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Monday, February 11, 2013

Love Beyond the Chocolates

Love Beyond the Chocolates

If you want to capture someone's heart for a lifetime, it takes more than a box of chocolates. They need the kind of love that ignites the fire and keeps it burning throughout the years.

In the reading of Titus 2:3-5 in which it says, "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."

You see that little spot there where it says, "to love their husbands?" The Greek word for "love" there is "philos" meaning to be friends or to be friendly to someone.

The English language is complicated. We only have one word for love. I can "love" my husband, and I can also "love" those divine red shoes I spotted at the market the other day- the ones that sported a hefty price tag. Obviously the "love" of my husband is so much more important to my being than the "love" of a pair of red shoes. That's confusing for anyone. Don't you think?

The Greeks; on the other hand, have more clarity in their language. When they're talking about love, they spell it out clearly using one of several different words.

Here are a four of them:

Agape - This is a sacrificial love, like the one we read about in 1 Corinthians 13

Eros - This is passionate love. The kind that makes your heart race.

Philia - Friendship or showing affection

Storge - Affection usually within family relationships

While a strong marriage should have all of these characteristics of love working together I want to focus in on the one from Titus 2: Philia.

When God created man he noticed something about him, and that was the fact that Adam was alone and being alone was not a good thing for him. He needed someone to spend time with, someone he could confide in, someone he could laugh with, someone who was loyal, someone who would value him, and someone who would show him affection. God saw that He needed a companion and friend.

"And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18

God's gift to man in the Garden that day reminds me that I'm not just someone that my husband fell in love with. I was put on this earth with the purpose of being his helper, his companion and his friend -someone he can laugh with, someone he can confide in, and someone who values the man that he is. My husband is so much more than a yearly heart shaped box of chocolates. He is a priceless gift- my personal gift from God. Made just for me and me for him.

That's agape love. Beautiful; isn't it?

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