As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I’ve decided to pursue love above all else. My definition of love is this:
However, I feel like there is more to it than that. I love my wife, my family, and my friends but obviously not in the same way. That tells me there is more than one way to love.
As it turns out there are a number of different ways to love. Here are some of the ones I’ve come across (from Wikipedia).
Storge (storgē) means “love, affection”. It’s the kind of love parents feel for their kids.
Philia (philía) means “affectionate regard, friendship,” usually “between equals.”. This is a general type of love between family, friends, and lovers. It’s also the word from which Philadelphia gets its name (“the city of brotherly love”). I added that last part but it is still true.
Éros (érōs) means “love, mostly of the sexual passion” or the love to join two bodies as one through the joy of touch. We often think of this one as lust but there is a little more to it than that. However, that topic would take us in a totally different direction from where we are going so I shall move on.
Agápe (agápē) means “love: esp. brotherly love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God.
Now that’s interesting. Agape love is the only type of love that includes an action (charity) in the definition. In other words, taking action cannot be separated from the love itself. I also noticed that the other types of love are defined by the relationship and therefore any actions taken in the name of love will be limited to the ones in that relationship. This type of love does not discriminate in who receives it or for whom action is taken.the most broad based to me in that it applies to everyone, regardless of relationship.
I also noticed that the first three types of love are defined by the relationship and therefore any actions taken in the name of love will be limited to the ones in that relationship. Agape love does not discriminate in who receives it or for whom action is taken.
I have experienced each of these kinds of love and I can say this. As genuine as the first three types of love are, there is still an element of selfishness in them. I could potentially receive either love or an action based on love back from the person(s) I love since I know them. However, agape love seems completely selfless to me because it could involve people I don’t know and therefore may never receive anything from. People like those of you who are reading this blog but I may never meet. That kind of love seems the most noble to me and it reflects the kind of person I want to become.
What kind of actions express agape love? I think that will be the subject of the next blog. But until then, remember this: