Faith Time: kinds of love

Mobile, AL (WKRG) - Valentine's Day was this past week.  Rife Stewart with Destiny Church joins us to talk about love and different ways to show it.  Here's a look at some of our conversation.  

Chad:  We just passed Valentine's day this week--a holiday that's supposed to represent love--how do you define love?
Guest:  In the Greek language, which the NT was written, there are 4 distinct words used for Love.
·      EROS-Love based on attraction.  It's a conditional love.  It's egocentric, meaning focused on my needs.  I love in this way as long as my needs are met.  Most of the time, in relationships this is where love starts.  Something in the other person attracts you…meets a need in you.
·      PHILEO-(companion love) Love for a companion.  This can be love between lovers or friends.  It's based on mutual affection, or enjoyment.  This love can also break down if one's needs are not being met in the relationship
·      STORGE-(family love) Love for between parents/children/siblings
·      AGAPE-(unconditional love)  This is the highest form of love.  It's sacrificial at its core and loves without having to meet any criteria.  Agape love says I put my beloved first and will sacrifice all for the sake of my beloved. In all of literature, it's used almost exclusively in the NT writings and occurs over 300 times in the text.
So, you see, there are really 4 distinct types of love.  And it's important to know which one you are experiencing.
 How can we live our lives in a loving way, in a way God intended?
In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus simplified the 10 commandments into 1 commandment-LOVE.  Love God and Love others.  The word he used here was agape…sacrificial, unconditional love.  Love people…and he put a qualifier on how we are to love them… "Love our neighbors like we would love and care for ourselves.  Love people regardless of their race, status, faith, etc.  Just love people.
 What are some ways people can practice real love in their lives? 
Through simple acts of kindness.  Hold the door for someone. Smile at them. Encourage people. Compliment their personality, work ethic.  Volunteer somewhere in your community and churches.  Don't just wait until tragedy strikes to show love.  Love others in simple ways every day.  Tell your family often, "I love you and here's why."  And teach your children to love like this.
What is something you like about this season?
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.  My wife and I have been married for 30 years, and our Valentine's gift to each other this year was time together.  It was better than any chocolate, flowers or night out on the town, not that those aren't important.  But I believe so many times we place more value on doing things for the people we love instead of simply being with the ones we love.


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