What is love?  The answer eludes the romantic and the cynic alike.

One of my all time favorite love quotes is from Billy, just four years old.

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth." 

     Wow! Ridicule or false accusations won’t come from the mouth of someone who loves you. Just the way they say your name conveys intention for your good, safety, comfort, and protection.


As wonderful and encompassing as those words are, it only gives us a glimpse of the enormity of love. The Song of Solomon tells us Love is as unrelenting as death, unyielding as the grave.


Are we talking about passion or self-sacrifice, emotion or endurance, doing or being, feeling or acting? In truth, we are talking about it all.  How do you narrow the range of possible meanings to begin to define love? The Greek language has four different words to enhance the correct understanding. 

Agape love is the deepest truest unconditional love.

Eros describes passionate, romantic love.

Philia relays the idea of friendship, community, brotherly love. Philia love focuses on the other’s needs.

The word, storge wasn’t used as often, but it was the kind of love that said, “I choose to love you.” It was familial love, or just putting up with someone like saying you love a tyrant.


The most often quoted scripture on love is from 1 Corinthians 13. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects,

Always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”


          This isn’t just an academic discussion. Our understanding of love is deeply connected to our understanding of who God is, because God is love.


          The overwhelming challenge to put the meaning of love into words is the overwhelming challenge to understanding the bigness of God.


          You know your name is safe in the mouth of God. Even more, He has carved you on the palm of His hand.


God is Agape, deep true unconditional love,

God is Eros, passionate, romantic love. We are His bride.

God is Philia focusing on our needs. 

God is Storge, long suffering, enduring love.


In the words of scripture:

God is patient,

God is kind.

God does not envy,

God does not boast,

God is not proud.

God is not rude,

God is not self-seeking,

God is not easily angered,

God keeps no record of wrongs.

God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

God always protects,

God always trusts,

God always hopes,

God always perseveres.

God never fails.






Quote from Billy: online at www.forum.hyeclub.com

Song of Solomon 8:6 – love is strong…

1 Corinthians 13