Saturday, 25 April 2015

Love

In Greek there are 4 different words used to describe love. Storge, Philia, Eros, and Agape. Storge is the type of love that parent's have for their children. Philia, is brotherly love that we would have for each other as equals. Eros is generally the love that a married couple have for each other. Agape is the unconditional love that God has for us. While the Bible advocates that God has Agape love for us, I don't think that in my personal experience that I am capable, even in my born again state to be able to reciprocate in that kind of love. I can't possibly feel the unconditional love that God has for us, for anyone or anything. I can't possibly forgive on the same level as God has for us.

So what love do I feel?

Well I have great difficulty in Storge love. I see everybody as equals, and everyone as equals. I haven't had the experience of being a parent, so I haven't really experienced that kind of protective love that a parent has. So that leaves me with Philia and Eros.

I think in most human (and animal) relationships I experience Philia love. Which is an issue especially if I try to communicate with a child or a pet in the same way I would an adult. In a church or family setting Philia love is what I feel, but that is different from my relationship with God.

While I have heard preaching that advocates that we should aim to feel Agape love towards God, I've already dismissed that as something that I am incapable of. So my aim really is to experience Eros love with God. Yes, it's not quite the same as the Eros love one feels within marriage, it is after all not sexual in any way, but then marriage isn't just about sex. The intimacy of knowing God is like a marriage in that sense though. We, as the church, are the bride of Christ. My aim in my spiritual growth is nothing short of understanding and knowing God intimately, like in a marriage. Of understanding His thinking, and His will. Of understanding His morality, and His strength and His peace.

We can get to know this foremost in His word. The Bible is a love letter to us, and we should treat it as such. It should be treated respectfully, and lovingly, and sought after and read again and again, and treasured like one would treat a love letter from someone intimately close to you.

In my experience of marriage, it was physically painful to be separated for any period of time. It hurt emotionally. Sin is separation from God. To live in sin is painful for the same reason. It is bad for me, and anyone that lives in it. That in itself should be reason to turn to Christ and ask for repentance, and to change your direction towards Him. It isn't for His sake, it's for yours.

And it is in Christ only that I can experience Eros love now.

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