"Ooohh! I love that new hairstyle!" "I love this car!" The ancient Greeks had several different words to describe the variations love can take. In the English language, however, there exists only a single word: love. In today's society, the word "love" is a commonly used term. People utilize the word love to express a feeling of admiration or approval when they see something they like. But love is so much deeper than feelings. Love has the power to save. Love is the way to peace and happiness. Love is God.
In the Bible, the three types of love mentioned are storge, phila and agape. There is also another type, eros, which is alluded to but not mentioned in the Bible.
Storge is the love present between family members. Most commonly, it is the tenderness seen from a parent to a child. Many examples of storge exist in the Bible. Jacob and his sons, for example, and Martha, Mary and Lazurus express their love for each other in this form.
Eros, which is not directly mentioned in the Bible, is the love found between two people in a marriage. It is used for reproduction and emotional and spiritual bonding. It is forbidden outside of matrimony.
The Bible portrays this type of love in the Song of Songs. Eros is the type of love often displayed in Hollywood productions. The influence of this mass media too often distorts the societal image of what love is.
Phila is love in the form of a close friendship. It can be seen in the relationship between several of the 12 disciples and in members of a church. Phila is the root word for Philadelphia, or the "city of brotherly love."
Agape is the most powerful kind of love. It is the love for which God gave up his son to save all of humanity and the love with which Jesus died on the cross to liberate mankind from sin and death. Most people have a few individuals they would sacrifice themselves for, but Jesus died for EVERYONE. It did not matter to him that we were stumbling in sin and self-pity. He loves us so much that he accomplished the impossible. He saved humanity from death.
In my own life, love expresses itself in many ways. I see it in my family, my friends, my mentors and my community.
Many families I know personally have chosen to foster children in need of a loving home. One family has provided several foster children with a safe haven and enjoyable memories. Another adopted six orphaned children and is raising them alongside their own young ones.
Everyone, no matter how much sin surrounds them, is capable of receiving and giving love. All that is needed is the courage to express it not only to our nearest and dearest but also to reach out and brighten the lives of others.
Kristen Ceglowski is a senior at Williston High School.