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Love Defined or Love Divine?

The American culture is in love with love. We love our cars. We love our pets. We love our coffee brand. The list goes on and on. The term “love” is so used and misused that it can barely be defined. Certainly not by what we love. The loves of our lives are mostly inconsequential, fleeting, and without substance. Unfortunately, love for what it was originally designed for is often washed out in waves of emotion.

Many Christians are familiar with the three types of love mentioned in the Bible. Eros refers to physical or sexual love. Philos means warm affection or friendship and Agape is the unconditional love of God.[i] It would seem, by these definitions that the American culture rides significantly on the Philos train. Distributing their likes and compulsions to both animate and inanimate objects.

Valentine’s Day is the day our fast-paced culture stops long enough to consider love. Though the holiday is largely believed to be centered on the relational love of Eros, $23.9 billion was spent in 2022 on the accouterments of the day.[ii] Everyone “loves” the candy and flowers, yet most people feel unloved. “31% of U.S. Adults report feeling lonely at least some of each day.”[iii] At the same time, Americans are being brainwashed continually by erroneous definitions of the love relationship between couples by the many television, movie, and even cartoon characters they view. Cupid’s arrow seems to have both no target and all targets.

Love in a marriage between one man and one woman is well-defined in the Bible. I Corinthians 13:4-7 begins “love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude” and ends with love “believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” These qualities are rarely exemplified on the screens of our lives and almost as scarce in the people of our lives as we see far more divorces than 50th-wedding anniversaries. Husbands are to honor their wives and wives to honor their husbands (I Peter 3).

Above all, there is the unlimited, unrelenting love of God. The sacrifices we make to one another to secure our love relationship with our spouse are but a shadow of the great love God showers on us daily. His love is everlasting and meant to be acknowledged as such by His creations. His love is meant to draw us closer to each other and Him. Agape love is the greatest of the three loves. God sacrificed His only Son to save the people from their sins so that they could live with Him through eternity. Romans 5:8 reminds us that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

It's not too late to embrace the true meaning of love this Valentine’s Day. Hold dear to your loved ones acknowledging them for who God has meant them to be. Honoring them as God would honor them and love them unconditionally.

Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.

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