Isn’t it strange that we use the same word to describe how we feel about our spouse and kids as we do about a particular season or tacos? While we have one word, love, the Bible uses four different terms that are each translated into love. Brotherly love, familial love, and romantic love are separate greek words. There is one greek word that describes love from God and love of God: AGAPE.
Agape is unconditional, self-sacrificing love. It was shown by Jesus’ healing of the blind and lame that others just walked past. It is shown in Jesus’ interaction with the outcasts, like the woman at the well and the woman caught in adultery.
Ultimately, Jesus’ unconditional and self-sacrificing love in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. There is no greater expression of God’s unconditional, self-sacrificing love for us than when He sent his holy son to die in our place. He did this to provide forgiveness, holiness, right stating before God, redemption, and to become coheirs with Christ. He loved us first before we knew we needed it.
Interestingly, the other three Greek words translated as love are found throughout ancient and modern greek literature. But agape is almost exclusively found in the Bible. Unconditional, self-sacrificing love is a distinctly Christian concept.
So what does it look like to love our family like Jesus?