I have heard many messages about love over the years but recently…wow…I heard something good. The Greek language has five different words to cater for the different kinds of love yet the English language has only one. No wonder it often seems that the word love has been misused and over used. The five words are:
- Storge – familial love
- Phileo – friendship
- Eros – excessive self-love (narcissism), romance, sexual
- Epithumia – physical attraction
- Agape – God’s unconditional love
The one that has remained with me is Storge. This is the most basic form of love but many of us don’t even understand it. It is a comfortable, relaxed, natural relationship love that gives a sense of belonging and develops loyalty. It is the source of emotional stability because it gives a steady inner love fullness and complete comfort. It is so simple, uncomplicated and so unspectacular that many ignore it. It creates common values and purpose to meet shared needs. It is driven by a deep sense of mutuality and oneness like nothing else.
It caught my attention because I understood many things in a blink.
This is the kind of love we should receive in our home and families and is the reality of who we are. We are a reflection of the family we grew up in and the marriage our parents had. As I have reflected on my understanding of storge, I remember listening to conversations among the older generation this last week. I remember I kept hearing undertones about how they were raised and I could see a lot of it in how they raised us. Some of them had really hard lives while other had simpler lives. Each one has turned out different because of their interactions. Anyway I digress.
In an instant I could see how I became who I am and the changes that have been points of healing for me. I could see what I lacked growing up and how God made up for it through relationships I have now that are family and strength. I found how he gave me a heart for giving regardless of whether I get anything back because He provided ways to refill my tank even in very dry seasons and places.
God in His wisdom knew that I would need some compensating and He put in the right compensatory measures in place before I even knew I needed it. I remember the time I was dealing with inner insecurities that no one could see and one conversation with Papa C was all I needed to get my focus right. It was an assurance of unchanging love in a dimension I could never really explain. I had just barred my soul with all my shenanigans, and they were baaadddd, and I was scare that he would be disappointed and wouldn’t want to call me his own (yeah, they were that bad). His comment were simple, ‘If that is what you think you don’t know God and definitely don’t know me.’
Was he excusing my madness? No! He was making it clear that he didn’t like what I had done but his love for me as his little girl was unchanged. He made sure I was growing and dealing and changing so thoroughly that I wouldn’t go back to that madness but the madness didn’t make him shun me as many would have or even love me less. Talking about it took away the power of the madness and enabled me to be accountable and overcome.
In that moment, I know I was accepted as I am and I don’t have to spend time being like or competing with others for his attention. I realised that my sisters and b
I finally understood….
“Life ceases to be a competition when are loved.’