Do you love? Do you know which kind of love it is? Do you recognize the type of love you have? Do you know there are different types of love? Can you define the different types of love? Once you know the different types, will you make the effort to recognize them?
We hear people saying they love this or that quite a lot. We hear people saying they love someone multiple times a day. We see it in TV shows, in movies, in commercials, and on social media. We may also hear people say they love God. But what kind of love is the love they are referring to?
Our English word love is quite ambiguous. There are multiple meanings for the same word. That makes it difficult at times to determine the meaning the person intends. In fact, because we’ve grown up with different meanings for the word, we often don’t even recognize ourselves which meaning we intend.
In the New Testament, written in Greek, there are two different basic words used for the word love. There are derivations of those two words used depending on whether it is used as a noun or a verb. Using the two different words made it easier for both the writer and in some cases the speaker to get their specific meaning across.
When we look at John 21:15-17, we see Jesus ask Peter if he loved Him 3 times. What we don’t see in our English translation is Jesus used one word the first two times He asked the question, yet Peter answered with a different word all three times. Jesus finally gave in and used the same word as Peter the third time He asked the question.
You see, Jesus used the word with the meaning of a committed, deep love that could never be broken. Peter used the word that meant emotional or friendship type love. In other words, Peter used the word for love that could go away or could be lost. Jesus used the word that meant love could never be lost, could never disappear, would always be committed, no matter what.
We see the word for love used in today’s Scripture that means being committed for eternity, no matter what. It is a deep love that goes far beyond the affectionate, friendship love that can be fleeting. It goes to the very core of our being and changes us. It is the type of committed love parents have for their children. It’s the type of love that makes marriages last for 75 years. It’s the type of love that God has for us and He expects us to have for Him and each other.
I pray we all develop the committed deep love for one another. I pray we all grow to love God with a love that lasts for eternity. I pray each of us allow this type of love to change our lives. Love with commitment. Learn to love as God loves. Allow God to make changes to your being. God loves you no matter what.
1 john 4:7-8 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.