Three Types of Love

Valentines’ Day is almost here!  Is  your love tank full? Yes, whether you are single or married God wants your
“love tank” to be full!  Okay, maybe I should define what a love tank is: 1 John 3:16 says, “…Anyone who does not love remains in death…This is how we know what love is:  Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our loves for our brothers.” Love is something we first receive from God and that love equips us to show love to others.  There are three different kinds of love in the Bible!

 The first and most familiar type of love is agape love. Agape love is the kind of love that God gives to us in an undeserved fashion. We might call it an undeserved act of grace motivated by the heart of God. John 3:16 and 1 John 3 describe this love in detail. It is the love that all Christians possess even when they might feel unloved. God’s love was shown when Jesus died for sins we have done, left undone, for those yet uncoverted, atheists, Muslims, and me!

 The second kind of love is philoslove.  It reminds me of the city of Philadelphia which means in Greek “the city of brotherly love.” This is the kind of love we as people show to one another. Brotherly love motivates me to show kindness to the people of Dakota Dunes when their homes were under water. It motivates me to give food to a person who is hungry. Brotherly love is ultimately motivated by the agape love shown to us by Jesus. 

 The third kind of love is eros love.  Eros is called erotic love, the love that is shown between married people. Erotic love in and of itself is not sinful and is created by God. Before the fall there was no lust and so Adam and Eve walked the earth naked. Martin Luther writes, “The act of begetting would have been a most sacred one without any passion of lust such as there is now, and children would have been in original righteousness and uprightness.” (Luther’s
Works Genesis 1-5 pg 116. See Genesis 2:22-25 

 All three of these loves have their place in life. Our love tanks get empty when the first two loves are neglected and when the third type of love turns into lust. Thank God Jesus has come to forgive us for our empty love and when love turns to lust. May his love fill and equip you to show true righteous love not just on Valentines’ Day, but everyday with his help. Take the Lord’s Supper this week, confess your sins and receive his love in Absolution either in worship or in Private Confession and Absolution. Read God’s Word to be filled with tough love and undeserved love! Fill your love tank so you can love others.