Give Me A Higher Love

Give Me A Higher Love

I am old enough to remember Steve Winwood singing, “Bring me a higher love!  Where’s this higher love I keep thinking of?”  Would you like a “higher love” in your family?  And what would this “higher love” look like?

In English, we have one word for “love” and it means a lot of things, from how we feel about pizza to what leads a person to die for someone else.  The ancient Greeks had four key words for love, including one word for a “higher love.”

“Eros” described a biological longing.  Sexual desire was “eros.”  The “love” of “eros” sees people as objects to satisfy my desire. “Storge” referred to the kinship that ties families together.  “Philia” was “friendship” built on common interests or shared experiences. “Agape” was the word for a higher love  that seeks the interests of others, whether they deserve it or not, without counting the cost.  It is the word that the New Testament uses to describe the love we have from God in Christ.

Which love are you seeking and cultivating in your heart, your life, and your family?

We live in a culture that bombards us with “eros” in ads, over the radio and online, in TV programming, movies, fashion, etc.  We and our children are encouraged to seek and express “eros” in all kinds of ways that are outside God’s design.  And the result is not good: the grip of porn, sexual promiscuity, unwanted pregnancies, abortion, the emptiness of sex without commitment, the normalization of deviant sexuality, etc.

In America, “storge” or “family love” is huge.  The best thing we can say about a man at his funeral is “he really loved his family.”  Many moms are driven by the desire to be super-moms to their kids.  We cherish our camping trips, vacations, and holidays with the kids. We knock ourselves out to help our kids thrive on the sports fields or in the classroom.  Many families seek to build their lives on family love, neglecting the love of God in Christ to their spiritual and eternal harm.  However, not even “storge” love is doing all that well when we see the problems and disfunction plaguing so many families.

“Philia” love is also cherished in our culture.  We love being part of “Spartan nation” fandom, coffee time with our “moms” group, hanging out with buddies, and interacting on Facebook. But if the “philia” love that is built on commonality is what we focus on, how much will we care about or desire to help those who are different from us- maybe even in our own families?

There is a higher love, and the Bible says about it, “This is how we know what love (agape) is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1 John 3:16)  You and your family are loved by God with the highest love of all.  God loves you and keeps loving you despite the face that we are all sinners.  The goal of his love is and always will be about what is best for you- ultimately your salvation.  He was so committed to you and your eternal welfare that he laid down his life as payment for your sins at the cross.  He remains just as committed to you today, including giving you the power to show that same selfless, committed love in your family.

Seek and cultivate the higher love in your family by regularly reading and hearing God’s Word.  Our current Sunday Bible Class (9:15 a.m.) is about expressing Christ’s love for each other in our church family and has a lot of applications to how we express Christ’s love in our blood families.  I pray that you be able to come and benefit from this study.

God’s blessings to you and your family in God’s amazing love in Christ!