We are told by Jesus to love one another. I have been thinking and praying about this lately. There are three perspectives of love;
- storge–the natural affection of family members
- phileo–friendship of individuals, mutual affection, and understanding
- agape–love given requiring nothing in return, deliberate principled and moral, not impulsive or from feelings or emotions
Storge is the first love we experience. Most of us are born into loving families. Some families are small some are large but all are united in the caring for one another. True, we may be closer to some family members than others but there is the common bond of belonging to each other.
Phileo is a love we develop over time with people who come into our lives as strangers that we find some interest or belief that ties us together. These are our friends. Friendships can be shared for a lifetime or be for a brief period or season of life.
These two types of love are the loves that nurture and teach us, comfort and strengthen us. We live, work, and play with these people sometimes in complete harmony and other times with disagreements and arguments. These two aspects of love are purely human and imperfect and they can come to an end. They can end in anger or by agreement, with respect or disdain. Or they can come to an end because of simple changes of life, the distance brought by a move, passage of time or the change of interests.
Then we come to agape. This is the love God has for us. It is given to us though we don’t deserve it and it never comes to an end. We come into this world loved by God and we will leave loved by Him. Whether we acknowledge Him or even know Him doesn’t change the fact He loves us. It is a perfect love and it has no end.
When we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior there is something so important to Him that He commands us to do this;
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.
Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
John 13:34 nlt
I don’t know about you but I struggle with this. He says that just as He loved us we should love each other. I would like to say I have mastered this. I have not. There are just some people I find difficult to love or to be honest I just don’t love them. There are people I can say I love with my whole heart without reservation. But there are others I cross paths with that Jesus and I have some serious talks about. One of the things He said to me is that He wants me to love these people but it’s ok not to like everything about them. I know there are more than a few things Jesus doesn’t like about me but still, He loves me. I have a lot of work to do!
Blessings this day of grace,