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Love is all Greek to me

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There are four Greek words for love:

There are four Greek words for love: Eros, Stergo, Philo, Agape

Eros is unsurprisingly erotic, that is sexual love
Stergo is the affection; of say a parent for a child
Philo is attraction to another person [or indeed an object or idea], i.e. ‘brotherly’ love
Agape means spiritual love

English is unusually stunted in this case, for a language usually overly rich in words; we get stuck with the one word ‘love’ to cover all ends.

What then is agape? Jesus said ‘no greater love hath any man than to lay down his life for his friends.’

Agape gives away from itself unconditionally; and in death there is no natural reward.

In life however God rewards unconditional love; as 3 John 2 says “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”

In our relationships we might express one, or all of these ‘loves’; but Faith calls first and foremost for agape – a love that can exist toward our ‘neighbour’; even our enemy - without Eros, Stergo, Philo in play; but equally as I have come to realise, by experience, that agape necessarily enhances and validates us; that ‘true love’ is reciprocated Eros, Stergo, Philo expressed together in harmony by and through agape.

Yet agape alone remains an end in itself; because uniquely unreciprocated agape is misnomer – agape cannot be unreciprocated because agape is directed through our neighbour even our enemy, not to them, agape is loving Love; loving God.