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What is Love? Series- Part 1:Love and its Definitions

When you think of love, you probably think of the famous sayings: “love at first sight” or “true love’s kiss,” “love is blind,” or even that someone’s “head over heels (in love). Well, not all love is meant to be shown or expressed in a romantic sense. There are in fact different forms of “love, " which affect the way love is expressed. So, It’s important to know which category of the different types of love that you fit in and the ones needed for your relationships!

The following are the Greek terms for “love:”


"Storge" love is familial love;

e.g. the love a parent has for their child and the love a child has for their parent.

  • This love is almost always natural for parents because they have a responsibility to care for what they’ve created.

  • Exodus 20:12 - “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.


"Philia" love is a friendship or brotherly love.

  • Love within a friendship is very important! John 15:33 says, “The greatest love you can show is to give your life for your friends.”

  • Philippians 2:3- "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves."

  • Proverbs 17:17- "A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."

We often place limits on the way we love other people if it inconveniences us. Which is the exact reason why during Jesus’ ministry, He points out the 2 greatest commandments to love, Matthew 22:37-39:

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’


"Philautia" love is the love one has for themself

  • This is the way that someone views themselves (self-love)

  • Self-love can affect the way a person has good amount of self-esteem and self-worth

  • Too much self-love or self-awareness can turn into pride and selfish ambition. This can start to change the dynamic of your relationship with God as you would start to become the “Lord” of your life instead of God. So, be careful to not idolize yourself, but still have self-love and confidence in your identity in Christ!


"Eros" love is passionate or romantic love

  • A love in where there is romance, is meant to be between a man and a woman

  • A romantic love should involve both actively pursuing each other, making a commitment/covenant to each other (marriage), and eventually reproducing more people in the world (Genesis 5:2)


"Agape" love unconditional love; the love God always shows

  • I’ll talk more about this later in the series but God shows us His unconditional love everyday by giving us new mercies (Lamentations 3:22-23) Another example of God’s unconditional love actually while Jesus was dying on the cross. When the Roman guards and crowds of people were mocking Him, He gave a request to God, to “forgive them, for they do not know what they’re doing” (Luke 23:34). Throughout the Bible, God always gives a warning and chance to allow the redemption of people before presenting His wrath. So, His unconditional love is always at work.

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