The New Testament Bible was written in Greek. The Greek language has three basic words that are translated as love: agape—God’s unconditional love, phileo—brotherly love, and eros—the sensual, physical love.
Most adults have had an experience that they call love, but have you ever fallen in love? Falling is defined as suddenly dropping from an upright position. Therefore if you have fallen in love, you might want to ask God to give you the ability to stand up again.
If someone hits you in the head hard enough, it is likely you will fall. If someone pushes you hard enough in the chest, it is likely you will fall. If someone knocks your feet from underneath you, it is almost certain you will fall. For most of us falling is not the preferred state we wish to find ourselves, so why do we want to fall in love? When we truly understand what love is, we discover the feeling we enjoyed when we thought we fell in love wasn’t really love at all, but rather infatuation.
Have you ever been around that special person and felt an intense rush? Perhaps you find it difficult to stop smiling when you are in that person’s presence or maybe you find it hard to concentrate. You know you are infatuated when you feel like one plus one equals everything and two minus one equals nothing. The feeling that life is everything with that person and nothing without them is a definite sign of infatuation. Infatuation is an unreliable emotion because it is like quicksand — the more you’re in it, the deeper you sink. Infatuation has reasons that defy reason. The woman who is infatuated may ignore the fact that the man she has feelings for is married. The man who is infatuated may ignore the fact that the woman he has feelings for is young enough to be his daughter. If we are willing to stand up, God can reveal to us that love is more than just a feeling you fall in to.
In order to get a better understanding of what love really is, it’s important to note the New Testament Bible was written in Greek. The Greek language has three basic words that are translated as love: agape—God’s unconditional love, phileo—brotherly love, and eros—the sensual, physical love.
Infatuation sometimes expresses its self erotically, especially when the involved parties spend intimate time with one another. Erotic love with no boundaries seeks sexual pleasure that if you are fortunate will make your head shiver and your toes quiver. Although phileo may express itself through physical affection, it is not sexual. Phileo is the warm feeling you have for a friend or family member you care deeply for. Agape is the highest form of love and it expresses the very nature of God because God is love. Agape is neither sensual like eros nor emotional like phileo it expresses itself independently of any feelings. You are expressing agape when you are kind, considerate, giving, and compassionate despite your feelings. If a man finds out the woman he cares for has an ongoing erotic relationship with another man, what should he do? If he is thoughtful and gives her the space to work out her issues, he is expressing agape. If a woman finds out that the man she is infatuated with only has feelings of phileo toward her, what should she do? If she allows her feelings to mature into an attitude of kindness and patience, she is learning agape.
Have you ever been so excited about the intense feelings in your relationship that you wished it would move faster? If the answer is yes, your infatuation needs to have a head on collision with agape. The person who is infatuated often has an idealized view of their partner, but just as the new car scent wears off of a brand new car, so shall time take its toll on the person you’re infatuated with. It is inevitable that you will discover the person you think you love is not perfect. What will you do if you marry the person and discover the hair and teeth you thought were real really aren’t?
Agape does not look for a perfect person, but loves the imperfect person perfectly. God allows us to fall in love and feel the powerful emotion of infatuation not so that we would stop there, but so that we would move on to the mature love called agape. Will you continue to fall down in infatuation or ask God to help you stand up in agape?