Wednesday, November 14, 2012

5 Types of Love

Do you have anyone in your life that is hard to love? Do you struggle in loving them because of the way they treat you? Do you feel like giving up when it gets so frustrating and hard with them that you think it's not worth it?

Well I can tell you my answer to all of those, at least one time or another, is a big yes.

I mean truly loving someone is not easy. I think the world gets the word 'love' wrong a lot. Loving
someone is looked at as a feeling, which of course there is that stage, but real love, true love is not based on feelings whatsoever.

To help out a bit, I'll share the 5 types of loves:

1.) Epithumia-This type of love is typically associated with a lust. A desire. Sometimes even that feeling when we covet something. 

2.) Eros-This is romance baby! This type of love is when we are first falling in love with someone and we have butterflies and we are head over heels. Infatuation is also under this type of love; this is romantic love, couples striving to always be together, never wanting to be a part. Eros is not sustainable, so usually after 24 months or so, it starts to fade...

3.) Storge'- This is a natural affection for someone. This can come when you are comfortable with someone you love, and there is a mutual respect between the two of you. This love can feel safe, and protective.
You could also use storge' to say "I storge' peanut butter sandwiches". So when we express that we love this food or that store etc...we are really saying we 'storge' it.

4.) Phileo- This is friendship love!

5.) Agape! Last but certainly not least. Agape is love in action. Love based not on feelings, but on serving others. It's literally loving your neighbor. Agape love calls us to love even when we don't feel like it. It's actions we take regardless of how we are treated by another. I look at the Cross, Jesus. He would be defined as Agape love. He certainly didn't feel like going through all that pain and agony on the cross, but he chose agape love, for us to show us. Agape love is showing someone no matter what, that you love them. It's showing them through your actions. 

When we are in the middle of loving the people in our lives, it can be really hard, we can tend to want to give up. So many times I've said to myself, "I am so done with this person, they are not getting anymore of my heart. It's not worth it, they don't do anything in return, and they don't appreciate me."
Gosh I can't tell you how many times I've said that! I am a natural lover I think-I am others focused naturally, so I have had to learn boundaries through the years to not give so much to the point that I am being taken advantage of.

So where is the peaceful spot in all of this? I think no matter what we are called to love. Take a stranger for instance. If they are rude to you out there this holiday season, most likely we'll get frustrated in the hustle and bustle--our natural inclination will be to resort back to the same behavior they are doing. But I think choosing love, agape love, is the answer. Do the complete opposite of what might be expected of you! Do what you don't feel like doing! Find a way to love that person through your actions. Not just during the Holidays, but any stranger you encounter. Salesclerks, drivers, etc...make a choice to love them.

Take someone close to you now. Your spouse maybe. Your mom, your dad, anyone that is in your life most likely for good. It is exhausting loving sometimes, isn't it!? People don't love us the same way, we get hurt when they don't, and then we feel like giving up and on and on.

But I say don't give up loving them! Even when it's super hard, and they are not treating you well, keep loving them! A lot of times it's just a matter of figuring out how to love them. You may have to back off certain things you were doing to love them, but find a new way that might work better. Everyone gives and receives love so differently, and usually we just end up hurt instead of realizing that we are all just wired differently. 

Maybe you do have that someone in your life that is selfish. They aren't others focused like you are, I still hope you will love them! It's easy to love the people that are nice and love us back! It's the loving when it's hard, and feels impossible that is worth it! There are so many ways to choose love!

-Don't resort to the same behaviors as the one you are loving (don't return evil with evil, return evil with good)
-Serve the one/s you love regardless if they aren't serving you or loving you well
-Pray for the ones that don't love you well or that seem unlovable in your life (the ones that really get under your skin)
-Find new ways to love others, be creative
-Surprise someone with your loving ways--look at things a bit differently, shock them with your gentle words and kind gestures

It is never a waste to love someone! Even if they don't appreciate it, recognize it, or stomp all over it. There is some little seed that has gotten in there, and it's worth it. I am not saying you should get walked on. Or it's ok to accept abuse--there is a place for boundaries and limits--but, more often than not we are just struggling trying to figure out the best way to love the ones in our lives, because they are in our lives.

When you feel like giving up, just remember that you are doing good. You are doing what's right. Your heart is blameless and you know that you have loved, and that's the most beautiful thing of all! We will get treated poorly, people will hurt us, things and life will be unfair, but we are still called to love with a love that is so huge that people won't understand! They will think we are nuts! There are plenty of times that people don't "deserve" our love. But do any of us? I have fallen short so often, but I still want my closest people to me to choose love. 

Keep keep loving, you have no idea how you could be helping, healing or changing that persons life. You might not see it right away, or ever, and that's ok. We feel so compelled to want something in return or instant gratification. But love anyway.

Love on!



christina said...

amen! I remember learning about this in youth group in high school! so powerful!

Pretty lady said...

keep loving on!

PraisingMyCreater said...

loved this post. I can't even tell you how many times God has been shoving this in my face since a certain incident. thanks for sharing about the Agape love. blessings!

LeeLee said...

Lovely post, Gina. Thanks for sharing.

P.S. love the new blog design.

Krista said...

Love all this love :)

I think we can all relate to having someone in our lives that is hard to love. Thanks for the reminder not to give up!

vintage grey said...

A beautiful and truthful post sweet Gina!! Blessings, Heather

Laura said...

God has taught me so much about love this year - real love. And I am so thankful that He revealed so much to me.
Thank you for this wonderful post and sharing your wisdom and heart on this :)


Erica said...

Love is such a wonderful thing, but we never really think about how hard it is to truly love someone through all things good and bad.

Beautiful post. I really liked the descriptions of the different types of love. Something to think about.

Amy said...

Really interesting. Thanks , Gina. I find it hard to love my oldest daughter at times. Yup. Yup i do. 19 is sometimes hard to love all the time. Haha.

Stephanie said...

I was so lucky to grow up with parents who taught us about different types of love, and helped us to recognize our love languages. Both my mom and dad were very careful to show us love in the ways we needed it. This is a great post!

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Tamera Beardsley said...

Gina this brought huge puddling tears and spoke so to my heart... I need to copy and print this ... and keep it out so I can remember your wise, wise words...because I definitely have some in my life that are harder to love. Much love and gratitude to you my friend!

trishie said...

Great post Gina. I choose LOVE!

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