I love that movie, I love that ice cream, I love those chips, I love those shoes, I love you….
The word love has lost a lot of meaning. When someone says “I love ice cream” and then turns and tells me they love me – how can love have any weight, is their love for me only as deep as their love for ice cream? Love is abused too often. It’s used to guilt or persuades people into doing things they don’t want to do, it causes pain and doubt – “Am I not worth love, just being me?” Even when those that love us, say they do, we either doubt them because of past pain or it’s without follow through of loving actions or other loving words to solidify our trust in their words. We’ve never learned what real love is because we’ve only experienced it sparingly in our lives. With the overuse and abuse of the word love and the doubt that comes with it, no wonder it’s hard to understand what love is, how it’s supposed to feel and the wonder if anyone really loves us; especially God.
At church the other day, my pastor encouraged us to spread the word of God and tell people that God loves them. I agree completely, however, I began to wonder, am I the only one that would hear someone tell me- “God Loves You”- and think to myself, with complete disregard of their comment, “yeah right!?” while I smiled kindly at the person who told me that?
Honestly, I do still struggle to accept that God loves me. I’ve made so many mistakes in life, I’ve been hurt by the word love and struggle with my belief in the word. So, it’s hard to believe that the Holy Man himself, could love someone like me. I’ve thankfully turned toward him and allow him to love me. He always has loved me and always will, but for a long time I stayed in my brokenness and doubt and didn’t open up to him so that he could restore my faith in His love for me. I see him active in my life constantly now – never ceasing actually! He really does use the broken and weak to fulfill the great things He needs. “The more broke you are the more the light shines through” – check out this song Glow in the Dark
So, how do we begin in to understand that Love is powerful? How can restore our trust in the word love, so that we believe undoubtedly that God loves us? So that we can tell when people love us and when they are only using us? How can we discern real love and fake love and take steps to only allow real love into our lives?
“God loves you” it means unconditionally! Yes completely unconditional – you can’t do anything bad enough that he won’t continue to love you!!!
First, we need to understand the world is broken and that through sinfulness we allowed the word love to lose meaning and second realize that we are worth being loved! Then we need to help communicate this to others by showing them real love by living out what God says love is and by encouraging them to explore the word love – let’s look at what greek history and 1 Corinthians says love is.
- There are 6 words for love from Ancient Greeks
- Philia – it’s a deep type of love that values friendship over the more fiery aspects of love.
- Eros – This is the fiery, sexual and passionate type of love. This would be the acting out of your desires, but can also become an unhealthy type of love if it turns to addiction. Eros was actually viewed as a dangerous and irrational type of love by the Greeks, as it has the ability to take hold of you.
- Ludus – Playful and affectionate in nature – its the friendship phase when we banter and joke with each other. Friendships form in this area and is an important stage of long term relationships.
- Pragma – It’s a mature love that comes with age. This is the deep understanding 2 people have when they have spent many season of their life together. It’s about making compromises to help the relationship work – showing patience and tolerance.
- Philautia – Self Love! It’s the key to all other types of love successfully executed. There are two types of self love – narcissistic (unhealthy) and the other is of self-maintenance (desire to love yourself now and continue to grow)
- Agape – This is the love that God speaks of when He tells you He loves you! Agape love is unconditional selfless love. It’s soft, gentle and extends to all life.
Please also take the time to learn 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and live it out and believe it!
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends.
Let’s feel and live out real love in our lives so that others will have their hope in love restored. Let’s walk the walk of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 every day and with everyone.