This essay is about agape love and how to get it.
The love that most people know about is the love that inspires songwriters to write love ballads, authors to write bestselling novels, and scriptwriters to write blockbuster movies. So what is love? According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, love is 1.) A strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties, 2.) Attraction based on sexual desire; 3.) Affection based on admiration benevolence or common interests.
There are three types of love; agape, phileo and Eros. Agape is the love God has for us. This is perfect love without conditions or expectations. This type of love was embodied in Christ. Phileo is platonic, tender affection. This is the love we have for friends, pets and things. Eros is passionate love. This is the love men and women have for each other. This type of love has sparked wars, family conflicts, obsessions, and destroyed marriages.
So now we know what the world tells us love is. In I Corinthians 13:4-8a, God lays out what love is and is not. Love is patient, kind, not jealous, doesn’t brag, isn’t arrogant, doesn’t act unbecoming; does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hope all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
So armed with the true knowledge of what love is, why are we living in a loveless, sinful world? I believe it’s because we don’t have agape love in our hearts. We have no problem loving the world’s way, but have a problem loving God’s way.
God’s love for us is demonstrated in John 3:16. Jesus showed his love for us by his death on the cross. In John 13:34 Christ gave us the commandment to love one another. James 2:8 tells us to love our neighbors. Colossians 3:19 tells husbands to love their wives. I John 2:15 tells us to love not the world or the things in it. So with all these examples and instructions, where is the love? I’ll tell you where, I John 4:7-21 talks about the source of love, which is God. When we believe in the source, we become like the source. When we become like the source, we will love like the source, unconditionally.