————————————————- Origin of Love The Bible indicates that love is from God. In fact, the Bible says “God is love. ” Love is one of the primary characteristics of God. Likewise, God has endowed us with the capacity for love. This capacity for love is one of the ways in which we are “created in the image of God. ” Different Kinds of Love The Greek language (the language of the New Testament) uses two different words to describe and define love. The most commonly used Greek word translated “love” in the New Testament is “agape. This love is represented by God’s love for us. It is a non-partial, sacrificial love probably best exemplified by God’s provision for our rebellion: “For God so loved (agape) the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)” The Greek word “phileo” defines love as “brotherly love. ” Phileo is a kind of love that is connected through emotions – something that can be experienced by both believers and non-believers.
This is in contrast to agape, which is love extended through the spirit. Agape love requires a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, since the non-regenerated soul is unable to love unconditionally. Agape love gives and sacrifices expecting nothing back in return. Real love is unconditional. All other “forms” of love are not really love. Most parents and kids don’t love each other, most people in relationships don’t love each other, most people on the planet never experience unconditional love in their entire lives… or at least it sure looks that way.
To love someone unconditionally means that you love the person exactly as they are, exactly as they were before, and exactly as they will be in the future – because people change all the time, so if you love the person, you will love them even if they become something you disagree with. How many parents can say that about their kids? How many people can say that about their “lover”? Love is not about you or your pleasure or your amusement. It’s not about what you get out of it or what the other person can give to you.
It’s not about having a trophy you can show off with and tell people “This is *MY* girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband/son/daughter/whatever”. You do not “own” anyone. It’s not about you feeling ‘proud’ to be with someone who always agrees with everything you say and do and never does anything you disagree with. Unconditional love means that the person can just live their life exactly as they choose and you will always be there for them no matter what.
So, how does unconditional love fit in with relationships and marriage and sex and all that stuff the whole world keeps going crazy over? It doesn’t, really. It doesn’t “fit” in anywhere. Relationships are like trying to put love into a box and keep it there, except love is infinitely sized, and the box is… well, there is no box large enough. And a normal, conventional marriage is quite possibly the worst possible way to show someone how much you love them.