The Various Kinds of Love Relationships
Love is one of the most valuable aspects of life that is sought after by all living creatures. Life without love tends to be empty. Love may be regarded as any object of warm affection or devotion where a person has great affection or liking towards another person. A person who is loved is considered to be a beloved person. Love is therefore used in terms of endearment. When an individual is enamored or in love with another, they get pleasure from the one they claim to love.
Definition of love
The definition of love in English lends itself to many interpretations which beg for more clear distinctions with regard to context. For instance, you cannot love your parents the way you love your wife, friend, dog or chocolate.
In an English context, love may be verbally interpreted as conjugal activities between two people. It is often considered to be a deep feeling of sexual desire and attraction or a strong positive emotion of regard and affection.
Love on the pitch could be a score of zero in tennis or squash. A question still begs to be defined. What then is love?
The Greek context of love
Unlike English, the Greek language offers a better, rich and more diverse choice of definitions depending on the kind of love you want to address. Greek is therefore better placed to define love.
Various types of Love
Types of love:
There are many forms of love. The highest forms of love, among many types, include:
The kind of affection, endearment, devotion or love that exists among family members is defined in Greek as “storge”. This affection can be found between a father and a son or daughter, or any other relative within the family unit.
When a person has a deep feeling that elicit sexual desire, fondness or attraction, they are considered to be romantically involved with each other. In this context, love is viewed from an erotic perspective (Derivative: “Eros”).
Such love is peddled as the only real love on television, radio, videos, movies, Soap Operas, secular music, and books, which tends to appeal to many individuals and hence used to sell anything to a vast majority of consumers.
Valentines Day celebrations are basically based upon this kind of love
There is a kind of love that exists naturally among human beings. It is a show of affection between friends or towards an object. The Greek define it as “Phileo” love. Your natural tendency to love an individual you regard as a friend falls in this category. People you have no affection towards are usually regarded as enemies, while those we have affection for are regarded as our friends.
Sex is not love
Sex is not love. It is basically canal knowledge or copulation, normally between a man and a woman and may be undertaken in the absence of love. Sex was meant for enjoyment between married couples who must be in love, for procreation, resulting in the propagation of the human race. Man’s mind has sired odd forms of sex for enjoyment that have distorted the true purpose and meaning of sex.
Same gender sex is no sex. A man cannot love a fellow man the way he loves a woman. A woman is specially created for a man’s love and vice versa. In short, to men, there is no substitute for a woman and to women, there is no substitute for a man.
The real joys of sex come between a man and a woman. Those fiery embers that were concealed in your body from the beginning of man’s time on earth can only be cooled by the opposite sex. Hence, marriage between a man and a woman is holy in the creator’s eyes.
Under all manner of conditions and definitions, it is a taboo for men and other men, women, and other women or teenagers to have sex. It is also not wise to have sex with somebody you are not legally yoked to. Darling, don’t roll in the hay with anybody. You will always have it at your own risk with a big question mark in your mind, including a sense of guilt.
Guilt comes as a response to your conscience trying to reason with your mind. Sex in this condition is tainted until you get married to the right person. Then and only then, does the guilt stop.
Romantic love takes over and comes with affection and devotion. Romance answers to your being enamored or in love with another person. This makes you warm and passionate about your partner. It brings about a deep feeling of physical attraction and desire to be in their company.
Your physical attraction towards them is what produces sexual desire in you. There is that strong positive emotion of regard and affection for your partner that precedes anything else. The union between you and the right person, under the right circumstances, produces great sensual pleasure.
Your beloved is most dear to you. Loyalty proves genuine romantic love. The yoking of two in marriage leads to a bond in their spirits such that the two become one. From that day henceforth, if you treat her bad, expect repercussions from your creator. Your prayers too will not be answered.
A sound marriage epitomizes the coming one between the church (you and me) and the Lamb (Christ). When based on Godly principles, romantic love lasts throughout one's’ marriage and beyond. Its presence or absence in a person’s life tends to show. This aspect of life has an influence on your relationship with other people in your life circles.
The Love of God
There is a love that exists beyond our natural realms. This love exists above human standards and is therefore considered to be the highest and most noble form of love. It is called “Agape” love. In John chapter 21 verse 15 and 16, we get a revelation of a conflict between this kind of love and other forms when Jesus was revealed to the disciples for the third time after he was raised from the dead.
Verse 15 reads; “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love (Agapao) me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love (Phileo) you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."
Verse 16 reads; “A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love (Agapao) me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love (Phileo) you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep."
Verse 17 says; “He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love (Phileo) me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love (Phileo) me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love (Phileo) you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep”.
Jesus realized that agape love does not exist in a man’s heart unless God gives it to men. He therefore had to revert back to Peter’s lower form of love (Phileo) to enable peter to comprehend what Jesus meant by his higher agape version of Godly love.
Agape love is a special type of Christian love that seeks the highest good in any individual. This is love for those who do not deserve love without expecting anything in return (John 15:13). This is a love that God wants in his kingdom. By exhibiting this form of love, Christians are capable of fulfilling all commandments issued by God as stated by Jesus.
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul reveals the nature and characteristics of this kind of love as a supreme spiritual attainment. It is described as more important than many spiritual gifts among Christians.
This love is greater than prophecy and knowledge, mountain-moving faith, sacrifice to man, God, or others. Such love has a unique and enduring character in that it is patient and has time for everyone.
Agape love makes provision for people knowing God is at work in them. Such love is kind and acts to benefit other people. It avoids envy and covetousness. It does not boast or show off.
Agape love is not rude. It humbles those who possess it. Such love brings decency and honor in human behavior. Respect for all who are created in the image of God is an attribute of agape love. It is cool and not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, betrays not, trusts other people and protects them from harm.
Agape love generates lasting anticipation, endurance, perseverance and hope. It chooses a higher path and does not give up on other people.
Agape love describes God’s love. This is a pure form of love that is so strong, unwavering, unchanging, unconditional and eternal. Agape love is a love that is firm and impregnable. No one can violate this love because it is potent, solid and secure. This is a substantial kind of love that is unassailable. Nothing is too strong to successfully attack it due to the warmth that exists it this form of love. This is because; you become the sole center of attention.
Agape love is a love that is intense, invulnerable and iron like. This love serves you even when and where you least expect it to exist. The effectiveness, potency, and strength in this love are sure. It is a love that can intoxicate the human heart to a point where other things fade by comparison in the presence of this love. Agape love tends to be multipotent. It is a powerful, fertile and robust love that serves. This love is immune to attack and totally incapable of being tampered with. An extremely severe kind of love that is noticeable. Where it shows up, people will notice you.
Agape love is unwavering in that, it is firm and steadfast. This form of love is unbending, unfaltering and unshakeable because it is marked with a firm resolution to stay. Agape love shows no abrupt variations. It is indeed a resolute kind of love that is unchanging. This implies that it tends to be consistent, stable and static. Agape love conforms to the same principles or course of action over time. Doubt has no place where agape love is concerned. This love is unconditional in that it is not contingent, determined or influenced by someone or anything else. It is totally independent and not modified or restricted by reservations.
Agape love is a stark and severely simple complete kind of love. It is devoid of any qualifications, disguise or adornment. Just like your creator is eternal, agape love is also eternal, ageless, perpetual, long lastingly permanent and continuing indefinitely forever. Such is the kind of love that your creator has towards you (man). It is the only kind of love that guarantees joy or happiness. Who wouldn’t like to be loved with this kind of love? I believe all types of love aspire to be likened to agape love. Sadly speaking, we can only aspire but we never make it because we are not God.
Identifying agape love
a) Agape love is permanent and does not end or fail. It is eternal unlike spiritual gifts. Its presence in God makes him tell his sons “Lo, I am with you till the end of times. I will never leave you or forsake you”. He then practically dwells inside each born again Christian permanently by the Holy Spirit, teaching, guiding, comforting and leading them.
b) The presence of agape love is an indicator of spiritual maturity in a Christian where childish behavior cannot be traced. An individual with agape love embraces all people.
c) Agape love is the greatest virtue above faith and hope. Such love energizes both faith and hope.
d) Agape love in any individual is an indicator of God’s presence in a person’s life because God is agape love itself.
1 John 4: 10-12 reads “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”
There are other kinds of love out there, but the ones discussed above tend to be universal in acceptance. Which kind of love appeals to you most? You may have to answer the question Why do we fall in love?