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How The Bible Defines Love

Why Assuming We All Mean The Same Thing Is Dangerous


‘Tis the season to celebrate love. Every year when Valentine’s Day comes around, most of us focus on romantic love. But when you stop to think about it, there are many levels and types of love: I love my husband. I love my sister. I love my dog. I love my career. I love warm nights.

Although I’m using one word to describe my feeling toward all these objects, most people understand what I’m saying: I love my husband as my life and romantic partner I love my sister, well, “as a sister,” my dog opens my heart I enjoy my work, and warm nights make me feel relaxed and happy.

The Greeks had the good sense to break love into four levels: “storge” was kinship, “philia” was friendship, “eros,” sexual and romantic love, and finally divine love was known as “agape.”

They might interpret the sentence, “I love you but I’m not ‘in love‘ with you” to mean, “I feel philia toward you but not eros.”

But while the Greeks gave love four spots in the dictionary, this emotion was feared. Both Plato and Socrates saw this emotion as, Love is a serious mental disease, and Love is a madness. And it was the Greeks who coined the phrase, “lovesick.”

Love makes people do stupid things, dangerous things as well as magnanimous and bold things.

A book I often recommend to clients is Gary Chapman’s, 5 Love Languages, because the author does a great job of outlining the five areas people give and receive love. When you know what matters to you, you can ask for this from your partner.

4. Gifts

The Consistency Of Love

7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

In this one verse, Paul speaks of four different qualities of love, all linked to each other by the word rendered all things. This rendering, all things, seems to fall short of communicating what Paul is saying. Love does not, for example, believe everything.188 It is not love for a mother to believe her child when he denies getting into her freshly made pie, when the meringue has formed a mustache around his mouth. Paul has just written that love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth . How can he now inform us that love accepts everything as truth, believing whatever one is told? For these reasons, some translations have chosen to render Pauls words differently:

7 There is nothing love cannot face there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and its endurance .

7 Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope it can outlast anything .

7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres .

7 It covers up everything, has unquenchable faith, hopes under all circumstances, endures without limit .

13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it .

Love always bears up under adversity .

The Key Concepts To Remember Are: Love Is Trusting In Our God Love Is Being Faithful To Your Partner And Families And Love Is Being Kind And Patient With The World Around You

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Love is alive on your wedding day and in the moment your baby is born. Love is alive at the dinner table as you give thanks for the family and food before you. Love is lifting your sins up to God during a church service. Love is being there for those in need.

And Love is something we have all prayed to God for.

If you’re looking for guidance in life, look to love and seek God. The Bible verses mentioned below are just a few to keep in the back of your mind. The book of John and Psalms are both great starting places to read up on love, and how God is present within our hearts.

Where should you look if you really want to catch up on some love-based verses?

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The 7 Types Of Love In The Bible

For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son. John 3:16

Have you seen the latest New York Life commercial on television? Its a beautiful ad describing the characteristics of love according to the Greek language. Since todays Bible is translated from Greek, the commercial inspired me to find out what types of love are found in the Bible.

Of the eight Greek types of love, I found evidence of seven of them sprinkled throughout Gods word. Just as a disclaimer, my findings are in not necessarily exhaustive. You may know of others, but heres what I found.

What Is Love For God

Definition Of Love In The Bible Verse

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind Luke 10:27 NKJV

As fallen human beings in a fallen world, this is very difficult , for even the most Godly to fully achieve on Earth. Nonetheless, it should be our ardent goal, as God commands. It can only be achieved through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and full surrender of ourselves to Jesus Christbecoming willing slaves/servants of our Savior . We should look forward with delight to eternal life with God, with our sanctified and glorified minds and bodies, when we will much more fully appreciate and love God and enjoy Him forever.

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Characteristics Of True Love According To The Bible

Photo by Ben White

Do you want to know if your partner is truly in love with you? Do you want to know if you truly love someone? Do you want to learn how to grow your love or inspire other people to purify their love? Do you want to understand what true love really means?

True love is extraordinary. Its not an easy thing to do. It could even be the hardest thing to do in this world as we know it. We might think that were already giving true love, but the truth is it might not just be enough.

If you want to know and understand what true love really is, here are 21 signs, qualities or characteristics of a genuine love according to the verses in the Holy Bible.

True love can tolerate pain or suffering without complaining or getting angry.

What God Has To Say About Love

John 15:12: My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Corinthians 16:14: Do everything in love. 1 Peter 4:8: Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Ehesians 5:21: Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

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English Definition Of Love

The English word love has been used in reference to a strong affection for another since before the 12th century, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary. It has been said that the English language has only one word for love, but English also has other words implying love such as affection, friendship, attraction, etc. The word love though is a constantly evolving concept with ever-broadening definitions. Human love, therefore, cannot be simply defined, as it is being redefined all the time.

On Puddles And Oceans

How Does The Bible Define Love?

Love is love the world and the president of the United States have that much correct. But the Bible tells us its also so much more.

First, the Bible tells us of loves originthat its actually riveted outside ourselves, to the very character and nature of the triune God. Second, the Bible shows us the love of God in the sacrifice of Christ: a love that is both gracious because it is contra-conditional and authoritative because it changes us, bestowing on us the very things it requires through the Holy Spirit. Third, the Bibles definition of love changes the way we love othersboth believers and non-believers.

As Christians, we understand were standing on miles of identical ground in fact, it is our equal status in Christ that enables us to love each other by both recounting the gospel to one another and, if necessary, correcting each other when mired in sin. Similarly, the Bible also exhorts us to love non-Christians with a heavenward love, not by conceding truth in order to win favor, but by adorning the gospel through our daily submission to the lordship of Christ.

The Bible says a lot about love, but most of all, it raises our expectations and subverts our paradigms. It points to an ocean while the worlds busy playing in a puddle.

  • This tweet came from President Obamas official Twitter account and, though it was not signed by his personal moniker bo, one can be sure it reflects his opinions.
  • The Holy Bible, John 17:5.
  • Ibid., John 17:24.
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    Love In The Old Testament

    Jesus said that the greatest commandment in the Old Testament was, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind . The second commandment was, Love your neighbor as yourself . Then he said, On these two commandments hang all the law and prophets . This must mean that if a person understood and obeyed these two commandments, he would understand and fulfill what the whole Old Testament was trying to teach. Everything in the Old Testament, when properly understood, aims basically to transform men and women into people who fervently love God and their neighbor.

    What Is Philia Love In The Bible

    Philia is the type of intimate love in the Bible that most Christians practice toward each other. This Greek term describes the powerful emotional bond seen in deep friendships.

    Philia originates from the Greek term phílos, a noun meaning “beloved, dear … a friend someone dearly loved in a personal, intimate way a trusted confidant held dear in a close bond of personal affection.” Philia expresses experience-based love.

    Philia is the most general type of love in Scripture, encompassing love for fellow humans, care, respect, and compassion for people in need. The concept of brotherly love that unites believers is unique to Christianity. Jesus said philia would be an identifier of his followers: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

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    Difficulty Of Defining Love:

    Love is one of the hardest words to define biblically. For one thing, it is a very complex concept and cannot adequately be explained in a simple definition. For another, the concept of love has been so perverted by the world that we have to spend quite a bit of time showing what love is not in order to understand it. It is often confused with emotional feelings and physical acts that are not love. In order to understand love from God’s standpoint, we must go beyond our human opinions and seek the teaching of God’s word. Another reason for the misunderstanding of love comes from the fact that many people have not fully experienced biblical love and have little personal knowledge of it. For these reasons, we have to approach the definition of love carefully.

    A New Meaning Of Love

    The Bibles Definition of Love

    Even love defined as all of love is not adequate to explain the kind of love Ive experienced, both from Amy and from our Christ. And heres why:

    Language at its core is a collection of symbols that society agrees will represent reality. Our words for love are, at best then, tokens of meaning, not exact expressions of substance. We cram letters together and say this is what those letters mean but symbols alone can never fully communicate the truth of what they represent.

    For instance, you and I both know that the letters A-m-y may mean someones wife, friend, or co-worker. But the experience of, the physicality and spiritual self ofthe truth and soul ofAmy! is not adequately represented by those letters. In fact, my truth of Amy is radically different from your truth of Amy or heavens truth of Amy, yet all our truths are still Amy. In this way, Amy is much, much more than what A-m-y could ever mean in any language.

    Its like this also when we begin to speak of love, or heavens agap. L-o-v-e is not just what weve all agreed that those letters should define. It is unfathomably, immeasurably, inexpressibly more. We know it instinctively, deep within the soul, but we can never adequately define or even understand it.

    Because Im beginning to think that love is not simply what it means.

    Design credit: Rachel Dawson

    Content adapted from “Love is Not What You Think It Is” by Mike Nappa.

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    How Does Gods Love Differ From The Worlds Definition Of Love

    We oftentimes hear people talk about showing love to others. They say that all we need is love . Many people believe they know what love is when they are really only living by certain feelings that they call love. Everyone wants to be loved and most people want to love others in return. However, do we really know what love is? The Bible speaks many times about love, and what it is. Let us look at a biblical definition of love and see in what ways it is different from its worldly counterpart.

    Redemption Is Gods Love Demonstrated

    The Christian concept of redemption is absolutely unique among the pantheon of world religions. Elsewhere one may find examples of offerings paid to appease offended deities, or an act done to earn divine favor. But as doctrinal truth and historical fact, Gods work of redemption as presented in the Bible is unparalleled.

    Redemption means deliverance through payment of a price. In ancient times, prisoners of war could be released on payment of a ransom. The Bible says that Christ gave His life as a ransom for many , and that we have redemption through His blood .

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    We Are Defining Love The Wrong Way

    Rabbi David WolpeWolpe is the Max Webb Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, the author of eight books and has been named one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem .

    It is time to change the meaning of the word love.

    The word is mostly used according to the first definition given in the dictionary: an intense feeling of deep affection. In other words, love is what one feels.

    After years spent speaking with couples before, during and after marriage and of talking to parents and children struggling with their relationships, I am convinced of the partiality of the definition. Love should be seen not as a feeling but as an enacted emotion. To love is to feel and act lovingly.

    Too many women have told me, bruises visible on their faces, that the husbands who struck them love them. Since they see love as a feeling, the word hides the truth, which is that you do not love someone whom you repeatedly beat and abuse. You may have very strong feelings about them, you may even believe you cannot live without them, but you do not love them.

    In Fiddler on the Roof, when Tevye asks Golde whether she loves him after a quarter century of marriage, her wry answer is exactly on point:

    For twenty-five years Ive washed your clothes Cooked your meals, cleaned the house Given you children, milked your cow She asks then, If thats not love, what is?

    Short Bible Verses About Love

    How does the Bible define love?
    • Proverbs 10:12: Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
    • Song of Solomon 2:16: I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.
    • Song of Solomon 3:4: I have found the one whom my soul loves.
    • John 15:12: My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
    • Corinthians 16:14: Do everything in love.
    • 1 Peter 4:8: Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
    • Ehesians 5:21: Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
    • 1 John 4:8: Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
    • Corinthians 13:13: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
    • Romans 12:9: Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil cling to what is good.
    • Colossians 3:14: And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
    • Luke 6:31: Do to others as you would have them do to you.
    • Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.
    • Proverbs 31:10: Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
    • Proverbs 17:17: A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
    • Ephesians 4:2: Be completely humble and gentle be patient, bearing with one another in love.

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    Hi Mark,Thank you for reading and commenting. Your question is a good one. It appears, since God is love , that any lack of love we might experience may be because we are not close enough to Him. As we allow the Holy Spirit to fill and guide us, we become a conduit for His lovethe more fully we are submitted to Him, the more easily His love can flow. I hope this helps and encourages you, and others, to seek Gods presence even more. God bless you.Yours in Christ,


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