FFTF – Only for the spirit today: LOVE
Most countries around the world today are celebrating Valentine’s Day. Even countries where Christianity isn’t a major religion. It is the holiday of love. In North America young children honor their friends by giving out cards and lovers exchange gifts like candy, flowers, and even fine jewelry. In Asia, the single Koreans that don’t receive a gift on Valentine’s Day all go out to restaurants and eat black noodles to mourn their ‘singleness’. In Japan women are expected to give chocolate to the men, even all their male co-workers. The chocolate they give is even called, “chocolate of obligation”. But don’t get too upset ladies, the men must return the favor a month later on March 14th, which has been deemed “White Day”. The men, however usually only give chocolate to their girlfriends.
Back to the subject at hand – The day of love. The English language is very vague when it comes to ‘love’. We can say, “I love you” to your husband/wife, your children, a friend, a lover. We also say, “I love ice cream, your new shoes, good conversation, etc.” If we look at the meaning of love in the Greek language however, it goes into much greater depth. It breaks up the ‘loves’, shall we say.
- Love #1 – Epithumia – This has both a positive and negative connotation. The positive would implicate strong desire. The negative is defined as lust in the perverted, or corrupt sense.
- Love #2 – Eros – Passionate love or romantic love
- Love #3 – Storge – Affection. A love that comes naturally like parents for their children, or amongst family members. Fondness due to familiarity.
- Love #4 – Phillia – Friendship love. CS Lewis says the following about this type of love: “the least biological, organic, instinctive, gregarious and necessary of our Loves”
- Love #5 – Agape – An unconditional, total commitment type of love. It doesn’t seek reward. It isn’t a selfish love. It is self-less and sacrificial.
So, as we go about our Valentine’s Day today, let’s all show some love. For some it may be Epithumia (but not the negative type, alright). I’m sure for many it will be Eros. How about Storge or Phillia? And may we all show Agape.
Love to you all and Happy Valentine’s Day.
Have you shown a little love today? If so, how?
Photo credit: Marion Trinidade