Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve lately been looking at 1 Corinthians 13 and love. In discussing the four type of love in Greek thought, we are going to be discussing now the one that Paul writes about, which is agape.
We are often told that agape is God-love, but this isn’t really the case. After all, agape is said to describe the love of darkness that some people have. We would not say that they have the love of God of darkness. What can it mean then? I would take it most likely to mean something like the love of devotion.
More can be said about agape love as we go through this series, particularly after we get started on verse 4. However, I do wish to give some general comments. To begin with, I do believe that agape is the love that makes all of the other loves better.
What about storge? As an Aspie, I am familiar with how people can do social niceties and not mean anything whatsoever by it. They just do it because that is what they are supposed to do. I don’t know how many times I heard someone come to me at work and say “How are you?” and then have them walk right on by. It always has left me with the impression of “If you don’t care, don’t ask. I’d appreciate it more.”
Of course, there could be times people really do care and I don’t realize it, but wouldn’t it be best if good manners were genuine rather than something that we do because we think we have to and aren’t going through the motions? Wouldn’t it be great if when someone at church said “I’ll pray for you” that you were sure that they meant it?
What of Phileo? Phileo is the love of friendship and we would like the friend that sticks closer than a brother. What would it mean for phileo if friends were really, well, friends? Christ told us that there was no greater love than that a man would lay down his life for his friends. Do we have that kind of love?
And eros love? What would it mean if sex was more focused on the joy that one person could bring the other than in the joy that person received from the other? Now I do know that you do have to in part focus on your pleasure as well so your spouse can know the best way to please you, but that should not be the focal point. If you are both focused on the love of the other, then will you not find your own pleasure that way?
Agape improves everything. Devotion to that which is good in proper proportion is always good. Let us make sure we are doing both. We should only devote ourselves to that which deserves devotion. We should also not devote ourselves to that thing if we make it greater than what it is. As wonderful as your spouse is, don’t make an idol out of them. My wife and I regularly make sure to state that we are each other’s #2 in life. God is our #1.
Next time, we shall start going through the text.