The Four Types of Love


Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations, love without conditions. In English, the word love means many different things, such as, “I love you” and “I love eating pizza or going to the gym.” Ancient Greek had four words to describe the range of meaning that the word love conveys. In Christianity, unconditional love is thought to be part of the Four Loves, affection, friendship, eros, and charity.

The Four Loves in the Greek:

  1. Storge love is empathy bond, affection between family members, shown by a parent for a child. 
  2. Philia love is friend bond. Love between friends “love of fellow man”. Warm affection shared between friends.
  3. Eros is erotic bond, used to express sexual love or the feelings of arousal that are shared between a man and a woman who are physically attracted to one another and married to each other. It is the gift of God to married couples to express their love for one another, strengthen the bond between them, and ensure the survival of the human race. The Bible devotes the book of Song of Solomon to the blessings of erotic, sexual love. In marriage, it takes eros, philia, and agape love to have a strong marriage relationship.
  4. Agape is the self-sacrificing love. This is the love that moves people into action and looks out for the well being of others, no matter the cost. Biblically speaking, agape is the love God showed to His people in sending His Son, Jesus, to die for their sins. It is the love that focuses on the will, not the emotions, experience. This is the love Jesus commands His disciples to show toward each other. In Romans 5:8 Paul tells us that God’s love for His people was made manifest in that, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
  5. Advice for all of the above relationships: Love as Jesus loves you. Read God’s Word and pray each day for your family and friends. Love them, accept them, and respect them. Remember that God has a purpose for each one for their life. Each one has mainly two of the four temperaments combined, if not, the four at different levels. They are: “melancholy” (the artist and thinker type); “choleric” (the born leader); “sanguine” (life of the party); “phelgmatic” (the relaxed introvert). It is important to do a study on the four temperaments to better understand yourself and others. However, the most important goal for all four temperaments for believers in Jesus is Galatians 5:22-23 that sums up nine attributes of a Christian life, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Also add humor and laughter each day. Make it a fun time when you are together. And don’t forget to encourage and praise them as needed. Hope this helps put some understanding of yourself and of others into perspective. Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

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