The lights flicker from green to blue to red in the living room. The star sparkles up high as the decorations spin around in all their glory. Glitter sprinkles onto the floor as someone touches the sides of the round ball hanging from the red ribbon. The music starts off softly with a deep, gentle voice, ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…’ Ah, Michael Buble.
Now I know it is really beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
I couldn’t help but think of the year we have had so far. Then I was reminded that Christmas is all about coming together with your loved ones to celebrate God’s love he has for us, and for his indescribable gift to us all, Jesus Christ.
Love - the simple word
You have probably heard the saying ‘love is love’ running around, specifically within the past few months. However, although this predictable saying for the left-winged thinkers has corrupted people all over the world, ironically, there are actually eight different meanings to love.
Yes, the saying ‘love is love’ is true, however that is the equivalent of saying a bird is a bird, or a tree is a tree–captain obvious strikes again. But I would like to think, believe, and have a little more hope in the people of Australia that they would know that love is a little more than just a word or a phrase.
Love is a simple word, with such a broad variety of meanings hidden within it. Almost every song you listen to is based on love in some way. Love is what we fight for. Ever heard the saying, ‘In the name of love’? For centuries, we have defeated evil with love, we have conquered with love, fought for love, protected for love, and the list goes on. But what has happened to it now?
Corruption of love
Our society has corrupted love, along with its meaning and true form of what God intended it to be. Popular culture and the media have twisted love so much so that it is a rare circumstance that love is identified with its true meaning.
The media has for a long time turned the true meaning of love into an artificial love, a manufactured love, a material love, a self-love, and a beyond selfish love. It is a battle for children to grow up in this society we now know, without being hammered with expectations of what to love and how to love.
We have been suffocated under the blanket of idolised love and corrupted love, which has affected generations and their idea of love. We have been convinced into thinking that we know best, that we know what love or true love is. But we really have no idea at all.
The eight loves
I am fascinated by the Ancient Greeks. In their pursuit of understanding themselves, they found eight different names for love, along with different meanings. These eight types of love include; Eros, Philia, Storge, Ludus, Mania, Pragma, Philautia, and Agape. However, I am mainly interested in three of them in particular; Storge (familiar love), Pragma (enduring love), and Agape (selfless, unconditional love).
Storge love is usually found within the familiar or memories that we love. When I was a young girl, I loved the smell of my mum’s perfume and my dad’s cologne. Whenever I stayed over at a friend’s house and I felt homesick, I would smell my shirt, which was usually covered in my parent’s scent, and would instantly feel better. It comforted me, because it was familiar to me.
Pragma love is enduring love, which often comes in the form of long-term relationships; marriage, friendships, or families. Pragma love in my life plays heavily with my relationship with my family. We stick together, and together is how we will stay.
Agape love is selfless, unconditional love, in which one loves with no boundaries of love. This one sounds a lot like how God is with his children. God continually shows me how much he loves me. His love is an unconditional, sacrificial love with which he gave everything to save us.
The truth of love
What I found in my research of the Ancient Greek love’s was that God was featured in each and every one of them. God is my familiar. I am comforted by him wherever I go, whatever circumstance I am in. God is also enduring love. He has, is and always will be the long-term love of my life. He is a selfless, and unconditional loving God. God is love, and he created all of mankind and everything in between, why wouldn’t he be the soul of each of these different types of love?
As we come into the Christmas season, I pray that each person’s eyes are opened to God’s familiar, unconditional, enduring, selfless love, and that in doing so, they will be opened to the truth of what love is. For love has already won, when he was crucified on the cross for our sins. Why should we corrupt such love, when love is not just a word, a relationship, a feeling, a pursuit, a passion—but God himself?
‘Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.’ – 1 John chapter 4 verse 8.
Cartia Moore is a connoisseur of fine chocolate and a sword fighter, trained and skilled in the art of fencing. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Screen & Media Studies, and minoring in Drama and Creative Writing. Her focus is film, television and swordfighting sequences.
Cartia Moore’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cartia-moore.html