The month of February is known for “Love” and for “Lovers”. During this month many will profess their love, many will show various acts of kindness as a result of their love, and some will even propose to that special someone and pledge to love them forever. But, how many really know what Love means?
There are many different types of love and the meanings are different. The first type of love is Eros Love. This is the erotic love between a man and a woman; a sensual kind of love. This love is what gets many people, even Christians, into serious trouble because they can commit adultery if left unchecked and not resisted; adultery of the heart. Matthew 5:28; “But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” This Eros love can also lead to an addiction to pornography, and it can become an idol in and of itself. While this level of love is necessary and healthy within marriage, outside of marriage or before marriage it can be destructive.
The next type of Love is Philia Love. This type of love is where the city of Philadelphia gets its name “the city of brotherly love”. This is the type of love that David and Jonathan had and was about as intense as it can be outside of the love that God displays. These two men would have died for one other. This love produces a bond that Eros love cannot compare. This is the love that Christians are commanded to have for one another. Jesus told the disciples and He tells us today, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:12-14). This love is very unselfish and this is the kind of love that we should have for one another.
The next type of love is by far the greatest type of love of all and that is the Agape Love. The Agape love is the supreme love of all; it is an attribute of God and this type of love does not come naturally to humans. The Agape love is supernatural and it is the love that Jesus displayed on the cross by saying “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). This love is not as much a noun (a thing) or what is felt, but it is displayed by what someone does. Love is a verb and it demands action. The Agape Love is what you do, which is like Jesus dying for us while we were still sinners as summed up in Romans 5:7-8 “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die, but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
How many people do you know who would die for their enemies? Well, Jesus did. In fact, John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son that whosoever would believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The greatest commandment is all about love. Loving God first and foremost and then loving your neighbor as yourself. When asked which was the greatest commandment Jesus said “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). Jesus gave us all a new commandment and this was given in John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” We are commanded to love others as Jesus loves us! So as you express your love this month and as you celebrate Valentine’s Day which is all about love, remember love is not what you say, but it’s what you do. Let us show love to all mankind, not just in February, but all year long.