship.  Eros is not a bad thing, but it is also not a “good” thing. The word Eros does not appear in the Bible.

Third is : Philos – Philos love, or brotherly/friendship love, is the next kind we will look at.  Philos describes the love between two people who have common interests and experiences, or a fondness for.  Hemophiliacs apparently seemed to ancient doctors to have a “fondness” to bleeding, for example.  Unlike Eros, which pulses up and down like waves on the ocean, Philos steadily grows, like a building being constructed stone by stone.  For this reason, when close friends are separated for a while and reunited, they will often say “it is like we picked up exactly where we left off.”  Philos is half about the circumstances, and half about the commitment of two people to one another; it says “I love who we are together,” or in case of a non person:  “I am fond of this food.”  Philos love generally grows over time except in the case of some kind of betrayal.

Fourth : Storgy – We will not spend much time here; storgy is the love one has for a dependent.  It is commonly called “motherly love.”  It is entirely based on the relationship between the “lover” and the “lovee.”  When the dependent is no longer dependent, this love remains only in its emotional remnants.  It is one of the stronger loves, because it involves a commitment that relies on only one trait of the receiver – that he or she is dependent.   This type of love is toxic to a marriage under normal circumstances.  Marriages that look more like a mother/son or father/daughter relationship is moving quickly downhill.

Fifth is : Agapeo – Agape love is the final of the five loves we look at here.  Agape love is entirely about the lover, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the one loved.  Agape love, in its purest form, requires no payment or favor in response.  The most common word for God’s love for us is Agape (I John, John 3:16) and the love we are commanded to have for one another (Matt. 5:44, I Cor. 13).  This lack of input from the recipient makes it possible for us to love our enemies even though we may not like them or the situation they have put us in – because Agape love is not in any way dependent on circumstances; it says “I love you because I choose/commit to.”  Unlike eros or philos, Agape creates a straight line that neither fades or grows (!) in its perfect form (which of course only exists from God outward)  Oddly enough, even though many people marry out of eros love alone, they make vows that speak of commitment despite any circumstance:  richer/poorer, better/worse, sickness/health.  This kind of love is about a commitment to the very best for another, no matter what emotions or feelings exist!  You can see why in the King James Version of the Bible, Agape was usually translated as “charity.”  It is a love freely given, and freely committed to.  For a more in depth look at its aspects, look at I Corinthians chapter 13.

http://chrismlegg.com/2009/10/01/5-greek-words-for-love-agape/

B/c we do feel all these different love emotions it would be nice if we didn’t have to guess and had some way to express it accurately.

 

 

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Published in: on March 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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