I lifted a large laundry hamper into my shopping cart from the home goods department of a box store.
“I bought one of those and my husband and I love it.” A woman shopper I had never met, smiled at me. “You will too!”
I’ll never forget those words. Years later, I think about her remark when I empty the hamper she enthused over.
Talk about love.
She didn’t mean—Lay down your life for another—kind of love. She simply meant, like. She enjoyed the article that fit nicely in her home and matched her décor.
The hamper, being an inanimate object, couldn’t feel love. Couldn’t be loved. Not in the true sense of the word.
In our English language, love is used to mean a variety of things. I love my husband, children, parents, grandchildren, dog, pizza, chocolate, coffee, some movies and books, and my house. You get the idea.
The Greek language uses seven words for love. Pragma—committed, compassionate, family-building kind of love.
Philia—intimate, authentic friendship.
Eros—lust, passion, pleasure.
Agápe—empathic universal sacrificial, the unconditional love God has for His children.
God Agápes us. We will never achieve that kind of love on this side of heaven, but we can try. As close as I can fathom this kind of love—a parent that would gladly give their life for their child and those in the military or an officer of the law who is willing to put their lives on the line for others.
This kind of love is special and the majority of mankind cannot feel the depth of Agápe, nor understand it. God’s love is unconditionally sacrificial. He gave himself. He died for you and me. He died in our place. Think about that. No other would willingly die for all of mankind in an agonizing brutal death, as Jesus Christ suffered for you and me. Have you trusted Christ as your sacrificial payment for your sin so you can go to heaven?
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16 NKJV). But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8 NKJV).
Also, I think we should use the word like instead of love. Unless we mean, love. I, really really, like chocolate and coffee but frankly, I’d never die for a cup of joe. I do love my family and I would die for them and gladly take their place if I could.
I think I’ll go empty my cute laundry hamper and think about how I can try to show real Agápe to my husband.