Real Or Selfish Love: Which Is It?
By Joy Knepp
January 1, 2010
New Year Greetings!
I hope you all had a blessed Christmas, surrounded with your loved ones, celebrating the birthday of Jesus! In pondering on Jesus' birth, His Life on earth, His death, and then His glorious Resurrection, I have to wonder, how much do we understand about love? Yes, I know we claim to know it's meaning, but do we really?
About a year ago I was made aware of how little I knew about love when I heard a man teaching on it. I believe that our marriages and churches would be totally different, if we could all grasp the real meaning of love.
In the Greek culture they had more then one word to describe love. That might be kinda confusing, but think of all the different kinds of horses; for instance, there's Draft horses, halflingers, ponies, etc. They're different, yet in the same family, right? Well, it's the same way with love.
The two words I'm going to be talking about are Eros and Agape. Agape could be simply described as ''God's love'' and Eros as ''love with a hook''. Agape is a pure, unconditional love and Eros is self-pleasing. Agape is placing others above ourselves, loving them simply because that's how Jesus taught us to love, without any thought of ''what's in it for me?''. It's what Jesus' whole ministry on earth was about. Eros is all about me, it's an insatiable need for people to love me. Proverbs 29:25 says, 'The fear of man (people-pleasing) bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.
Honestly, how do we feel about people that go around doing things for us just to earn our friendship? Usually, instead of loving them, we feel kinda like their slave and their gifts and good deeds are a lot like a ball and chain.
So we wives need to search ourselves and see what our core motive is. When I do something for my husband, is it truly pure, ''just to make you happy'' (Agape) love or is it, ''I'll do this for him so he does so & so for me'' (Eros)?
When we operate in the Eros mind-set, we do nothing unless it holds potential of me getting something in return. My husband says when I do things for him just to get something back, he can sense it right away and it takes his desire away to do what l want him to do. It gives him the feeling that he'd better do what I want or he's in the doghouse!
The last part of 1 John 4:16 could be translated like this, ''God is Agape; and he that dwelleth in Agape dwelleth in God, and God in him.'' Agape is what Salvation is all about, it's about laying our life down for the good of another.
It's hard to grasp that an act of love could actually be selfish and wrong, but take into consideration what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, especially verse 3. ''Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though l give my body to be burned, and have not charity (Agape) it profiteth me nothing.'' It's hard to grasp that we can do so many wonderful things and still be wrong. Right?
Another trait of Agape is that we don't have to earn it, as we can see in Romans 5:8, ''But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.'' As a matter of fact, there's absolutely NO WAY we can earn God's love because He already loved us before we loved Him.
When we go to Wal-Mart and my husband steps up and pays the bill I would be a rather strange person to go try to pay it again. Right? So, we need to consider God's love for us a done deal and live our life BECAUSE of that love and not FOR it!
I want to challenge each one of you ladies, if you haven't been doing this, start Agape loving your dear husbands. It might bring some dynamite results if they're not used to it!!
Talk to you next time! Love, Joy
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