What Is This Thing Called Love?

Text: Song of Solomon 8:6-7


I.         We use the word “love” freely today. Perhaps too freely.

            A.        I love to have another piece of cake.

            B.        Mama loves her baby.

            C.        He fell in love with her at first sight.

            D.        He loved her through fifty yeas of marriage.

            E.        I love my country.

II.        The Greek language had four words for love

            A.        Storge - This the love between members of a family.

                        1.         Referred to in the negative as unloving - Romans 1:31; II Timothy 3:3

            B.        Eros - Sexual or romantic love

                        1.         Not found in the New Testament

                        2.         It was used in the Septuagint to translate Proverbs 7:18

            C.        Philia - Brotherly love, friendship, or companionship

            D.        Agape - A devoted love, a love expressed in serving others

III.       Love seen in relationships

            A.        Love within a family

                        1.         A mother’s love - Titus 2:4

                                    a.         A strong bond - Isaiah 49:15

                        2.         A father’s love

                                    a.         David pleading for his son’s life - II Samuel 12:16

                                    b.         The father’s love toward his wayward son - Luke 15:20

                        3.         Love between in-laws - Ruth 1:16

                        4.         God intends for us to first learn about love through our family relationships. Love should strongly seen in the home and defines the home.

            B.        Love between friends

                        1.         A lasting love that endures through adversity - Proverbs 17:17

                        2.         Strength is found in friendship - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

                        3.         No greater example found than the friendship between David and Jonathan - I Samuel 20:17

                        4.         Such love is selfless - John 15:13-14

            C.        Love between Christians

                        1.         Commanded by Jesus - John 13:34-35

                        2.         Its existence shows we are following God - I John 2:9-11

                        3.         It is not just claimed, it is shown - I John 3:10-18

            D.        Love between God and the believer

                        1.         God shows us His love by making us His children - I John 3:1

                        2.         God is the source of all love and shows His love by sending His son - I John 4:7-11

                        3.         There is no fear in love - I John 4:17-19

                                    a.         So many are afraid of facing God in judgment

                                    b.         John points out the missing ingredient – we haven’t yet perfected our love for God

            E.        Love between a husband and wife

                        1.         A combination of the various types of love

                        2.         The sexual attraction, the romance, is strong, especially in the beginning.

                                    a.         It is what draws two people together and motivates them to become one in marriage

                                    b.         Hebrews 13:4 - In marriage sexual intercourse is undefiled

                                    c.         Eros is the excitement in a marriage, but it cannot sustain it

                                    d.         It is not infatuation

                                                (1)       Infatuation is when you have a mental image of your ideal mate.

                                                (2)       You meet someone who resembles your mental ideal

                                                (3)       Excitedly, you “fall in love.”

                                                (4)       But it isn’t true love because it dies over time. In its death it is either replaced by true love or the relationship dies.

                                                (5)       What happens is that as you get to know a person, you realize he or she is not as perfect as you imagined.

                                                            (a)       Either you come to love who they really are

                                                            (b)       Or you are repulsed.

                                    e.         True love takes time because it takes time to get to know someone

                                                (1)       In true love, you are aware of both a person’s assets and their flaws.

                                                (2)       You love who they are in totality

                                    f.         An infatuated person

                                                (1)       Is unaware of the flaws because they haven’t had time to get to know the person

                                                (2)       Pretends they don’t exist

                                                (3)       Pretends they don’t matter

                                                (4)       Believes he can change the person to match his ideal

                        3.         Marriage is also about companionship

                                    a.         Man was never meant to be alone - Genesis 2:18

                                    b.         Your spouse is your companion, your best friend, your confidant - Malachi 2:14 (end of the verse)

                                    c.         It is the type of love a woman is to have for her husband - Titus 2:4

                                    d.         It has to be worked on and developed.

                                    e.         Don’t settle for cheap substitutes

                        4.         Marriage is also about devotion

                                    a.         It is the ultimate expression of love - I Corinthians 13:4-8

                                    b.         Each sees the other as more important than themselves

                                    c.         Many marriages fail as the partners focus on what “I want” instead of what “we need”

                                    d.         It is not a give and take relationship.

                                                (1)       It is not “I love because my spouse loves me.”

                                                (2)       Agape love gives regardless of whether it is returned. It is not dependent on a reciprocal love.

                                    e.         It is a commitment to love no matter what happens - Song of Solomon 8:6-7

                                    f.         It is the type of love command of husbands toward their wives - Ephesians 5:25

IV.      Agape love describes God’s love for you and I - Romans 8:35-39

            A.        With such love shown for us, we become more than conquerors.

            B.        God loves you, even if you don’t return it. He sent His Son to die for you and I though we did not deserve it or asked for it.

            C.        How callous to face such love and not love Him in return.

            D.        Sadly most of the world doesn’t really love God. Oh, many mouth the words, but you can see in their deeds that the love is not there.

            E.        Will you not return His love and become His child?

            F.        God doesn’t want any perishing - II Peter 3:9, but many will. Don’t be one of the lost.

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