A definition of love is a fervent and ardent desire for and a tender-hearted interest in the well being of the one being loved.

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. Ecclesiastes 3:8
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins. Proverbs 10:12

As we contemplate the topic of "love", it is imperative that we talk of the origin of love. Love is from God, He is love . Our God is a God of love. He has a distinctive love for His children.

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:8

Distinctive degrees and expressions of this endearment are recognized in God's word, according to situations and relations in life.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another;
as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:34-35

For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?
Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
Matthew 5:46

As we define the word love, it's meaning has many forms. We will elaborate on five Hebrew and Greek words and their significance to the meaning of the word "love". It is from these words we will perceive the meaning of love. Only three of these five words were used in the Biblical realm . Though there were five words, only three are used in the New Testament, and they are the first three we will speak of.

The first word is eros - a passionate form-- as the passionate love displayed between a married couple within their home. Secondly we have the Greek word phileo which speaks of a bond of natural human affection .

We also have agape . It is an exceptional , self-giving love, one of equal respect. Agape love is the highest, most perfect love, indicating a clear resolution of will and judgment. We will also speak of the other two, We also have storge which refers to a caregiving love of compassion. Also is the word koinoina , referring to a love in mutuality of community as in a desire for creating a fellowship toward mutuality.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
2 Corinthians 13:14

We should want to be with our fellow Christians. The time we spend with fellow Christians should be desired and treasured. How wonderful it is to spend our time among other Christians!

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor principalities nor powers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth,
nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
John 15:12-13

So often, someone feels that they are in love, it is not love but infatuation. This occurs many times with young girls. Infatuation is an instant desire. We will have one set of glands calling to another set of glands and is usually set off because of a physical attraction. Infatuation is marked by a sense of uncertainty. When someone is infatuated, they will think they will lose him/her. They will want to quickly get married . Infatuation lacks the courage and certainty that is present in love. With infatuation, you might do things you will regret at a later date.

But love is a friendship that catches fire and continues to blaze. Love is a quiet discernment and a mature acceptance of flaws. It grows on a daily basis. With love we will be patient and plan our future with courage and certainty.

The complete chapter of I Corinthians 13 is known as the chapter on LOVE.

(Each of the images on this page are based on this chapter. You can click on the pictures to learn more about the image.)

and if you keep all these commandments and do them, which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and to walk always in His ways, then you shall add three more cities for yourself besides these three, Deuteronomy 19:9

Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' Matthew 22:37

Discussion and study questions:
1. What are the Greek/Hebrew words that refer to love?
2. Of the many Greek/Hebrew words referring to love, how many are used in the New Testament?
3. What is infatuation?
4. How does infatuation differ from love?
5. Which chapter in the New Testament is the chapter on love?

Copyright 2008 Linda Lawrence