I feel like I need to delve a little deeper into this thing called love, and because there is no end to the process of “renewing my mind”, I would say that this is as much for you as it is for me.
For a good chunk of my teen to adult years, I found the concept of love baffling. I was stuck in a warped reality with constructs that made it okay, or rather normal to lessen myself or almost disappear to receive love. There were heaps of conditions I had to meet to prove my worth, and these conditions never benefited me. I was always in the red. Depleted, yet hanging on for dear life.
I related with love with a small mind, and this small mindedness was the 4×4 box in which I handled relational affairs. My heart received massive beatings, yet in my mind I was the one that needed to fix up, to be worthy of better. I had it all figured out, and I had mastered the art of floating through it. That is until all the air was sucked out, and my beautifully furnished box became a death trap.
My romanticized idea of love came crashing down because I had made an idol out of it, and God in his infinite mercies stepped in, turned me upside down, shook me up and stood me right up. When the swirling stars from the ruckus settled, I stepped forward and knocked on a door I had been too afraid to open.
You see, my erogenous zones were the headlights in my search for love, and so I substituted eternal love with human (brotherly/erotic) love. In the state I was in, I would liken my understanding of love to a sand castle, adorned with pillars that held up the farce but could not carry the weight of what I yearned for, and what I really needed — the for God so loved the world (me) that he gave, type of love. The love that gave to an unruly, rotten, selfish, disobedient, ungrateful, jaundiced world (me). The perfect love that gave for an imperfect world (me).
Now even though the type of love the Greek call phileo — brotherly love, ardent affection or impulsive feeling, and eros — sexual, erotic love or desire have their place, they both fall short, and are just not enough. Unfortunately as was my case, phileo and eros arouse our senses, and because we can feel, see, touch, smell and hear them in varied forms of expression, they become the shifty foundation and faux pillars we stake our lives on.
Rude awakening. Phileo is comforting until life happens, and eros is fun until boredom sets in. I almost killed myself, building forever on a shaky foundation, one that never even had the chance to stand the tests of time.
But here is my gospel. I knocked, and God is love answered. I sought and agape was revealed to me. Can I be honest with you though? It really wasn’t all frills, because the idea of agape messed me up for a while. It messed me up because it did not fit into any human construct. It annoyed me that I could not be analytical with it, dissect it or peel its layers down to its bulb. I just had to believe, and what was harder than believing, was receiving.
Today the journey continues. I still have to approach God’s love with the same awe, as though it is my first time. I have to intentionally position my mind to align with this revelation of love, because out of it flows every good thing about me. It guides how I relate, how I see, how I understand and how I respond. Like I have to sit in it, roll around in it, bathe in it and put the whole weight of my faith on it, to live it out daily.
So my question is, who and what in the phileo and eros are you looking to, or chasing after to give you God (love ‘agape’)?
Happy monyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay lovelies!
Awesome breakdown. And so true about how difficult it is to comprehend “agape” love. Indeed it does not fit into any human construct. It is so difficult to understand the concept of unconditional unending love and each day with God is a new experience in learning just how far, wide, and deep His love is.
Masterful piece!! Even the most esteemed Apostle Paul could not have done a better job, dissecting this subject, within such contemporaneous context.
Such an excellent sequel to last Monyay’s thought provoking piece. 👋👋👋
I always look forward to reading and digesting your Monday piece. It helps, ‘inter alia’, set the tone of my day and week.
Thank a ton for being such a huge blessing, and an integral part of my week. Much appreciated.
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wow! this means so much to me! Thank you for pushing me to think deeper! xo