An Abundance of Loves and Where to Find Them

David Laureta

February 01, 2021

February na! Love is in the air. Love is everywhere. Social media, TV, and even outside (if you go outside)—decorations in malls and promos of restaurants and food delivery apps—all work around this season.

This four-letter word that can make you feel either exhilarated or pained has such an influence over society as well as our personal lives. We’ve all had an experience of what love is, but sometimes we still struggle to actually define what love is and isn’t.

We’ve searched through books, YouTube videos, memes, and just about every version there is of love languages, but we still can’t always identify what love is correctly. Media feeds us a certain definition, and honestly, it only leads to more confusion.

However, one thing is for sure: Love is abundant. Maybe you have experienced heartbreak that makes you think otherwise. But what if the love you were looking and longing for is just right in front of you?

In the Bible, love is abundant. Interestingly, the English translation does not do justice to the many different expressions of love in the Bible that stands true across the ages. Maybe as we go through this list, we’ll discover that we’re not as loveless as we think. (May pag-asa, friends!) 

Philia: Love Between Friends

Hangouts. Heart-to-hearts. Road trips. Emergency midnight Zoom calls. Journeying through thick and thin. (Sometimes, even literally. Haha!)

This is derived from the Greek word philos which means “beloved, dear, friend; someone loved in a personal and intimate way; a confidant.” Does this remind you of certain people? That’s great! Though it may be bittersweet, because the pandemic has robbed us of the ways we usually express this to one another. Nonetheless, this kind of love transcends space and time.

Some examples of this can be found in Romans 12:10 where Paul instructs followers of Jesus to love one another as if they were family. Another is when Jesus said in John 13:35 that the world will know we are Jesus’ followers if we philia one another. 

Ultimately, philia is not just about enjoying life and common interests together, but also about laying down your life (comfort, time, energy) for your friends. This is most exemplified in how Jesus loved His disciples when he called them His friends whom He would lay down His life for. (John 15)

Some friends may have been disconnected from us this season for one reason or another, but it doesn’t mean we can no longer experience true friendship anymore! Maybe today is the time to look back at our friendships, and see who among them we actually take for granted!

 Storge: Familial Love

This Greek word is not found specifically in Scripture. But seeing how it’s defined as “the deep and caring bond between parents and children, spouses, siblings, and those one considers family,” we can definitely say that it was displayed in the Bible. This is often confused with philia, especially because of the last part of the definition. 

Storge love is most often seen in how parents never give up on their children, or in how the family is the first supporters of one’s passions. Sometimes, it’s communicated through comfort food whenever we come home, or through words of affirmation or a shoulder to cry on amid tough situations. Not a lot of people can make us feel this kind of love.

While it is true that not all families have both parents or are free of issues, such a love still exists and such a love can still abound.

In Scripture, this can be seen in Matthew 3:17 where the Father declares Jesus as His beloved Son after His baptism. Another example is in Psalm 27:10, “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.”

Our parents and family may be imperfect, but the storge love of our heavenly Father is always available and abounding for us.

This love is available right here, right now! Maybe this is the opportunity to embrace Him as your Father—the very same Father who already loved and was pleased with His Son even before Jesus did any of His ministry; the very same Father who already loves you, His child, through your faith in Christ, even before you could ever do anything for Him.  

 Eros: Romantic Love

This Greek word is also not specifically mentioned in Scripture, but its definition of “sexual desire, physical attraction, and physical love” shows up, with an entire book dedicated to it—Song of Songs or the Song of Solomon.

Nowadays, music and movies tend to put so much emphasis on this kind of love, driving us to pursue it as soon as we can. The reality is, unrestrained pursuit of this has led to bad decisions and painful consequences. Just look at the stories of Samson and Delilah or of David and Bathsheba.

God has made it clear not to awaken this kind of love until it so desires—that is, within the context of marriage. Eros love is not bad in itself. In fact, it’s a gift from God that is to be unwrapped and enjoyed at the right time.

Eros—when taken in the right context—grows over time into pragma, or “enduring love.” How beautiful is it that after so many years and personal changes, one can still love another person wholeheartedly and passionately? Lolos and lolas who have stood the test of time can attest to this. While we have to wait and discern the timing of this kind of love, we can learn the benefits of being patient from those who have been happily married for a long time.

Agape: Sacrificial Love

Agape is the highest form of love found in the Bible. It is a love that is not only sacrificial (expecting nothing in return), but also everlasting.

1 John 4:8 tells us that “God is love.” The original Greek in this passage is agape. This is amazing because the very definition of agape points to who God is. This is the love that Jesus preached throughout His time here on earth.

Where else can we find agape? In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8—the one that starts with “Love is patient, love is kind . . .”

This love is the perfect love that Jesus displayed on the cross when He died for our sins. This is the love that moved Jesus to obey the Father at the Garden of Gethsemane, even when His humanity was feeling the emotional and physical pain that awaited Him. 

This is the same love Jesus referred to when He commanded us to love others as He loves us (John 13:35). This is why Jesus had to ask Peter thrice if Peter agape loved Him because Peter would respond only with philia love.

But after Peter received the Holy Spirit, he understood and experienced agape love, which drove him to preach boldly to thousands on Pentecost (Acts 2). Knowing full well our imperfections, God empowers us with the Holy Spirit so that expressing agape love is still possible. 

It is through this love that God aims to conquer the world; that as we experience agape love so abundantly, it overflows from within us and leads us to express agape love to our friends, family, and even strangers who are in need.

Love is abundant, indeed. We just need to know where to look for it.

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The Author

David Laureta

David is a Laker-lifer and a full-time campus missionary at Every Nation Campus Katipunan. He loves to eat, to play and analyze sports, lip sync in groceries, and cover all these in his IG stories.

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