Love is powerful. Love heals. Love protects. Love saves. Love is peace. Love transcends.
LOVE, IS THE FINAL FRONTIER.
The word “love” used to make me feel uncomfortable. I didn’t understand it. I felt uncomfortable saying that word, especially when it dealt with people. For the first 26 years of my life, I didn’t say the words, “I love you” to anybody, but my mom. I wasn’t secure in myself to use that word. Like most people who use the English language as their primary form of communication, they only think of the word “love” to describe one of two feelings: 1. someone you have deep romantic feelings for, or 2. what you tell your mom before you hang up the phone.
However, most other languages in the world have many different definitions and meanings for the word love. In the Greek language, there are four different ways the word “love” is used:
Agape: Agape love is said to be the highest form of love – the love of God for man and man for God…some call this “Christian love.” 1 John 4:8 says, “God is love.” This type of love is goodwill, faithfulness, commitment, and and an act of will…basically Agape love is always shown by what it does (read Love Does, by Bob Goff).
Eros: This type of love is for all my married people out there…where’s Marvin Gay when you need him? Eros means intimate or romantic love.
Philia: This love is for all my homies. Philia means “brotherly love.”
Storge: This means family love – the deep love of a parent toward a child or a child’s love to a parent. Having children now, this love is truly unlike any love I knew existed.
On a serious note, let me preface by saying that some people miss-use this word to manipulate other people’s emotions or feelings for sexual or other reasons to improve their personal wants and desires. This is wrong and I’m praying for these people. Don’t ever do that please. If you have ever been on the other end of a “false love” you understand the pain this feels. Love is the most powerful emotion we can feel and emit. Love is a word that shouldn’t just be thrown around, but used when truly felt. Let’s use love for good and nothing else. Don’t just tell me, show me – true love is that way – through actions, not just words.
So, back to my story with the word love. It took me into my mid 30’s to finally understand all four Greek definitions of love. Meeting my wife Kendra, I felt feelings of “Eros” and all other kinds very quickly (for the record I said “I love you” first)…she’s definitely the best decision I ever made. “Storge” love, made sense and I’ve always had love for my family..though I’m still working on telling everyone in my family that I love them…it’s easy for me to tell my aunties and girl cousins, but my guy to guy expressions can improve (hey, I’m still a work in progress). My biggest growth has been with my “Philia” love. I used to never tell my close friends “I love you,” but luckily for me I have been blessed with several close friends, who have taught me that it doesn’t make me less of a man to express Philia love by saying, “I love you bro.” #charlymartin #chadveach #johanfriis can you # people?…well, I just did.
My freshman year at WSU, we were playing the University of Hawaii in their house for the last game of the year. It was a rebuilding year for us. We only had 2 wins that season and needed a “W” desperately. It was late in the 4th quarter and we were holding onto a lead. I was one of three true freshman that by the end of that year was a regular starter…one of those players was Seattle Seahawk legend and who is also from the (253), Marcus Trufant. We needed this win and needed a big play. Tru came up with a huge interception to seal the game and I remember giving him a big hug and saying, “I LOVE YOU MAN!!!” This was very out of character for me because I never used that word. I was pumped that we were going to win and my guy made a big play. After saying that, I remember internalizing, “Well he didn’t say it back, am I a ‘nerd’ for saying that?…”
I think a lot of us don’t understand love…just like me all those years ago. I was not advanced enough to understand God’s love – agape love. Agape love is unconditional and expecting nothing in return. This type of love doesn’t care how much money you makes, how you look, where you came from, or what your talents are. Agape love embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends and serves no matter the context, situation, or condition. In the end, love wins…it always does.
When I put my kids down for bed each night, I say the same prayer over them every time. After first thanking the Lord for this unspeakable gift and blessing, I ask Him for their protection and safety. Then I conclude by asking for 3 things that center around LOVE:
- That they Love God first,
- That they love themselves how they are made unique and special, and
- Third, that they love and serve others.
I call this the REAL Love Triangle! I’m challenging you to ask the same for yourself. Put God first in your life – “In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct and crown your efforts with success.” (Proverbs 3:6). This priority is where it all starts. Secondly, if you are able to be thankful for how you are made unique, different, and special in your own way to serve a purpose specifically designed for you; if you truly love yourself and have no need to compare or envy others; this will take your life to the next level and will create absolute peace and purpose in your journey. Lastly, loving and serving others is the 3rd pathway to happiness and success. When you give without expectation, you will live an abundant life. Give it a try – if you love in that order, your world will change to a life you have never seen before…and it will just get better and better each day.
So when you are in doubt on how to handle a situation, or what to say or act when you have to make a decision…ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. Love wins every time.
This concludes my series: 30 Days of Gratitude and Service. Thank you for taking this journey with me. Check back in for more inspirational posts, stories, and updates. Have a blessed day.