Monday, August 17, 2009

God is...

The Lord has been dealing with me. You see, last summer I studied Daniel and Revelation and blogged about it ALL SUMMER. It was an amazing experience.

This summer I have been in a DEEP study on marriage. It is a Precept Upon Precept study by Kay Arthur called Marriage Without Regrets. The reason He has been dealing with me is that I have NOT been blogging about it all summer. He has asked me, "Was this a less amazing experience?" "Was it less impactful?"...ummm...definitely not. "Have I taught you less?", Lord..."So then marriage is not in crisis? You don't know anyone who could benefit from the information I am giving you?...Share, My love...write and share"

So, now I begin. This study has had a deep impact on my life. I pray the Lord shows you places in your life where this His teaching on relationship needs to be applied. He has in mine and walks with me daily as I struggle to apply all that He has taught and continues to teach me.

One of the most foundational lessons in the study was the study on Love. Let's start with the fact that we, in English, have one word for love. When I say "I love you" to my husband, it means something different than when I say it to my son or to my sister or my best friend, but still it is the word "love". Not so in the Word. In the Word, God inspired the writers to use different words that all mean different KINDS of love! This way, if we look up the words, there is no confusion about what the writer meant.

So, today we'll look at the 3 words God used that we've translated "love" and one other Greek word for love that God did not use in His holy Word. (The following is copied from the Precept Upon Precept Marriage Without Regrets study published by Precept Ministries)

1. Eros: 1) erotic love, 2) a love of passion that seizes and absorbs itself into the mind, 3) a love of emotional involvement based on body chemistry, 4) basic idea of this love is self-satisfaction, ie - "I love you because you make me happy"; the foundation of it is some characteristic in the other person that pleases you - if the characteristic were to cease to exist the reason for the love would be gone; this type of love looks for what it can receive and only gives in order to receive and when it fails to get what it wants or expects, bitterness or resentment could develop.
Eros is a CONDITIONAL love. God did not use this word to describe love.
2. Storge: 1)has it’s basis in one’s own nature, 2) a natural affection or natural obligation, 3) natural movement of the soul for husband, wife, child or dog 4) a quiet, abiding feeling within a person that rests on something close to him and that he/she feels good about. In the New Testament this word appears in the noun or verb form with the prefix “a” and therefore negates the love and means without this type of love. In other words, it is used as “unloving”. It is also used with our next word and translated “devoted”.
3. Phileo: 1) companionable love, 2) speaks of affection, fondness or liking, 3) responds to kindness, appreciation, or love, 4) involves giving and receiving, but when strained can collapse in a crisis, 5) called out of one’s heart by qualities in another, 6) it is a higher love than “eros” because it is our happiness rather than my happiness.
4. Agape: 1) called out of one’s heart by the preciousness of the object loved. It is a love of esteem and evaluation. It has the idea of prizing and is the most noble word for love in the Greek language, 2) is not kindled by the merit or worth of its object, but originates in its own God-given nature, 3) delights in giving, 4) keeps on loving even when the loved one is unresponsive, unkind unlovable, and unworthy. It is unconditional love. 5) desires only the good of the one loved and is a consuming passion for the well-being of others.

So what kind of love do you live in? What kind do you show to your husband? your children? your friends? your family? What about those who “don’t deserve it”? What kind do you think God calls us to? We’ll look at that next time. ‘til then, my prayer for you is that you would be open to the conviction of the Spirit and that He would show you how to love He loves.