LOVE – Ah! Just seeing or hearing this word can stir emotions inside all of us. It can trigger a memory – happy or sad, usually a memory of someone that we treasure. This word had been used in many songs, essays, novels, poems or any other literature that we can’t think of. It is used as a subject for an art, theatre play or movies. It is used as a topic for discussion and most of us want to feel it, to have it, dream of it, wish or long for it. It is a word that is used and abused in a way that we usually use this word to tell about what we feel about something, anything.
I’ve learned that in the ancient Greek language, there are at least four (4) types of love: (1) Agape love – usually denotes love of God for man, or love of man for God, or love for humanity. It is the most used term in the Christian Greek Scriptures; (2) Eros – romantic love or intimate love usually used between couples; (3) Philia – love between friends; and (4) Storge – love among family members or relatives, usually between a parent and a child. Among the four (4) types of love, Agape is the word used to identify the most noble act of love, it is said it is a love guided by principles, not just a mere emotion, although it can be mistaken as an intellectual type of love, but it also denotes intimate or warm affection but is not swayed by sentiments.
We are usually familiar with romantic love since it is the most or usual subject in any form of art or literature but I think Agape love – noble love is what we should aspire. We might say we love our partner, our child, our relatives and even our fellow human beings but true love for me is not just mere words, it is with action. Does Agape love merely exist amongst Christians? I will definitely say: No. I think and believe that we all have this type of love within us; it is the type of love that transcends time, boundary, religion, culture, nation or language. It is a love where you are willing to give a part of yourself, may it be time, material things or even your life for another human being without expecting anything in return like what a homeless man in Brazil did to save a woman from a hostage taker.
What really then is love? I think it is really hard to define, my favorite definition will always be what is written in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, where it says: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. It is a kind of love that we should show to our fellowmen, to our neighbors, which was clearly identified in the parable of the Good Samaritan as told by Jesus.
We now know about what’s happening to our brothers and sisters in Syria which is truly heartbreaking, we may not be able to do anything for them as we have no means to help them, however, we can give our time to pray for them and we thank those who are doing something to help them, for they are showing love in their own way through giving donations and hope for Syria and opening of their homes for the refugees. It is heart melting to know that even animals like the dog from Thailand who saves a baby from a dump site can show humanity. I think if we all let our heart be filled with this kind of love, there will be no war, no unnecessary death, no child will be aborted or abandoned and our world will be a much better place to live in.
How about you dear readers, how do you define love and how can you show love?