Love is the most important gift that God has given us. It is a massive concept that can be difficult for us to understand. What is love, and how do we practice loving others daily?
Love is one of the most important things Jesus commands us to do. There are several different forms of love, and it is powerful enough to change everyone’s lives. That is why Jesus tells us the greatest commandment from the Lord is to love God and to love others. Jesus shows us over and over again how to love the people around us all throughout his ministry. Let’s dive into love in all its forms.
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Types of Love
There are many greek words for love from phileo love to agape love. There are three main variations that are used in the Bible that we would like to focus on:
Phileo love refers to an affection kind of love, such as the affection between siblings, two friends, or even the affection exhibited in a relationship. The word phileo is often part of another word to describe a specific type of affection like Philadelphia meaning “brotherly love.” We all have experienced this kind of affection in our lives.
The second greek word that is used to describe love is stergo. This word refers to the love between parents and children. This type of love does not appear as much in the Bible, but it is still an important part of love. Sometimes it could be better translated as devotion.
Finally, agape is held up as the wholly-encompassing idea of love. This is the word that is used in Galatians 5:22 where Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit. Renner.org says that “Agape occurs when an individual sees, recognizes, understands, or appreciates the value of an object or a person, causing the viewer to behold this object or person in great esteem, awe, admiration, wonder, and sincere appreciation.”
This is the kind of love that God has for us (John 3:16), as well as the type of love we are called to have for other people as we see in Galatians 5:22.
How to Practice
At this point, you may be wondering how we integrate all of these forms of love into our daily lives. Luckily the Bible outlines that for us in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. This passage outlines exactly what Jesus means by “love one another.” Paul tells us that love practices patience and kindness. Love doesn’t boast or envy, and it isn’t proud. That means, if we are to love one another we need to be patient, and kind, along with a host of other qualities outlined in that scripture.
Learn More at ORBC
Of course, we have much more to say about the topic of love. If you’d like to learn more, visit us on Sunday morning, or contact us to talk about love further!