From the previous episode, we've learnt that We need an attraction first before falling in Love and we came to realize Agape been the greatest form of Love. Asides Agape, is there a next form of Love which is the greater than the rest? Is there a form of hierarchy in exhibiting Love?
The answer is No. Once again let's take a good look at the various forms of Love and why they are like that:
- Eros: Romance X love
- Storge: Blood X Love
- Phileo: likeness X Love
- Agape: Love X Love
We can observe that all these forms of love have a constant which is 'Love'. Agape been the greatest as seen is due to the fact that it is exhibited void of an attraction and this form of love is unidirectional (i.e loving someone irrespective of the person). So, what makes these various forms of Love seem different and unique to each other are their unique kinds of attraction. But these attractions have no constant variable which makes one greater than the other. Take for instance, a woman can love her friend (Phileo) much more than her brother (storge); a Father can love his son (Storge) much more than his own wife (Eros). So the magnitude of Love, now depends on how we work for it and sustain it.
If a guy does not cherish his wife, respect and show her kindness or even take her seriously as much as he does to his friends he meets in the bar, then he may end up growing more of Phileo to his friends than the eros to his wife. And if you want to know any secret about that man, don't ask his wife, rather ask his friends. In this case, we can then see that except Agape being the greatest, there is no constant variable which makes any other greater than the rest, but that variable now depends on how well we work to sustain the love, especially in order to become Agape.
Love in friendship
We have been discussing about working for love, sustaining Love, doing all we can to make it attain the Agape status, this may begin to seem tiring and a kind of difficult task or project to do. One may get scared on the magnitude of efforts needed just to love someone and be with the person forever here on earth. Is it really difficult?
The answer is an absolute NO! Love is meant to be enjoyed and when we say we work for it, it doesn't mean we have to be 100% conscious of it all the time, it just flows and the joy that comes with it makes us get even more intoxicated in it. But as easy as this may seem, Love has to be propagated in one format in order to enjoy in this heavenly blessing. And what is that format? Friendship!
It is said that the best form of marriage is one which began from friendship, then courtship and then finally, the marriage itself. It is also said that marriage which stays intact and happy is due to the fact that the love birds stay as friends. Even a father to son relationship works at best if they are friends and also put into consideration any form of relationship. A boss-subordinate relationship functions better and has better efficiency if they are friends. There is always an element of the unofficial, even in an official relationship and the better the unofficial, the better the official.
Most interestingly, even God Himself needs a friend. After saving us from our sins, He wants us to be friends with Him. Working in the vane yard of the Lord entails more of working with Him and not for Him. John 15: 14 "You are my friends if you do what I command."
Isaiah 41: 8 "But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend,"
God's negotiation with Abraham on the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genese 18: 16-33) Indicates two friends interacting and
Isaiah 1: 18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."
All these Bible verses indicate one thing: "Even God, in Agape Love wants a friend" So, why friendship?
Agape Is the greatest
but friendship is the most needed
Asides Agape, friendship is the purest form of Love with absolutely no strings attached. Two friends consider themselves as mates irrespective of their differences and backgrounds and they exhibit their qualities and character without the fear of rejection. They do not act towards each other to impress, but rather act naturally according to how they value themselves.
Take for instance in Agape, God wants us to truly love Him and if we do so, it will not be difficult to follow in his precepts. God is not overbearing and whatever He asks us to do is for our own good. But some Christians are believers today because of the fear of Hell fire and not because they truly love God, this suppose not to be so. When you love Him, serving Him becomes easier and fun. He wants to relate with us, commune with us and this is better achieved if we are His friends.
Love in marriage whereby the Husband and wife are friends results to a happy and everlasting marriage, because despite the romance, both parties are transparent and completely original to each other. This speeds up the intertwining of both souls as they connect and if this is the case, who can ever separate such a couple? So also in blood relationship be it parent to children or sibling to sibling. Here are some friendship and love quotes which will help summarize the three episodes of this series so far:
- Love is not a feeling, it is a personality...... Funom Theophilus Makama
- It is a rare blessing of friendship to enjoy stupidity together...... Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Friends are relatives you make for yourself........ Eustache Deschamp
- A good friend is cheaper than therapy...... Chinese proverb
- Friendship that can cease has never been real..... Saint Jerome
- Agape is the greatest, but friendship is the most needed...... Funom Theophilus Makama
- A good friend of my son is a son to me... Lois Mcmaster Bujold; Provs 27: 10
- I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light...... Helen Keller.
- It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship which makes unhappy marriages..... Friedrich Nietzsche.
- Protect not yourself by a fence; but rather by your friends..... Czech proverb.
- The best gossips are a couple in Love...... Funom Theophilus Makama.
- There is always an element of the unofficial, even in an official relationship and the better the unofficial, the better the official- by Funom Makama.
So, in summary, which ever form of relationship we find ourselves, we should propagate the love in friendship and we will see how easy going, sweet, interesting, joyful and effective it will be. Up next is Agape Love which is the greatest form of Love.
(c) 2013, Infobarrel.com
Funom Theophilus Makama
22nd. July. 2013
Biblical Love Psychology
the paperback copy
Amazon Price: $12.45 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 30, 2016)
Biblical Love Psychology is the product of the understanding of the word of God from the Bible and as well the practical application of its Psychology; hence it is easily applicable and understandable irrespective of your belief. Lots of emphasis hits on Love itself, breaking it down into its stages, forms and levels and trying to differentiate these various stages of Love as distinct units. Take for instance, Love can be viewed in two categories, the horizontal (Man to man) and the vertical (God to man) and we will understand that The horizontal (Man to Man) exists with an initial step: THE ATTRACTION! But the vertical has no attraction in its initial phase because God loved us while we were yet sinners, doomed to die. This attraction could be blood (blood relations), romance (eros) or compatibility in likeness (Phileo-friendship).
This Book has explained explicitly the significance of the attraction, independent of Love (despite going hand in hand). It did not stop there, it is vivid in elaborating Love itself which is a deeper level and a soul to soul connect which is in by no means same as the initial step (the attraction). Despite all these wonderful revelations about Love, why do we have failed relationships today? Why are marriages not lasting up to 30 years as it used to be? Why do parents disown their children? Why are relationships so shallow, insignificant and treated like high-school courses where they come and go? A typical or an average young lady in her mid-20s should have experienced a minimum of 7 failed relationships in her life, is this supposed to be so? What about Love application to other phenomena such as material things, Money, Animals, what can we say about this? Despite the vertical kind of Love (God to man) being the AGAPE Love, does that mean man cannot exhibit this Agape? When a person adopts a child, this has definitely by-passed any form of attraction, because despite not being their blood (the attraction), the person adopts and loves this child, can we consider this Agape?
All these questions will be thoroughly answered and as well some doctrinal controversies such as: the doctrine of Hell (is it necessary since God loved us without any form of attraction?), the doctrine of the trinity, and the justification of disowning a child from the fact there is Hell, despite (God) showing us such immense love and many more issues.
So, as much as this basic psychological issue of Love is coming from the foundation of the Bible, it is applicable to everyone. I may not believe in Buddhism, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying any Buddhist Movie and even learn from it. There are lots of principles we can apply from this book into our love-relationships irrespective of our beliefs, so try to read it.
On a final note, we should be cautioned that this Book is not a relationship manual. This is far from it. This book is about Love and solely about Love, of which if we understand its basic principles can be applied to any form of relationships. Psychological tools like the Love graph, the perfect square formula are used to explicitly elaborate Love Psychology. Also, science is brought into the picture for us, to a large extent use critical thinking for the justification of the existence of God. If somewhere in our subconscious we believe in His existence, then we will appreciate the Agape Love better.
ENJOY READING BIBLICAL LOVE PSYCHOLOGY!