3 Types of Love
You ever hear the expression “Love will make you do crazy things?’ Well, I’ve got a story for you, except it might not be so much about love as much as it is not knowing how to deal with emotions. When I was a kid (maybe 6th grade) I had a girlfriend. Her name was Amy Walker. She was one of the prettiest and most popular girls in my grade. She was the type of girl all the boys wanted to have as a girlfriend. Her family was well off, and the way she carried herself led you to believe that there was something special about her. So, anyway, she was my girlfriend (however that happened and whatever that means for the 6th grade).
After time this “relationship” went sour and she broke up with me. I don’t know why or what I did, I just know that she broke my heart. (Do I have you feeling sorry for me yet? Well, if so, that will all change soon!) After school the day of the break-up, I rode my skateboard to her house to ask why this happened, but she wasn’t home. No one was there. For some reason I sat on her front porch and became very angry at the fact that I didn’t have any answers. I acted on my anger. I found a sharp piece of wood in the yard and I walked over to her trampoline. In rage, I tore holes and slashes all in the mat. I completely ruined it and then left. I guess my thought was, “You hurt me, so I’ll hurt you.” (So Amy, if you are reading this, I’m sorry. I owe you [or I guess by now your kids] a new trampoline.) Point of the story is this: misguided emotion is dangerous. I would like to petition for the phrase to be changed to “Emotion will make you do crazy things.”
Far too many people have confused and twisted the understanding of emotion and lust and how we react in them for love. They aren’t the same. Love is not simply a feeling or a physical desire. Love is much deeper and far more powerful than that. I am curious to know how many people actually know what love even is or what it feels like. Or how many people know that there is more than one type of love. Did you know that there is a physical kind of love, a mental kind of love, and also a spiritual kind of love? I think it’s interesting how this understanding of love parallels who we are as human beings. We are physical, mental, and spiritual beings. Isn’t it incredible to see how God shapes what we most often live for (love) to how we were made? Let’s look at these three types of love and see what type we are most often chasing and building relationships in.
Eros love relates to us as physical beings. This love deals directly with looks. “She is hot”, ”I want her”, or “Wow, look how strong he is”, “I want him” and so on… This is a selfish type of love. It’s typically all about “me” and what makes “me” happy. Physical attraction is good for obvious reasons, but it’s important to understand that for a healthy relationship to last you need more.
Another type of love is Philos love. This kind of love usually starts with friendship. You get to know the person on a deeper level. Typically there’s a friendship bond first and a mutual respect, and then bam, sparks fly! This type of love isn’t selfish like eros. This type of love has give and take. Philos love is better than Eros but still not the best.
The best kind of love is far deeper than selfishness. It is also much greater than a love that gives and takes. The best kind of love is Agape love. You may have heard of it as “unconditional love”. This love gives and expects nothing in return.
The highest form of this love comes from God. God gave Jesus to be a sacrifice for us. Jesus gave his own perfect life so that we could be freed from sin. I believe in choice, and for me the most powerful thing about love, whether it is my wife or my friends loving me, is the fact that they choose to do so. God giving his son for me was a choice. Jesus dying for my sins was a choice. They choose to love us in this very special and powerful Agape type of way. In understanding these loves we must evaluate the loves in our life and the choices we make in them.