Love is such a big and powerful word that can have simultaneous meanings.
Love is generally the term utilized to express strong feelings of attraction towards the opposite sex. However, I would like to also infer that love is the antidote for happiness, the remedy for peace in a broken world, the fix for the brokenness that permeates our society.
Love is a very important component to life and without it…. there is no hope or purpose for being.
Love has THREE faces that are inadvertently different, but are still yet the same. The three faces of love are:
- Philos love
- Agape love
- Eros love
Let’s explore Eros love first.
Eros love originates from the Greek god of love—a term that means to long for and heavily desire. This love is equated to erotic, sexual love, and is founded upon physical characteristics. This type of love is common during the first stage of a love relationship. Eros love is driven by physicality, and can easily become obsessive and self-seeking. Eros love is not meant to be shown towards everyone—as it is meant to be shared between a couple. This type of love is very important to maintain a healthy relationship, including marriages.
I like to term agape love as a type of sacrificial love. This type of love was seen and exemplified through the life and death of a well-known leader, Jesus Christ.
Agape love is the type of love that first should never be determined by the way we feel. Agape love is the type of love that we bestow upon others regardless of how we feel or think. It can be seen as a set of behaviors or actions. The thing with agape love is that we should be able to love people without having any feelings towards them. That’s where the sacrifice and self –denial lies. Agape love says I love you just because…
Philos love is the love you have towards a close friend, someone who is like a brother or sister to you. This love is developed based upon multiple experiences shared between you and the person. It is also a love that develops over time. This type of love is commonly practiced by the majority of people, as we tend to “love” people based upon the development of experiences that we have with them. This kind of love is beautiful, but unfortunately it can quickly become sour. For example, if there happens to be an altercation between two friends… that love can dissipate quickly.
I’m sure we all can attest to experiencing a situation like that during some point in our lives.
This past week… I’ve been struggling with love. Struggling between the different types of love, and the impact it’s absence has had on me. I’ve realized that in order for us to live fulfilled and complete lives… we need all three types of love to be manifested in it. There may be varying degrees for each individual, but conclusively… we ALL need love.
Behold my “Facts of Love”:
- We all need Eros love. We were created with a desire and an attraction for physicality. Our bodies NATURALLY creates hormones that arouse the desire for physical/sexual love. If this love is manifested in the wrong way, it can lead to our demise…emotional, physical, and spiritual. We have to be careful and in control of ourselves. Eros love is a beautiful love when manifested in the right way, but this cannot be the only love we have…as this love is centered on self and can easily dissipate. So this love MUST be coupled with agape love and philos love. It should never stand alone, because if it does…it will not last long.
Think of those individuals who work in the sex industry. They practice eros love all the time…but once the moment is over…that “love” is gone.
Again, this love should NEVER be used alone.
- We all need philos love. I believe that we all are in need of a friend. No man is an island and we need socialization. This brotherly love is developed when we establish relationships with other people. The shared experiences allow for the development of love. This past week I reflected on some of my philos relationships. Some of them are still current…some of them dormant…and some have become non-existent. Regardless of the current status of my philos love relationships…I still have love for these individuals. Whether I spoke to you 10 years ago, 10 days ago…yesterday or 10 minutes ago…I love you. The moments we have shared as friends will always hold a special place in my heart and in my life. Some may disagree with me and say that they no longer have that brotherly love towards those individuals whom they no longer connect with. I can understand why that may be said, but if you have agape love…then philos love can last forever.
- We all need agape love. In my opinion, agape love is the greatest love of all three. This love is the sacrificial love that is not based upon feelings or personal desires, but loves because it’s the right thing to do. Agape love says I haven’t spoken to you in 20 years, but if you called me up I’m there for you. Agape love also says you hurt me…stabbed me in the back…destroyed me…but I still love you and if you need me I will be there. Tough right?!?! Agape love is not an easy love to manifest. As people, we love based upon our feelings. However, agape love is the opposite of that. Simply put—you love because it’s the right thing to do.
I’ve had practiced showing agape love in my life. It is difficult!!! I have had a specific situation in my life where I was abused, hurt, and nearly destroyed— and to this very day I’m still dealing with the impact of that situation. The great news here is that in spite of everything done…that individual is still loved by me.
I bet you’re wondering what the heck is wrong with me? (Smile)
To be honest…nothing is wrong…I have learned and am still learning to exemplify agape love. The greatest example that I have of one who exemplified agape love is Jesus Christ.
God demonstrates agape love towards his son Jesus and Jesus exemplifies that love towards humanity. Historical accounts reveal that this man was crucified…brutally murdered for no just cause. He gave his life because he loved humanity unconditionally.
Love can be complicated…but at the same time beautiful. Understanding love a little better can help us to love a little more.
Love will change the world as we know it.
Let’s learn to show the 3 faces of love in their appropriate context.
Here is another great article that can further explain the three faces of love: