Although this day is rooted in pagan origins, I use the day to focus on what matters most to me in my life; God, my wonderful wife and my children. Legalistic thoughts may instead focus only upon the pagan origins of the day, judging others for even mentioning the day or sending a box of candy and a card, yet as a Christian man, I have decided to follow Jesus and I will use this day for good to show my wife and family how much I love them. I can do this without celebrating the pagan origins of the day, and so can you!
Our awesome God has shown us that there are different kinds of love. Understanding that this day for some reveals only Eros (noun) referring to sexual, erotic love or desire, I would like to point out God’s heart on the subject of what true love really means by taking a look at the other types of love.
Agapao is a special word representing the divine love of God toward His Son Jesus Christ, human beings in general and all believers. It is also used to depict the outward love God expects believers to have for one another. Agapao (agape) is the characteristic word of Christianity.
This special type of Christian love, “whether exercised toward other believers, or toward men in general, is not an impulse from feelings, it does not always run with natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered.
Reflecting upon the truth that marriage between one man and one women is modeled after the divine relationship between Christ and the Church, husbands are told to love their wives with this kind of outgoing, selfless love (Ephesians 5:25, 31-32).
This kind of love is perhaps best expressed by Jesus Christ Himself in the book of John 15:13, “Greater love (agape) has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Jesus perfectly exemplified this kind of love by giving of Himself and His time and energies to serve others and by the ultimate sacrifice of giving up His own life as a sacrifice for all of humanity. This is the kind of love God wants each of us to express in our own lives and especially in our marriages.
Phileo means to have ardent affection and feeling which is a type of impulsive love. This is the natural, human type of love and affection that we have for a friend and is often defined as “brotherly love.”
In John 21:15-16, Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him with the agape type of love and Peter responded that he had the normal human phileo type of love for Him. Later, after receiving the Holy Spirit, Peter would be able to genuinely demonstrate agape godly love, serving others throughout his lifetime and making the ultimate sacrifice by dieing for his faith.
True love, as explained in the Bible, isn’t focused on self and our own feelings or emotions, but is instead outwardly focused on others with a burning desire to serve and care for them. True love is perfectly described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all thing…s, endures all things. Love never fails.”