God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor— not in lustful passion like those who do not know God and His ways. – 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
We are currently in the month of February. A month often associated with Valentine’s Day. The day when sentiments of amor especial entre buenos amigos (special love between good friends) are exchanged,
and intentions of “like” are bravely shared with another.
And this year, on Valentine’s Day, the movie, “Fifty Shades of Grey”, will be released taking “like”, to a whole nother level. From the innocence of exchanging valentine cards, to a young woman’s “innocence” stolen by lust and perversion.
Are both of these examples of love? Is one “good”, and one “harmful”? Does God, our Creator, have any thoughts on the subject of love?
We will be looking at Proverbs 5 for wisdom on the dangers of sexual immorality. But before we do, let’s look at the way God defines “love” in the Bible.
“LOVE” IS DEFINED IN FOUR DIFFERENT WAYS IN THE BIBLE
- STORGE – this type of love refers to natural, familial love, parents, children, and extended family members.
- PHILOS – this is the type of love a person would have for a friend. Philos is part of the words philosophy (“love of wisdom”) and philanthropy (“love of humanity”). It describes loving another person like they were your brother or sister. Philos love can be a bit persnickety (a bit fussy). It could be equated with the phrase, a “fair-weather friend” – A friend who is only a friend when circumstances are pleasant or profitable. But at the first sign of trouble, these “friends” take-off. Since phileo love involves feelings of warmth and affection toward another person, we do not have phileo love toward our enemies. However, God commands us to have love for everyone. This love is called agape love.
- AGAPE – this is the type of love of God has for His son, Jesus, and all people. Agape is a sacrificial love. Agape love is based on our behavior and actions. It is act of our will, a choice we make. It is not based on how we feel towards another person/people. Although positive feelings can follow after we show this kind of love to others. When we have agape love, we seek to put other’s well-being ahead of our own. Agape love is the love that God commanded all people to have towards all people. Because of our sinful nature, this type of love does not come naturally to us. This kind of love can only be given to us by God, For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love. – Romans 5:5
- EROS – this type of love means to have a desire for or longing for. Eros is part of the word erotic. It is referred to as erotic/selfish love, and is focused primarily on sensuality and self. Eros love is based on the “feelings” we have for another person. Eros is often the first stage of a romantic relationship, and is based on the physical traits. Erotic love, in and of itself, is not sinful. However, because erotic love focuses on sensuality and self, erotic love can quickly become porneia – the Greek word for “sexual immorality” (the root of our word pornography). Porneia covers the gamut of sexual sin (adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bestiality, etc.) When eros love is shared between husband and wife, it can be a wonderful thing. In fact, the Bible has an entire book about the blessings of erotic, sexual, love within marriage. It can be found in the Song of Solomon, in the Old Testament. Unfortunately, when eros takes place outside of marriage, it becomes distorted and sinful. The Bible calls this form of eros, sexual immorality, and warns us – flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. – 1 Corinthians 6:18 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures… – Galatians 5:19
< The information on the four types of love was adapted from types of love.org and gotquestions.org >
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