February 12, 2021


#alphamegaradio #christianity #lifelessons #authenticlove

(Ref: Romans 5:8; 13:9-10 | 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a | 1 John 4:19 )

It is the time of year when love is said to be "in the air," or so it would seem. We could easily go into the origins of what we call "St. Valentine's Day,"  but it would serve us better to dive into the subject of love; what it is, what it isn't, and what it's designed to be...

The culture has told us that love is a feeling; this mystical substance of all things gooey and emotional. The high that never lasts, is quite elusive but deeply cherished, and is the stuff of dreams and fantasy alike.

As children, we were likely told that we'll "fall in love" one day, meet that "special someone," and if all of the stars perfectly align just right—live happily ever after. Most who are reading this understand this to be a myth, yet we humans relentlessly search for that very description of love; believing that to be a pinnacle of our life's greatest achievements.

Oh contrare.

Some of us love sports. Some of us love art or music or dancing. Others of us love great food. Chocolate. Yeah, I could go there. Chocolate. I do love some chocolate. I also love furry animals. But is that sort of love the same as the gooey, whimsical, majestic love of Hollywood romance? Of course not. But it's still love, is it not?

So that implies that love can be in different forms; expressed and realized in different ways. Actually, that's a true statement, but keeping the comparisons in this context would do nothing to distinctly shine a light on what love truly is.

The "love" that we associate with romance is not the same as the love that we feel for our children, our siblings, our friends, or our family. It's not the the love we have for pizza. That's because that caricature of love is not love at all; but more the stuff of infatuation or even obsession.

We don't sort of slip and "fall in love," like it's a mud puddle that we lose our balance in. Just like we don't literally fall in love; we also don't fall out of it either. On again, off again; it comes and it goes... the feelings... the emotions. The unstable flame, as it were. But why does that happen? Why doesn't it last? It's because that isn't truly love at all...

Wait. Time out. What are we saying here?

BLUNTLY: The aforementioned adrenaline-fused, heart-racing, sappy and mushy emotion-driven experience that we often associate with love is a merely a complex chain of physical and quasi-emotional responses to our deep admiration of or infatuation toward someone; it in and of itself is not love (watch that?).

But can those things be a by-product of love? Absolutely. Some of the time. Some of the time, love isn't present at all, which is why these "flame" moments in our lives can appear so quickly and vanish just as quickly.

My friends, real authentic love... is a choice that we make.

We choose to begin loving a person, just as we choose to stop—even if that "choice" is not picked up on or realized distinctly. We may be highly fond of someone and have those physical and emotional responses, but still not have ever chosen to love them.

Likewise, we may have made the choice to love someone, but not like them very much. Yes, it's possible, because again... authentic love is a choice.

Let's take a look at the definition of infatuation, shall we?

INFATUATION: (NOUN) — an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something.

Examples: "He had developed an infatuation with the girl" · "the thrill of infatuation" - "an infatuation with football"

Synonyms: passion for · love for · adoration of · desire for · fondness for · feeling for · regard for · devotion to · penchant for · preoccupation with · obsession with · fixation with · craze for · mania for · addiction to · fancy · passing fancy · crush on · thing about · hang-up about · puppy love

Sound familiar? How often we interchange the word "love" for what is actually infatuation, instead! But we hear this constantly in the movies and TV shows that we see, the books we read, and in the songs that we listen to. Go on social media and find the millions of memes that send this same delusional message. Since we were very young, this is what we were told that love is. We were duped.

In fact, the "high" experienced (from increased dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphin releases from the brain into the body, combined with an elevated cardiac and respiratory response) can be so addictive, that today, many people are actually "in love" with "falling in love," as crazy as that sounds. It's no longer about a person, but the feeling. That's ultimately what many today are devoting their lives to desperately chasing after. And it's steady on-the-rise.

It's no wonder that the vast majority of us wind up damaged in some way in romantic relationships—even by those which were deemed reasonably healthy. The expectation did not meet the reality.

Relax. We weren't stupid. Well, maybe we were at times, but I digress. Rather, we were misinformed. So let's set the record straight, shall we?

There are four Greek words that the Bible uses to express the word "love" as genuine authentic love in the way that God designed it to be. Here, we'll discuss the primary three. These truths are inescapable. They're also the only ones that actually make sense, once we examine them and look back on our own lives and interactions with others...


AGAPE: Unconditional, unearned, unmerited love. This is the from of love that all others are built upon, if it's actual authentic love at all. No one can make us start loving this way, and no one can make us stop. We extend it whether we stand to receive it back or not. We just do it anyway...

When our children break our hearts, do we stop loving them? Of course not. That's because we have agape love for them, which isn't based on feelings, merit, worth, or "works" of any kind. In fact, it's unearned altogether. We simply choose to employ it.

This is the type of love that God shows toward all people; regardless of whether they love Him back or not. You see, that is the ultimate parental example; whereas He is God the "Father." Even the most hateful, wicked, and rebellious of us are still loved in this way by God; not because of anything that we do, but rather despite anything that we do.

When we attempt to model this form of love toward other human beings; extending unconditional acceptance and love for them... regardless of their actions toward us... in respect to their: intrinsic worth, value, dignity, and recognition of their being made in the same image of God that we are—we begin to understand the deep, deep thing that is agape love.

PHILEO: This is more of a kinship or brotherly/sisterly form of love. Akin it to being "joined at the hip." It's expressed through fellowship, time spent with someone, discovering common interests and affections, joining together in mutually-rewarding activities—including one of love's most nurturing components: conversation. Also communication.

It's the form that we commonly extend to family and close friends, church and social club fellowship members, fans of our favorite hobbies or sports teams... even toward our pets. It has the idea of partnership. Hanging out. Time spent. Doing things together. Get this? Companionship. It's what bonds spouses into soul-mates. In fact, we get our word "Philadelphia" from this word, which means "city of brotherly love." Dig it...

EROS: We get our word "erotic" from this form, which is the most emotionally-laden but least important of the three types, ironically. It's often romantic and passionate, full of deep adoration and desire for another human being. Yet strangely enough, it doesn't have to involve romantic interest at all.

It's often expressed via physical means, but not exclusively that way. When we give someone a hug or kiss or a handshake backed by deep meaning... When we send someone a warm gesture, be it verbal or written; communicated with intent to lift up that person... Those are examples of Eros love in action. To put it bluntly, the Eros form of love is all about connection, on a myriad of levels.

In fact, all three primary forms of love are verbs, rather than nouns. They imply action. Action resulting from a choice. We don't experience love itself, but rather experience the ramifications of the choice that we make to love.

All human beings have a desire to be loved as well, which also produces its own desirable ramifications. The emotions and chemical processes that we "feel" are triggered by our choices to extend and receive the various forms of love.

QUESTION: Why do some people struggle to experience these feelings and emotions, even those people who try to regularly extend and receive authentic forms of actual love?

Various things such as chemicals in the body, mood changes, exhaustion, negative emotions, traumatic experiences, et al... can numb us to the experiences at times, even though the choice has been made and is in action in those times.

This is another clear example of why our feelings do not equate to love. They're merely a by-product of it.

I want to stress that the feelings and emotions associated with love, along with the physical chain-reaction processes that accompany them—are wonderful and exhilarating—even very healthy for our minds and physical bodies. They can energize, inspire, and uplift us like very few things can. They can even slow down the aging effects that we experience. I'm merely differentiating between "perceived love" and actual love in this blog.

Let's take a look at one of the most famous Bible passages about the subject of love, in all of Scripture? This is a big eye-opener, and can drive the final nail in the coffin of the myth of "infatuation = love."

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."

Wow. We humans fail, not love. Love itself has never hurt anyone. It can't. It's the emotions and physiological responses that hurt, whenever love is withheld or withdrawn after being extended... if it's not reciprocated back to us when we chose to extend it to others. There's the source of the pain. But love? It's the purest source of joy in existence.

Before we wrap up, let's debunk some myths that our 1 Corinthians passage turns on their heads...

Recall that love is a choice. It's not "for a season" unless we choose to withdraw it. It's patient and enduring through good and bad. It's not the source of jealousy or envy. It doesn't brag or say, "Look at what I did?"

It's not selfish or prone to merely seek to please self. In fact, it's actually others-centered. It's not the source of anger, but is quite the opposite of it. It doesn't keep a track record of who did what, how many times, and whose scorecard is the best.

It's not the cause of wrongdoing or harm to others, nor of the desire to harm someone. It doesn't lie; but will drive someone to speak the truth—even to the detriment of the one speaking.

It's full of hope, faith, endurance, and will stand the test of time, irrespective of feelings or emotions, inasmuch as one doesn't decide to cease it.

To be clear, infatuation in and of itself is not a bad thing, but it can be highly dangerous, if left unchecked. Oh, it can be a most pleasurable experience, but also a very painful one.

Ever "loved someone so much that it hurt?" That wasn't love, my friend. That was infatuation. Genuine Agape, Phileo, and Eros love—doesn't hurt anyone.

It's time that we rediscover the difference between "love" and "like" again. In our relationships and friendships, and in our culture. With our fellow human beings. Yes, even those whom we may not agree with or think highly of.

With God, all things are possible. With God, love is always possible... even toward strangers... even toward our enemies... even toward ourselves in our very worst moments. And most importantly... even toward God Himself. Once we discover that and put it into practice, our entire lives begin to change.

Live well. Love well.

Have thoughts, tips, or suggestions? Let us know in the comments below!

Thanks, and have a blessed day!




  1. Very Well said "Love is a choice" Awesome Blog Post!!

    1. Thank you! Yes, it's a choice that we need to deliberately make each and every day, with as many people as we can. :)

  2. Excellent article/blog!

    4 types of love: Agape,Phileo,Eros & Storge.
    Storge is always there no matter what. It loves no matter what you've done or how you look. It's a love found in marriage. It's a commitment and a choice that doesn't change and is always committed. Storge is something you have for a grandparent or parent and you don't realize just how intense the Storge for them was until they are gone and then there is the void. Storge is the closest we ever get to Agape love this side of heaven.

    Ranking of the Loves

    The interesting thing is we reverse this order and try to find and maintain happiness through Eros love and you can't without the others. The other forms are more important and create the foundation. However most want to build on the Eros and without the other types being active it all comes crashing down and it's hollow and empty, if based solely in Eros.

    1. Very true on all points, bro! I'm glad you brought Storge into the mix, even though I chose to exclude it from the blog due to various reasons; the biggest one being length lol... And you're also right about Eros being the weakest yet most common form that most people today try to build on, thus it never lasts.

      I touched on that in the blog, but you filled in the holes that were left out, due to blog length. I hope folks who read the blog ALSO come down here to read this. Thanks!

  3. Only God can give true Agape love. We can offer and point and direct to Agape love through Storge & Phileo love as we live our lives with each other and we tend to mess things up by focusing on Eros.

    1. Amen. One of the "reference" Scriptures below the title points a verse that directly backs up your first sentence here. I DO think that it's "possible" for humans who KNOW God's true Agape love, and have been born again — to extend it to others, but only by His empowerment to do so... and by His Holy Spirit guidance. Even then (as humans) it won't be "perfect" as God demonstrates it to us.

      Thanks again, bro!