Last week one my readers commented on my post How deep is your love? with the comment “if love for God doesn’t naturally flow to love for your neighbor, your so called love lacks authenticity before God.” Well that got me thinking about the nature of love. It is very easy to say we ought to love God and love one another but how do we go about it? What is the impetus of love and how is it really manifest?
C. S. Lewis describes 4 types of love: Agape (the unconditional love that God demonstrates); Storge (familial love- love between parent and child and vice versa); Philia (love between friends, brotherly love); and Eros (romantic love). According to Ravi Zacharias, the last three hinge on and have no point of reference without the first. Dare I say that in the world today, the point of reference for love has been lost. We love our houses, our jobs, our cars, our pets etc. Love is this word that is used so carelessly that it almost means nothing. But the truth is you cannot define love until you understand its point of reference, the Agape love and you cannot understand Agape love without an understanding of the one who has loved us so unconditionally that he gave Himself as a ransom for us.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that who so ever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.John 3:16 KJV
So here are some truths about the nature of love: God is love. And all forms of love flows from Him. We love because we are loved. I tried a simple exercise to hinge everything I hold dear on the unconditional love of God and this is what it looked like: I love my kids because God loved me enough to entrust them to me… I love my husband because God loved me enough to give him to me… I love my job and house and car because God loved me enough to bless me with them…I love God because He first loved me… It really is something! When I hang everything I hold dear on the peg of the eternal and unconditional love of God Himself it really changes my view of love. It gives my love for these more weight than just flimsily saying I love XYZ.
So based on this, I will like to take my question from last week “how deep is your love?” a step further and ask, “how deep is your knowledge of the God who Himself is love?”