“I don’t need no stained glass
To be washed in his blood
I don’t need no perfect, put together pretty words
To be enough, no
I want JESUS and HIS REAL LOVE
Something I crave deep inside of my bones
So you can leave your religion at home
I want real, real love, hey
I got real pain and real fears
Thirsting for the drying of real tears
It’s not satisfying anymore
Ain’t it true that the veil was torn”
About 1-year later…it’s finally here, the 4 Types of Love! I believe I’ve experienced so much resistance when writing this because LOVE is one of my superpowers and I needed to know more about it before I shared this information with the world. God had to teach me His love, His ways, and His character. Therefore, I am becoming well-versed in love, all kinds of love and exemplifying exactly what His word says to love God and love His people. In this article, I will show you how to love the correct way, because there is one, I will teach the four types of love, how to receive love and give love to others.
36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” -Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT)
34 “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)
Why is this important?
According to the scriptures above in Matthew 22:36 & 40, the first two commandments are the most important. Your love for God with everything that you have inside, heart, soul and your mind, and love for your neighbor as yourself, which means that in order for to love your neighbor, someone you may or may not know that well, then you have to love yourself first, who is precisely who you are! You’ve gotta love you too! Does that make sense?
In the second scripture listed, John 13:35, Jesus said to love each other, just as He loved us. This man laid down His life for us. He died on the cross for us, for our sins, yet He rose again! Then to top it off He sent us the Helper(Holy Spirit), so we are never left alone, and He calls us friend. I’m just saying how much more love can someone give? Oh, wait! There is more because God sent Him here, Jesus is the Son of God and also the Lord, because they are one with the Holy Spirit included, which equals the Holy Trinity. So our BIG, GREAT GOD, loved us so much He sent His Son down to this earth, basically Himself in man form, who lived sinless and perfect life to be persecuted and slain for our sins, because of LOVE! That’s some powerful stuff! (Come back and read this again later.)
16 “For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16 ESV
WHAT EXACTLY IS LOVE?
Merriam-Webster definition of Love:
(1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
(2) : attraction based on sexual desire: affection and tenderness felt by lovers
(3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests
Biblical Characteristics of love:
4 “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[a] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13
How sweet is that? LOVE is simply not your fairy tale love story, “…and they lived happily ever after,” or some ooey gooey feeling and sensation. NO! It’s far more complex than the watered definition that the world gives us. It has levels or layers and love is far more giving without conditions or expectations (you’ll learn more about this below). Love has characteristics that make you ponder, “hmmm, am I being loving today?” Or better yet, “am I loving like Christ today?”
DON’T GET IT TWISTED! Again, this could a bit perplexing, all this love stuff so that’s why I want to break it down to you, so the next time, you want to say, experience or fall in and out of something; you know the TRUTH, what love really is and what it means.
Real love, the love that stands the test of time. The LOVE that lasts forever! Yeah, that kind of LOVE!
GOD IS LOVE
7 “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other[a] because he loved us first.
20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer,[b] that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.[c]” -1 John 4:7-21
THE FOUR TYPES OF LOVE
The set of scriptures referenced above is going to be our reference point as we dive deeper into the four types of love, as we now know that God is love, then what are the different kinds of love here on earth and why is this word thrown around so loosely like it does not have meaning or density? God told me “It’s time to let the people know!”
“Love is action that you take
Passion that can make
Any kind of wall come down
Love is action
Walking out our faith
Nothing’s gonna stop us now
Love is action
Love is action”
Agape Sacrificial Love
In the scriptures above, 1 John 4:9-10, explains the agape love that God has for us. He showed us, REAL LOVE. Regardless if we loved Him yet or not but because HE LOVED US FIRST is why He sent Jesus to do more than come and spread the gospel but to be the atonement for our sins, to stand up for us and take the plea, even when He was innocent but again, because of love while we were guilty he chose to accept the charges of sin on our behalf.
In the article written by the writers of Truth or Tradition, they share a few things with us to breakdown Agape love. “God so “loved” (agape) that He gave His Son. It did not feel good to God to do that, but it was the loving thing to do. Christ so loved (agape) that he gave his life. He did not want to die, but he loved, so he did what God required. A mother who loves a sick baby will stay up all night long caring for it, which is not something she wants to do, but is a true act of agape love.”
Just like the song by Tauren Wells above, love is action! Love is a choice.
Willingly, Jesus died on the cross for us. There’s nothing fun and exciting about the stripes on His back from the beating He took before having to walk up to Calvary, while wearing a crown of thorns on His head and then have each hand and His feet pierced and nailed to a cross where He hung and then was pierced on His side by a spear. He suffered for us. There’s nothing fun, exciting or that makes one eager to die like that, especially for sins they did not commit, but because of LOVE, His great, perfect love and His obedience to God, He did. Jesus died so that we could live again!
“The high form of love. God’s active, divine love, as we previously described through scripture pulled directly from the living word. It extends beyond emotions, it just is, not because of what it is given to deserves it or is worthy of it, its incredible overwhelming, perfect love. A love that may require sacrifice, are you willing to do things for my sake that you do not want to do?” –Truth or Tradition
Wow! Isn’t that incredible! That brings me to our next question, well if Jesus did this for us to show us, agape love, then am I able to really love like Jesus did too? I don’t know if I am willing to lay down my life for someone else just like Jesus did but if it’s a choice we make, regardless of how we feel, following God’s commandments, then yes, I will and I can agape love just like Jesus Christ. Now, don’t be dramatic, that does not mean commit suicide or anything like that because that’s not of God, that’s not His ways nor His commandments but LOVE! Love like He loved, meaning even if you don’t really feel like helping someone but God told you to, help them, do those things He instructed you to do, eagerly doing it unto Him in servitude and obedience, in spite of how you feel.
I like to look at it this way, Joyce Meyer shared this great story in her book, Perfect Love on pages 163-166, called The Whipping. In summary, a teacher took over a class and asked the children to make up the rules, they decided that if someone breaks them, the consequence would be “ten licks with a rod across their back with their coat off.” There was a small boy in class wearing a coat and he stole lunch from the big kid in class, Big Tom. He got upset and told the teacher, who ended up finding out it was the small boy with the coat. So as the rules stated, the teacher asked the boy to remove his coat and as he did, the whole class was watching and saw how skinny and frail he was and he didn’t have a shirt on. As the teacher was about to give the small boy his licks, Big Tom came and stood in front of him and said, “Is there anything that says I can’t take Little Timmy’s whipping for him?” So he did. That’s the same same thing Jesus did for us because of how much He loves us!
We can show that same love to others, even when we don’t feel like they deserve it. The little boy stole his lunch and yet because of genuine agape love so pure, he allowed his own desires, probably for vengeance and revenge, to die and took the fall, took the punishment for him instead. He took the charges for his enemy. Agape love goes far beyond random acts of kindness, agape love is intentionally making a decision to love first. To love like Christ. It’s dying to your own will and being obedient to God’s will. The prompting of the Holy Spirit lets us know what to do next and how we can uniquely stand in the gap for others. That’s where purpose comes into play when a need touches our soul and God has given us a solution –to stand in the gap, but that’s another story.
The Truth or Tradition writers continue to share more with us, “The point is that agape love is not simply an impulse generated from feelings. Rather, agape love is an exercise of the will, a deliberate choice. This is why God can command us to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44; Exod. 23:1-5). He is not commanding us to “have a good feeling” for our enemies but to act in a loving way toward them. Agape love is related to obedience and commitment, and not necessarily feeling and emotion. “Loving” someone is to obey God on another’s behalf, seeking his or her long-term blessing and profit.”
Phileo Brotherly Love
Which leads me to Phileo love or brotherly love. This is the love that we show towards our friends, an article written by the writers of Compelling Truth, explains this more in detail, “Phileo love is shown toward people we feel warm and affectionate towards. This means that we do not show our enemies phileo love because we do not feel warm and affectionate toward them. However, God does call us to show agape love toward those individuals,” as shown above.
Phileo love does not require sacrifice but is expression of genuine friendship/brotherly love without expecting anything in return.
In John 21:15-17, Jesus asked Peter if he Phileo loved him,
“Jesus: Simon…do you love (agape) me more than these [fish?].
Peter: Yes, Lord; you know that I love (phileo) you.
Jesus: Simon…do you…love (agape) me?
Peter: Yes, Lord, you know that I love (phileo) you.
Jesus: Simon…do you love (phileo) me?
Peter: [Grieved] “Lord…you know that I love (phileo) you.”
Our friends at the Huffington Post shared an article, Agape and Phileo Love: We Need Both, written by Gary Edmonds. he said, “I’m intrigued that Jesus chose to use ‘phileo’ as a way to force Peter to think deeper. He wanted to know if Peter loved Him not just because of who He was in God, but rather that they had built a deep and intimate friendship. He wanted to know that Peter cared about Him as a person and a brother. He wanted Peter to know what true reconciliation looked like and it required both kinds of love.”
As believers, we are joint heirs with Christ Jesus, not only does He call us friend but He also calls us brothers and sisters. Jesus commanded us to love like He loved, we’ve never seen God but if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior then we are born of the Spirit and God lives within us when we love like God loves us, “his love is brought to full expression in us.”
11″ Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” –1 John 4:11-12(NLT)
This ties into both Agape and Phileo love but focusing more on Phileo love, how much more will you love, show love for your brothers and sisters in Christ?
Storge Instinctive Family Affection
Our next type of love we will discuss is Storge love. Truth or Tradition has a word for us again regarding this type of love –storge love, “the love and affection that naturally occurs between parents and children, can exist between siblings and exists between husbands and wives in a good marriage. It occurs in Romans 12:10 in the word, philostorgos, which is a compound word made up of Philos (the noun form of phileo) and storge. Romans 12:10 is a very important verse, directing us to be very loving and kind to each other.”
10 “Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor;” (Romans 12:10 AMP)
GotQuestions.com shared some valuable insight on storge love. “In Romans 12:10 we find an interesting compound: philostorgos is translated as “be devoted.” The word combines philos and storge and means “to cherish one’s kindred.” Believers in Christ, children of the same heavenly Father, are to “be devoted to one another in love.” As part of God’s family, we should show loving affection toward each other and be prone to love. Philostorgus is used only once in the New Testament, and that’s in Romans 12:10.”
The writers at Love or Lust also gave us some more content regarding storge love. “It doesn’t describe the love of God in sending His Son into the world for us[see agape love] because storge is natural, almost automatic and inevitable. It’s the type of love that binds families together.”
Eros Sexual or Passionate Love
I previously mentioned 4 types of love being mentioned in the Bible, this was the latter and not technically mentioned in the Bible. There are examples but it is not physically written, this word of love, in the Bible.
Again our friends, at Truth or Tradition graced us with some knowledge on this, “The Greek word for sexual love or passionate love is eros, and we get English words such as “erotic.” When eros was used as a proper noun, it referred to the Greek god of love. The Greek word eros does not appear in the biblical text, so we will not spend time on it in this article, but it has had such an impact on English and our view of sexual love that it is important to mention.”
However, I do have a few more things to share about this, especially because I know how important it is for you to know this, I’ve been there, you know my story and why God had me write this here article, for this right here to shift your perspective, give you knowledge and open your mind and prayerfully your hearts to His real love.
When it comes to Eros love, “Song of Solomon paints the best example of this love. God created this love, just as He created all the other sides of love, and it is important within a marriage relationship. But the Bible also warns against eros outside of the husband and wife marital relationship (1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3).” Now Compelling Truth just hit you with the TRUTH!
I’ll advise you to read the book, Song of Solomon in your Bible, looking at mine right now, the NLT or New Living Translation, breaks down what it means, “Here we have wonderful wisdom from God describing the beauty of a wholesome sexual relationship between a woman and a man. According to the Song, marital love should be mutual, exclusive, complete and beautiful.”
With that being said, let’s look at the additional referenced verses, “18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20 NLT)
“3 God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. 4 Then each of you will control his own body[a] and live in holiness and honor—5 not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 NLT)
Where we’ve made the same mistake time and time again to give our body away without knowledge or wisdom but first thank God for mercy, forgiveness, and GRACE! We don’t have to live that way any longer because now that knowledge is accompanied by wisdom and understanding. What we now know is that giving your body away to a man that is not your husband is not what God intended. Preserve yourself because now you know, Queen giving your body away does not fill the void of HIS REAL LOVE which is freely available to us right now!
I’ll leave you with one more thing, from Resetting Your Journey guest, Jessica Parker, The Millionaire Midwife, said: “Stop fighting for something you’ve already been privileged to, which is–LOVE!” You already have it, just receive!
“Love is not merely an attribute of God, love is his essence. God is fundamentally love. He alone loves in the completeness and perfection of love:” Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love. (1 John 4:8, ESV)
Exactly, God is love and He willingly gave it all up because HE loves. He loves you! You are His favorite! You don’t have to deserve it, you can’t earn it because HE already loves you! His love is available to you. Open up your heart and let His love pour in! The REAL LOVE of JESUS Christ the Messiah. Let God’s unfailing, true and perfect love cover you!
Though Co. shares one final thought with us, “Jesus and the Father are so “at one” that according to Jesus, whoever who loves him will be loved by the Father and by Jesus, too. The idea is that any believer who initiates this relationship of love by showing obedience, Jesus and the Father simply respond. The oneness between Jesus and his followers is a mirror of the oneness between Jesus and his heavenly Father:
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. (John 14:21, NIV)
I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (John 17:23, ESV)”
Be obedient, do what the Lord told you to do. You don’t know whose life it’s going to touch. Be obedient. Do the work. Love Him and let Him love you! Let His love in. Let His love fill you up inside. Then you can share His love with other people and He can use you.
He wants to use you. —Yes, you!
Questions to ask yourself?
Who have you been “loving”? How have you been loving them? Is your love active or is it passive? Are you loving unconditionally or are you loving with boundaries? Are you releasing people from expectations and just giving love freely? Are you loving others like Christ loves you?
Let those questions sink in and penetrate your spirit. Come back to them if you need to. I’ll leave you with the word and close us out in prayer.
Father, we love you and we magnify and glorify your name. Lord, we thank you for your love, your REAL LOVE! We thank you for teaching us and opening our eyes, hearts, minds, souls to you and only you Lord in the name of Jesus we pray that you have your way in our lives in all areas of our lives and continue to change those of us you’ve called to be more, look more, do more and love more like you Lord! We decree and declare that the blood of Jesus covers us wherever we go and that we walk in love, we love you first Lord God, Father, Abba, we belong to you. We will love your people and we will love ourselves just as your word says. Most importantly we will love you first and let your will reside over our lives, over our love lives.
In the mighty name of Jesus, we pray, AMEN!
39 “A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b].” -Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT)
34 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)
16 “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” -1 John 4:16