Real Love Words
Brian Jennings Surfer
Exploring the Meaning of Real Words of Love
When many people think of love, they imagine romantic love, love compatibility, love for friends, family, and their pets. Romantic love has been praised and scorned in novels, poems, plays, and movies. Compatibility is believed to be very important for those contemplating marriage. Love for friends is a good thing and has been considered noble. Loving one's family is something a lot of people don't question, while others do question it. While some people don't like animals, others are very affectionate towards their pets.
In English, there aren't any words for different kinds of love. So, people say they “love” favorite foods, songs, and TV shows. The English language does have words like fond, affectionate, and caring. But these words don't represent a particular type of love such as love for your children. The general usage of this word in reference to everything from people to books has watered down its meaning.
Japanese has several words for love that distinguish between kinds and degrees of affection. Ai is a self-forgetful or self-sacrificing love. Koi is a passionate affection that is close to infatuation. Suki desu means liking something and is sometimes used for an intense liking of something or someone. Dai actually means large. Daisuki desu expresses “I love you,” but daisuk is in the context of new or young romance. It is not considered as far-reaching or serious as aishiteru. Aishiteru yo is an unsullied love. It is pure. It means forever and is a serious bonding between two people. The feminine form of aishiteru yo is aishiteru wa.
The Greek language has four words for love. Storgē is the word for affection for one's children. It is what we call “natural affection.” Philía in contemporary usage means friendship. It is a love with virtue and Aristotle fostered this idea. Encompassed in this concept of love is devotedness to family, friends, and those in your area. This love demands being virtuous and requires being familiar. It can mean enjoying something such as playing guitar.
Most people are more familiar with the word Eros, which is generally known as a love of desire and sensuality, though it can mean having a stronger affection for someone than Philía. It too refers to marriage and dating. Erotas is a modern word for romantic love.
In contemporary Greek agápe refers to love, and one context is described with the word s'agapo that says “I love you.” The ancient Greeks used agápe when expressing real love—a love that was deeper than Eros. It also meant common affection.
True Words of Love
In 1 Corinthians chapter 13 agápe means sacrificial love, and it is expressed that way in the rest of the New Testament. This is the love that Jesus and the Father have for mankind. The Father sacrificed his only son to atone for our sins; Jesus rose and defeated death and sin. Isaiah 52:14 describes well before Jesus was born how badly his face would be disfigured.
“As many were astonished at thee; His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.”
Dictionary.com defines visage this way:
- the face, usually with reference to shape, features, expression, etc.; countenance.
- aspect, appearance.
So Jesus' face was seriously disfigured by his suffering. What caused this marring of his face to such an extreme condition? When reading about the physical beating of Jesus it isn't indicated that his face was hit a lot, so where does this facial disfigurement come from? The Father put the world's sins on Jesus and He willingly accepted this responsibility. The Bible explains that He was made sin for us. He that had never sinned bore our sins on the cross. He went through a spiritual and moral anguish that no one else has ever or will ever go through. All of His suffering paid the price of our sins—our wrongdoings. He took on our shame for us.
Jesus suffered with having the blame for something he hated, which was sin, being put on him. Sin really is serious and an affront to God. It has to be atoned for, so we could have the chance to be forgiven. That is what Jesus suffered for us. All of that impurity of the vast amount of sin of all of mankind marred his visage more than anyone else has ever been disfigured. He also experienced death for all, so we don't have to stay spiritually dead. That is, He experienced some of the misery that unsaved people will suffer in the Lake of Fire for all of eternity. You can't love anyone more than that.
So why did Jesus have to suffer all of this horror for us? Well, God is holy, pure, and without any trace of sin or anything bad in Him. Something had to be done, so that people had a chance to come back into right relationship with God. God has always wanted a good relationship with us.
So if by faith you believe that Jesus died for your sins, you can accept Him into your life and be saved. If you are wondering about the people that lived before Jesus died and rose again—the Bible says that Abraham had faith in God, and it counted for him as righteousness. It has always boiled down to your faith or lack of it.
- Faith in Action
Action is part of Christian belief and developing a personal relationship with Christ is necessary to hear His voice and do as He asks.