In our Western culture, the word ‘love’ has been weakened because we use it in such a wide variety of situations. We say, ‘I love my wife, my boyfriend, my mother, my friend, my dog, my favorite pants or ice cream.’
But, there are at least four different words for ‘love’ in the Greek language, the original language of the New Testament. The Bible uses at least three of them [Phileo (friendship), Eros (sexual) and Agape (sacrificial)], but Agape is used the most frequently by far. This is because it used to speak about the sort of love God has for us.
For example, Jesus says “For God so LOVED(agape) the world that He gave His only begotten son, so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”
While we use the word ‘love’ to convey emotions and feelings, the Bible focuses on the practical attitudes and actions of LOVE. A famous Bible passage, regularly used at weddings, gives the word LOVE a richness of meaning that is hard to match. It says:
"LOVE is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious,
never boastful or proud, never arrogant or selfish or rude.
LOVE does not demand all its own way; it is not irritable or touchy; it does not hold grudges and will hardly notice when others do it wrong.
LOVE is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.
If you LOVE someone you will be loyal to them no matter what the cost. You will always believe in them, always expect the best of them, and always stand your ground in defending them."
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Such lofty standards may highlight our inadequacies, but how could we even call it ‘love’ if we lowered them. Imagine a world where such love was the norm rather than the exception.