What do we mean when we say, “I love you?”
Is it the same as “Love One Another” (my blog sub-heading)?
Is it the same as “I love ice cream”?
In a discussion with my 23-year-old grandson about our cultural use of the word LOVE in the English language, I shared with him that we do ourselves a disservice by having only one word for love. In the Ancient Greek culture, there are six words for love.
“What are they?” Chris asked.
Of course, I couldn’t come up with them from the top of my head, so I went to the web and googled it. From “YesMagazine” on-line – Building a Better World – I found my answer in an article titled, Ideas on the Definition of LOVE from the Greek perspective.
You may already know all this, but maybe, like me, you can’t pop the answer up from your vast memory bank. Here’s a refresher… and a reminder of the types of love our world sorely lacks today (my biased opinion there, of course).
Eros – sexual passion; named after the Greek god of fertility. It represented the idea of sexual passion and desire.
Philia – deep friendship; valued far more by the Greeks than the base sexuality of eros. Philia developed between brothers in arms who fought side-by-side on the battlefield. It is about showing loyalty for your friends, sacrificing for them, as well as freely sharing your emotions with them.
Ludus – playful love; it’s the playful affection between children, the flirting and teasing of teens and young adults, the bantering and laughing of friends socializing or out dancing.
Agape – love for everyone; selfless love, extended to all people, whether family members or distant strangers. Agape was translated into Latin as “caritas” from which our word charity was derived.
Pragma – long-standing love; mature, realistic love that is commonly found among long-established couples. Pragma is about making compromises to help the relationship work over time, showing patience and tolerance.
Philautia -love of self; not excessive self-love in the unhealthy form of narcissism, but the healthy version enhanced by a wider capacity to love. If you like yourself and feel secure in yourself, you will have plenty of love to give others.
And which of those types of love
do you think we need to expand
most in our world today?
I would say both AGAPE and PRAGMA.
Out of those loves true fellowship can grow and thrive.
Here are five of my high school buddies. How I wish I could have been in fellowship with them when this photo was taken. I PRAGMA these guys!!
Today is the first day of Advent. It is the Christian weeks of waiting. Waiting for the promised Messiah. Waiting for Christ’s Mass – Christmas, the birth of our Savior. During Advent we are reminded to become more quiet. “Be still and know that I am God.”
Cherish your loves, your friends, your fellowship with others, and give of your heart to those in need. Prepare for the coming of God’s Son. Prepare by living your best Agape and Pragma self! Be in fellowship with other Christians and with those who need these attributes Rick Warren lists below. Be with others who are seeking and waiting, learning and growing.
According to Rick Warren in his book, The Purpose Driven Life, “Genuine fellowship includes authenticity, mutuality, sympathy, mercy, honesty, humility, courtesy, confidentiality, and frequency.” (Page 151)