February 13, 2012 by Chris French
In case you haven’t noticed Valentine’s Day is coming up. If you’re surprised by this announcement I’d suggest getting roses and a nice dinner to make it up to her. In honor of Valentine’s Day I thought I’d look at Ephesians 5.22-33. We’re doing a series at Bethel called Valentine. It’s over several different love topics, but the study from last week’s lesson (Like Jesus Loved the WHAT?!) got me to thinking.
There are 4 words in Greek for love. Storge (love for your family), Eros (romantic love), Phileo (love you have for your friends) and Agape (Godly love). When you start reading Ephesians 5.22 your mind immediately goes to the eros kind of love, at least mind did. We all understand that we feel romantic love for our spouses. That’s why we married them! Paul doesn’t use eros to describe the kind of love a man should have for his wife though. He uses agape! Yeah, that’s right, the Godly love! This kind of love doesn’t allow anything to stand in it’s way of accomplishing it’s goal. This kind of love isn’t based on emotion, but on practice. To truly have this kind of love I have to SHOW it, not just say that I have it. Agape is a sacrificial love.
This same word was the word that Solomon used in his Song of Solomon, at least it’s the word the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scripture uses to translate the Hebrew word Solomon used. Have you read thru Song Of Solomon? There’s some pretty erotic stuff there! When he says that he loves her though he’s not referring to the romantic type of love, although he obviously feels that for her. Solomon’s talking about the kind of love that last a lifetime. The kind of love he’s professing jumps over obstacles like a hurdler running toward the finish line. It refuses to allow anything to deter it. This kind of love is patient, kind, humble. It doesn’t insist on it’s own way, and it is not resentful or irritable. This kind of love hates wrongdoing, but loves the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and even endures all things. That’s right. Paul uses agape when he’s writing 1st Cor. 13. We’ve got a great description of how this love acts and what it looks like. Now comes the hard put: put this kind of love into action! Happy Valentine’s Day!