Here is the question of the day. What Is True Love? Do you, have it? Do you want? Think you know what true love is. Let’s see if your love is conditional or unconditional. This is a different generation today with different concepts and precepts about love. Too many people have a false image or dream about what love really is or should be.
Things are really mixed up and turned around backwards in my humble opinion. We live in a sex crazed society, but you already know that. In the English language we only have this one word, and we call it love. We use the word love when it should be like. An Example is, I love pizza, I love sports, I love ice cream, I love my job. Do we really love these things, or do we like them?
It is worth noting that every nation has their own word for Love with its concept. So do we and that concept may be true of false. The Ancient Greeks were smart and had four different words for Love. Each word had a different meaning. I believe this helps clarify the different kinds of Love and its meaning. I believe it also shows what is temporary and what is true and long lasting.
THE FIRST KIND OF LOVE IS PHILIA
Philia love is the most common type of love. From Phila, we get the word Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. It is the love of a friend or acquaintance. It is the bond between people who share a common interest or friendship. This kind of love has a strong feeling of love or admiration for someone.
Phila love says, “I like you if you like me. I will be good to you if you are good to me. But if you cross me then I will get even.” Tit for tat. It is like the friendship of a co-worker or buddy, but this kind of love is conditional. The sad part is conditional love is earned and based on performance. Anytime you see or hear the word “IF in a relationship or marriage, it is conditional. The if is the condition.
THE SECOND KIND OF LOVE IS STORGE
This kind of Love is fondness like that of family members or close friends. This love has stronger feelings and emotions. It has pathos with it, and we get the word sympathy. It has natural affection and urges within us and Desires. This type of love carries the conditional “IF” also.
With Storge love, love falls to the side when good neighbors get angry at each other and put up a big fence. Then says, “You stay on your side of the fence, and I will stay on mine.” Let’s see an example of this love. Two best friends go to school together. They love each other, stay at each other’s house and do everything together. They would say,” We are just like sisters.” But let them both like and want the same boyfriend. Then love disappears and they are no longer sisters.
Many times, their claws come out and they have a real cat fight. Friends chose up sides against each other (Adults do this also). Their conditional sisterhood ends quickly. I asked a youth group this question? You have a boy or girl you think is so hot, cute or handsome. They are so popular and have it all together. They are the total package, the dream boy or dream girl in your mind.
Everyone wants to be this person’s friend. Be close to them, date them or have a relationship with them. But what happens if this dream girl or dream boat happens to be in an auto
accident? They are severely burned and scared for life. What if he or she ends up in a wheelchair for the rest of their life?
I asked, “Would you even go to the hospital to visit them?” It got very quiet and there was no response. This applies to adults also. They were in love (storge) with the persons looks. They were in love with the idea or fantasy of being in love. Their dream or fantasy about that person is not real but is conditional friendship.
I laugh every time I hear someone say, “I have fallen in love.” If you fall in love, you most likely will fall out of love. Love does not fall. Real love, true love is like a plant that grows. It does not grow from a seed to a plant overnight. Love must be nurtured, watered and developed over time.
THE THIRD KIND OF LOVE IS EROS
Eros love is sexual and sensual. In modern society, it is mere lust, passion and sex. This love is Cupid’s dart. This is what makes a man, or a woman look at a sexy picture or person and say, “I am in love.” This brand of love is an overwhelming desire and longing. It is pleasure or pain. You can become lovesick or develop what we call, “love at first sight.”
This love involves sex, attraction and passionate love. It is what makes a man say,” Honey, if you love me, you will give me this or give me that. If you love me, you will do what I want. Give me what I want.” Eros love says, ” Give me, give me, give me.” This is conditional love and has the conditional “IF” also.
This love wants, takes but gives very little back. It is never satisfied. This love wants a new or better high. This love needs more pleasure and self-gratification. Just look on the internet, you will find the erotic everywhere. Unfortunately, too many relationships and marriages have reached this point but stopped there. So, their relationship breaks up or dissolves. Why? The newness of sex and passion worn off.
This is when a partner says, “I don’t love you anymore.” They walk off and leave to find a new partner. A new romance that can ignite or excite their passions again. What kind of love did they really have? Why are there so many single parent homes today? Why do wives and children suffer without a father or mother? I believe this is why the divorce rate is over 50% today. Too many relationships and marriages never go farther then Eros.
THE FOURTH KIND OF LOVE IS AGAPE
Agape love is total, complete, unconditional love. This type of love says, “I love you just because of who you are. Your wants and needs are more important than mine. I love you more than I love me. My love is free, it cost nothing.” You cannot love without giving. GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD HE GAVE.
Agape love is sacrificial, it always gives. It demonstrates love regardless of the circumstances. With this love there is trust, respect and responsibility. This type of love will say, “Let me love you without trying to change you or mold you into who I want you to be.” It has joy in giving. It is impossible tolove without giving. Read that again and digest it.
Here is the best example of agape love I can give you. It is the love of a mother who would sacrifice anything and everything for her child. Even her life. Anytime you see the word love in the Bible. If it is associated with God, the word is always agape. This is true love, real love and is not fake. Only this kind of love will hold a relationship or marriage together. It stays through the good, the bad and the ugly times of life, regardless of what may come.
There is no “IF” with this love. This is real love just for the sake of love. Agape love is what God intends for a relationship or marriage. Never settle for anything less. I firmly believe if you understand these four different words for love, you will never be fooled about true love. When you hear the IF, then that is the condition. Agape love in a real relationship is what last and holds the relationship together no matter what they face together.
Now you have four tools in which to “evaluate” what kind of love you presently have or want.You can evaluatewhat is temporary, false, or real. Test what is conditional or unconditional love. I realize that a relationship will involve Phila, storge and eros love. Is that all that you want in a relationship or marriage? Not if you want the best. What is the foundation of your relationship or marriage built on?
Answers.com says, “Being in love entails seeing someone as you wish they were to love them is to see who they really are and still care for them. Love isn’t bitter, but you can’t have love without pain: sacrifice is the hallmark of love, the coin of love.” True love will endure. This is one definition of the worlds opinions.
I can HONESTLY, say this TO THE WOMAN I LOVE. “I LOVE YOU MORE THAN I LOVE ME. YOUR WANTS, NEEDS AND DESIRES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN MINE. NO WOMAN ON EARTH COMPARES TO YOU. MY WOMAN IS NOT PERFECT (NEITHER AM I) BUT I LOVE HER FOR “WHO SHE IS” NO CONDITIONS ATTACHED. YEARS AGO, A WOMAN ASKED ME THIS QUESTION, “WHAT DOES SHE HAVE THAT I DON’T HAVE?” THE ANSWER WAS SIMPLE, SO I TOLD HER THIS: “ME.” IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO LOVE WITHOUT GIVING. THAT IS WHY GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE.”
YOU CANNOT GIVE AWAY WHAT YOU DO NOT POSESS. GOD WILL GIVE AGAPE LOVE TO ANYONE WHO WILL COME TO HIM. God can change your heart, your love, your life, and your relationship. I know because HE changed ALL of these for me, 45 years ago, Do you want a love that is true and lasting? A real love that will make you whole, fulfilled and complete. Then it is agape. I hear so many people say repeatedly “All I want is for someone to love me for who I am.” In a relationship love cannot be a 1-way street.
This is part of our human nature. The want and need to be loved is genuine. My question is? What kind of love do you want? I just gave you four different kinds of love. What kind of love do you have right now? As for me, I give agape love. Thank you, for taking the time to read this article. If I can help, then contact me. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to ask or leave them here below in the comment section. RAY