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Different levels of love
The Chaplain’s Corner
A few weeks ago our pastor gave an excellent sermon on the three kinds of love. I had heard this sermon preached or taught a few times before. For some reason the concepts of love have entered my mind several times lately. The term is used in so many different ways. Let’s just keep it on the person to person relationship level.
We talk about loving our spouse or loving our children or loving God. A good mother or father has a special feeling for babies. Certainly we express our love in different ways. Erotic love was initiated by God for husband and wife. They were to cling to each other and become one flesh. This can and does relate to many kinds of behavior. We can move up the ladder and have loving social times with our spouse, family and friends. We may have special friendships with certain other kinds of people. Maybe we should think of love more like a continuum and less as categories.
The top end of the ladder would be the kind of love that God has. As we approach Easter we talk about passion week. This, of course, is the ultimate example of Agape love. We will never be able to fully fathom a love so great as to send His Son to die for us sinners. Agape love also was such a passionate love that God the Son volunteered to die for us.
We as humans are privileged to experience and practice love fro one end of the spectrum to the other. On the one end we should be careful not to confuse exotic love with lust. On the other end only God living in and through us can give us such a Godly passion that we live and practice agape love. In Galatians 5:22 it is the first fruit of the Spirit. In Ephesians chapter 5, we are exhorted to love our spouse with agape love. Verse 25 tells us to be willing to die for them even as our Lord died for us.
So what should our aim be as children of God toward others? Perhaps through prayer and practice our lives can become more and more saturated with God’s agape love all the way from the top down. There is an old hymn entitled, “Can Others see Jesus in me?” As we think about all of our many relationships, perhaps we can become more loving and more caring day by day.
For the 2014 club, Mar. 23 takes us to Joshua 10 and Luke 3.
Having a joyful agape week.
Crist Langelett writes a twice-monthly column on faith. He is a chaplain for the city of North St. Paul and the Washington County Jail. He is also a volunteer at the local food shelf.