What is LOVE?
Is there really a way to define “LOVE”? Everyone has a different interpretation of what love means and the meaning itself can change dependent on the person or thing it’s directed to.
Technically, the love you have for your parents is not the same as the love you have for a significant other, which is not the same as the love you have for friends, nor is it the same for the love you have for your favorite food. Even Merrium-Webster has several definitions for it: “strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties”; “attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers”; ”affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests”; etc.
Love is a powerful concept in our world. At an early age, I learned about this power subconsciously. My parents were both very hardworking individuals, striving to provide a worry-free life for me. Due to this, my grandparents babysat me a lot and one day, when I was scolded for doing something wrong, I yelled at my mom, “I love Grandma more than you!” Without realizing it, I shattered my mom’s heart. And to this day, my mom still remembers those words even if the memory of the event itself is blurry, whereas I remember the event, but not so much the words. The way my mom described it was like an arrow had pierced her heart and then it completed shattered. I was heartbroken to know later that this was the impact of my words. Did I know what love meant at the time? Probably not (well, not mentally), but I do believe that innately, the concept of love is something we are born with and how we utilize that concept develops us as individuals. It is said in 1 John 4:7-8:
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone
who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love
does not love God, because God is love."
It continues and ends this chapter with:
"We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a
brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and
sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen"
-1 John 4:19-20 (NIV).
How then, can this one word, “love”, have so much power, so much impact, and can create such a separation among our population? What if I told you that it’s power held true even in the early days of the Bible? How is that possible? Because God is the creator and definition of “Love.” Love is so powerful that it was the greatest commandment:
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The
Lord our God, The Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your
heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your
strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
There is no commandment greater than these" - Mark 12: 29-31 (NIV).
As a Christian, I know that God is the creator of everything…in this world and beyond. So it shouldn’t be surprising that God would exemplify what love is and also be the creator of it. However, at the same time, my strong belief in God also means I have a strong belief in the Devil (didn’t think I’d include him in this did you). The devil is sneaky...he likes to take the things that God provides and blesses us with, and use it to his advantage by utilizing our biggest weakness, sin.
In order to explain “love” you also have to realize the games the devil plays with this powerful concept. There are so many ideas that need to be broken down, but maybe it’s best to start from the beginning.
God explains love in four different ways:
1. Agape – God’s love for humankind
2. Philia – Brotherly love that unites believers
3. Storga – Familial Love – God’s love towards His children
4. Eros – Romantic Love – God’s love for the church
In the next few weeks, lets try to dive into this concept. I think we all can agree that the concept of love is a tough one. And sometimes, but not purposely, love is used as a tool to take advantage or to get the upper hand. But as life has shown, sometimes the things in life that are truly good, are easily manipulated to use for the opposite. Why? Because it makes it easier to attack one’s morals and question what the meaning of one’s definition is.