Three Types of Love
Posted on: March 23, 2011, by : Brandon Gilliland

     In today’s society, love is a powerful and often misunderstood conception. If individuals were surveyed and asked to define love, one would likely receive different view points. Since love is commonly used, it is important to understand the concepts from each type of love: eros, philia, and agape.

     Deriving from the Greek language, eros meaning “intimate love” is the first type of love. Because eros love is based on feeling, it can quickly develop or diminish based on circumstances. Sadly, eros love is the leading type of love in many relationships. Sociologists have noted that the average dating relationship will last one to three months. Relationships often fail when eros love becomes the only concept tying the relationship together. Although eros love is an essential factor in a marital relationship, it should not be the foundation upon which the relationship is built.

     Philia, meaning “brotherly love”, is the second type of love typically shown towards friends and family. Philia is a love for fellowship and a love for being with one another. Even though philia love is a strong love, it can remain unstable because it is based on perceptions and circumstances. Whenever a relationship is broken, the philia love can fade.

     The greatest and most important love is the “sacrificial love”: agape. Because agape love is not influenced by perceptions and circumstances, it is a love that should be the basis of every relationship. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus modeled agape love. In John 13:35, Jesus said that agape love distinguishes others from His followers. As a Christ follower, we should desire to be characterized by showing agape love to others because Jesus has shown agape love to us all. Because agape love is sacrificial, it will not always seem comfortable. My church’s Ground Zero ministry that I am apart of is a perfect example of agape love. Through food distributions, service projects, and live performances, Ground Zero is always there to minister to others. Aside from simply doing great things for others, my mission is to point others to Jesus by sacrificially meeting their needs. I John 3:17 says that if one has the resources and the love of God in him, he will take care of others in need. Even though we might sacrifice a lot for others, it can not be weighed on the same scale as Jesus dying for mankind’s sin. Jesus showed the ultimate agape love.

     Although every type of love is important to possess, it is agape love that is the ultimate love. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus modeled compassion and agape love even to the point of dying on the cross for the sins of the world. In a world where love has many distorted views, it is important to know the differences between each type of love and the love that Jesus showed (agape).

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