The Love Question by Robert Socha
“What’s love got to do, got to do with it?”
In an energetic style only Tina Turner can bring, she begs to answer the question about love. But it seems to me that she misses the point. She submits to the “feeling” and emotional aspect of it but ignores the best components: perseverance, patience, kindness, gentleness, faith, and hope.
These arduous times demand revival that the most remarkable aspect of the human condition is the ability to love. Love, unconditional love, is a choice.
One of the English language’s challenges is adequately expressing the heart’s true intentions where love is concerned. The Greeks had no less than seven words to express love’s various forms. Let us consider these three: eros (erotic), phileo (brotherly), agape (unconditional, eternal).
First, we have the erotic. Hollywood and the popular culture it evokes paints love’s culmination as the penultimate erotic fantasy that morphs into a happily-ever-after. The idea that we must tolerate hedonistic variants of debauchery as acceptable is anathema to eros’s ordained purpose. This unfortunate characterization is lacking because these passionate encounters’ fleeting pleasure is typically short-lived as its foundation is on feeling and emotion. Once those have become accustomed, boredom tends to set in breeding division and separation. This love can only find itself an enduring home in the honorable institution of traditional marriage.
Second, we have the brotherly. Philadelphia derives its roots from this form of love evoking its tagline, “The city of brotherly love.” Here we have neighbor helping neighbor, friends dropping everything to the assistance of one in need, desire for one’s happiness and success. Brotherly love is the beautiful ability to walk through life together, lift each other’s spirits, and encourage one another with songs, hymns, and spiritual songs.
Third, we have agape; unconditional love. What does this mean, unconditional? Consider the well-known scripture, John 3:16:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
This magnificent appeal is the culmination of the Gospel narrative. In his sinful state, man has an advocate through the Son, who shed His blood on the Cross, that we might have forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by Faith. This love finds its manifestation in penitence.
Consider the Biblical account of Peter’s denial of Jesus in his most desperate moment. Peter must have felt significant remorse and shame for failing Christ mere hours after he declared his devotion to the death. The Lord’s response is magnificent in John 21:15-17.
“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”
The hidden secret in this passage is the Greek words for love used. The first two times Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him, he uses the form of agape; unconditional. Peter’s reply is phileo; brotherly. The third time Jesus asks Peter, “do you love me,” he asks phileo. Peter replied, “you know that I love (phileo) you.”
Here we see how God Himself will watch over us and draw us to repentance by meeting us at our level and helping us come to Jesus, either for the first time or for return.
May we be God’s mouthpiece, hands, and feet, extending the invitation, “do you love Me.”
About the Author
Robert Socha, BIO Robert Socha (so-ha), was born in southern California. He served 5 years 3 months active duty in the United States Air Force; honorably. After his service he took an Associate’s Degree in Practical Theology, where, through his studies, developed a deep love of God and Country and sincere appreciation of the value of Liberty. Robert and his beloved wife of 21-plus years are raising 4 beautiful Texan children. They moved to Hillsdale, Michigan, in 2013, to put their children in Hillsdale Academy. Robert is a sales professional. He and his wife consider Michigan a hidden gem, and absolutely love this city and state (current political environment notwithstanding) they’ve adopted.