What is Agape Love?

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Heart of love by George Hodan

Heart of love by George Hodan

What is Agape Love?

I had attended a beautiful wedding ceremony at a small church in a quaint village. The bride looked radiant and the wedding party was gorgeous. The ceremony was short, yet potent. I found myself holding on to each word the minister spoke, only wishing I had brought pen and paper.

He talked on the subject of love – fitting for such a time. He discussed the three types of love – emotional, physical and spiritual. In our English language, we don’t have words for each of these and so they are lumped together. Then we fall into the error of misinterpreting love. For a marriage to survive, love must be experienced as all three of these.

I once misunderstood what it meant to love my neighbour and love my enemies. I thought it impossible to love them, say, the way I love my husband or my children. But I have learned that the love in which the Bible speaks about is agape love.

Agape love is not the physical type of love, nor is it even the emotional. But rather it is the kind of love that wishes well onto someone else. It is the type of love that does not seek revenge and find pleasure in the sorrow of someone else. Rather it is a love that prays for this person.

G.K. Chesterton wrote, “The Bible tells us to love our neighbours, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.” We need the attitude of Christ toward our neighbours and practice Christian community today.

First Corinthians 13 in the New Testament is often referred to as the “Love Chapter” and is the Scripture most read at weddings. If you want to know what love is read chapter 13:4-7:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

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Agape love is not the physical type of love, nor is it even the emotional.

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