Have you ever wondered about love? We use the one word to express our love for our wife and tacos. I would die for my wife but would I die for a taco? So what does love really look like? How do I know I am love?
In the Bible two Greek words are used to describe love, agape and phileo. Phileo is love for one another, as in a friendship held in high esteem. Sometimes friendships are built on shared interests. Philadelphia is known as the city of brotherly love. Hydrophilia is an attraction to water; bibliophilia is a love of books; and philosophy is a love of wisdom. So maybe tacophilia is how I should describe my love for tacos.
There are two other Greek words for love not used in the Bible: storge and eros. Storge can be best described as the love a parent has for their children. Eros is the sexual love a man and woman have for one another. Eros is where we get our word erotic.
Agape is the unconditional love one has for another. It demands nothing in return. Real charity does not happen unless agape love is involved. Agape love is a choice. We can display our agape love for God or we can display our agape love for the world (2 Tim. 4:10, Matt. 6:24).
God displayed His agape love for us by sending His son to die on a cross for us:
1 John 4:9-10 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Marriage should be built on agape love. Our love for our spouse needs to be selfless and looking for nothing in return. Countless times I have done a project for my wife only because I wanted something in return. “I did this for you because…,” does that sound familiar?
In Ephesians 5:25 men are instructed to love (agape) their wives as Christ loved (agape) the church. It goes on to say that Christ gave Himself up for her, the church. Jesus willingly sacrificed Himself for us. Therefore for me to truly demonstrate my love for my wife I need to be willing to sacrifice (to give up something I value) for her without looking for something in return.
For an even clearer picture of what agape love is read 1 Corinthians 13. May your agape love for God and your spouse be one that never fails!