February is Heart month, and is the “month of love” marked by Valentine’s Day, celebrating romantic love. English has one word for “love,” and that one word can mean many things, from romantic infatuation, erotic attraction, brotherly love, and spiritual love – but the cultural focus is primarily on romantic love, creating unrealistic expectations and problems in relationships.
The Ancient Greeks were more sophisticated in their language, with 6 different words to describe the many different forms of love in our human relationships: Eros or sexual passion, Philia for deep friendship, Ludus for playful love, Pragma to mean longstanding love, Philautia for love of self, and Agape to mean spiritual love for others. There are also 5 “languages of love” to describe the ways people best receive love to help us better understand how to improve our relationships: physical touch, verbal affirmations, acts of service, quality time, and receiving gifts.
The Biblical perspective on love includes considering how questions such as how does God show His love for us, how do we respond and show love for God fully, and how are we commanded to love our neighbor, especially those who hurt us and those who are difficult to love as we are experiencing in our culture on a broad scale now? And then there is the ultimate “love” question: How do we strengthen the connection between our hearts and the heart of Christ? All of these questions and more are explored in the full program for Faith Over Fear, The Heart of Love, available here: https://www.truthforhealth.org/2023/02/faith-over-fear-2-7-2023/.
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