Love Never Fails

The precision of the Greek language is remarkable! Take, for instance the word love – it can carry so many connotations when you say I love you to someone, yet in Greek, there are four distinct words and meanings  used for love. Eros is the intimate love that God ordained for a husband and wife. Phileo – the brotherly love for friends. Storge is the word for love between family members, and Agape represents the unmerited gift the love that gives without receiving or expecting and isn’t qualified like the other three. Eros is qualified by physical attraction, which we all know can wain over time – hair grays, wrinkles appear, our faces show wear, stomachs sometime enlarge beyond our belt lines. Phileo is usually based on mutual likes and dislikes, friendship is also limited by circumstances and as time proceeds we can lose touch with some, meet new, and yes – keep connected for long periods with some. Phileo does not need Eros to survive, yet Eros is short lived without friendship. One of the main causes of divorce in our society is Eros without Phileo. Storge – the family love also changes with time and circumstances, brothers, sisters and other family members move, acquire new and different interests. The bond usually always exists but tends to fade to occasional phone calls, holiday or birthday cards, or a few days visitation on vacation. Storge can continue – yet with Phileo has a much better chance of functioning continually rather than intermittently. Now we come to Agape. With this love all the others, not only survive – they prosper! Eros is enhanced, because with Agape we look deeper, to the heart and soul. Phileo and Storge are more real, for now the relationships are enveloped in a lasting concern, not based on the action of the other person. With Agape, we look beyond the temporal and see with eternal eyes. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13 describes this love (Agape). As we read, let us pray that God, through His Spirit, helps us to incorporate this love into the other three and every aspect of our lives. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 ” Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek it’s own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” (NAS)

 

Rev. Larry Sassmann

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