Ways of Excellence

Practical wisdom to help you to excel in life.

True Love

We all have our different definitions of what True Love is. So many songs have been written about this topic.

To you True Love might be finding Mr. Right or Mrs. Perfect to spend the rest of your life with. To another person, true love could mean something else entirely.

But what exactly is true love? To answer that question, we have to first examine what love is.

What is LOVE ? The several definitions from my Google search sums up Love as “ having a deep passion or affection for another”.

The Ancient Greek Philosophers in their pursuit and quest for wisdom studied Love. The result from their study on Love helps us to better understand and know about the different types Love.

According to Ancient Greek Philosophers, the 8 different types of love are:

1 Eros or Erotic Love – Focuses on sexual passion and desires for another.

2.Phylia or Affectionate Love – This is the type of Love felt between friends, free of sexual desires and attraction.

3.Storge or Familiar Love – Best exemplified by the type of Love parents and their children share.

4.Ludus or Playful Love – Involves flirting and sensual affection for another.  Best exemplified by the love between new young lovers or newly weds.

5. Mania or Obsessive Love – Best exemplified by a possessive and jealous lover. One too many movies have been made about this kind of love. This is the crazy kind of love that drives people over the edge. Think obsessive possessive boyfriend, or the crazy obsessive ex that can bear the see his ex-wife or ex-girlfriend with another person.  

6. Pragma (Enduring Love) – Best exemplified by happily married couples that have survived stormy periods in their marriage and have still remained happily married for a long time.

Another example of Pragma love is great friendships that have stood the test of time. Oprah and Gayle come to mind.

7.Philautia (Self Love) – Can be good/healthy when it involves taking care of one’s self so you can properly take care of others. It also involves having a healthy high self-esteem.

Unhealthy self-love involves having an inflated sense of one’s status. Thinking just about ones self and needs with no concern for the needs of others. Think greedy corrupt politicians in certain countries who place their personal agendas above that of the greater good and the people they were elected to serve.

8. Agape Love (Selfless Love / Unconditional Love) – C.S Lewis describes it this way:

“Agape Love is the highest form of love known to humanity. A selfless love that is passionately committed to the well-being of others.”

Agape Love is divine. This is love in its purest form because it originates from God. This type of love accepts and loves us just as we are.

This type of love is spiritual because  “It comes from God above”1 John 4:7 Nirv

Agape Love is the kind of love God has for mankind. Christians are also called to love others with this type of Love.

This song by Cory Asbury describes God’s Agape love perfectly:

Agape Love is True Love because it is unconditional – there are no strings attached whatsoever. It does not love you less when you are at your worst, nor does it love you more when you are at your best. Agape love always remains constant.

Here are a few additional characteristics of Agape Love:

  1. Forgiving  – This type of love is a love of many chances. In fact this type of love tells us to forgive those that wrong us  innumerable times. Not because it makes what they have done to us right, but because it will set us free and give us peace.

This is the kind of forgiveness God has extended to all of mankind. The debt we owe God can never be repaid with 1 billion good deeds of ours. God – who is Agape love personified knew this and chose to satisfy that outstanding debt himself because he loves us unconditionally and selflessly.

He did this by sending his beloved son  – Jesus Christ to take human form and come pay the ultimate and only price that covers ALL of our sins (Past, Present and Future sins).

Jesus paid that ultimate price over 2000 years ago.

But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly!

And there is still much more to say of his unfailing love for us! For through the blood of Jesus we have heard the powerful declaration, “You are now righteous in my sight.” And because of the sacrifice of Jesus, you will never experience the wrath of God. 10 So if while we were still enemies, God fully reconciled us to himself through the death of his Son, then something greater than friendship is ours. Now that we are at peace with God, and because we share in his resurrection life, how much more we will be rescued from sin’s dominion. Romans 5:8-10

(Agape) love covers all wrongs – Pro 10:12

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 

Agape Love is not a license to go around doing whatever you like. Yes this kind of love is very forgiving. But there are always consequences to our actions. That’s a Universal Law!

2. Fearless – Picture a house on fire, the parents have managed to escape but there is still a child left in the house. Love for that child will cause the parents to go get the child in the burning house with absolutely no consideration for what might happen to them.

The fear factor is removed in Agape because we know we are loved perfectly by God just as we are. When we miss the mark and sin against him. We repent and know by faith that we are forgiven 100%.

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12

3. Permanent – This type of love is not temporary. It lasts one’s lifetime and beyond.

“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. Jeremiah 31:3

4. Sacrificial – This type of love will give you its very best because it is a selfless type of love.

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. John 3:16

Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

5. Kind and Merciful – This type of love is compassionate, full of kindness to self and others and it shows mercy.

But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15

As a matter of fact you cannot forgive a wrong done to you where mercy is not present.

The God of the universe is AGAPE LOVE. God is AGAPE LOVE personified. This is why this type of love comes from above and is spiritual.

We are created in the image and likeness of God. The seeds of Agape Love are already on the inside of us. We are all capable of loving one another this way. Reading scriptures on what Agape Love is truly like is a great starting point. This will help you to understand this type of love better. You can type Love in the search function here (Bible Gateway) to pull up all the scriptures on love in the bible.

Paul in his letter to the Corinthians perfectly summarizes what Agape in action looks like in 1 Cor. 13 4-8 AMPC. Since God is Agape Love personified, these are also the attributes of God.

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].Love never fails

The passage above also serves as a great affirmation. I find myself going back to it periodically on days when I find myself struggling in my love walk or when I see my love walk weakening.

I replace the word love in the passage with my name so it reads:

(Yinka) is patient and kind.  (Yinka) is not envious nor does she boil over with jealousy…..

I meditate on this periodically to keep my love-walk strong.

In conclusion, Agape Love is the highest from of love and the truest form of love. It is spiritual yet manifests itself in so many physical ways. It just never stops loving, nor does it ever stop giving.

For a minute, picture what our society would look like if we all practiced and walked in Agape Love daily. Society will be a much better place than it is today.

Are you searching for true love? Agape Love, God’s kind of love is the answer to your search. Once you know and believe that you are truly and deeply loved by the God of the universe, the one who created you, only then are you able to love others fully and in a healthy manner.

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