Pink shades flood every surface of the grocery store, heart-shaped boxes of candy fill entire aisles, and it might seem like there are suddenly couples everywhere! Love is in the air…
If you have found yourself confused by this sudden shift in the atmosphere around you, I’m glad to tell you, you are not crazy. It’s just February 14th, Valentine’s Day, a day to celebrate love!
Poets, scholars, philosophers, and artists have spent centuries trying to capture the purpose, the experience, and the feeling of love. And while love is displayed in different ways, it is the one thing that draws us all together. We all crave love. It is part of the human condition, a longing so deep we cannot escape it.
We love so many things: possessions, pets, friends, family, spouses. Ancient greek philosophers created a distinction between all these different types of love: Love for Family, Friendship, Romance, and Unconditional Love. Each is unique but all are invaluable parts of our lives.
This Valentine’s Day, here are a few tips on how you can celebrate with the people who love you.
LOVE OF FAMILY
Storge is the Greek word to describe the love between family members. It is steadfast and natural, based in familiarity. There is no need to pretend to be someone different than you truly are. People who love you with this form of love will accept you regardless of your faults.
To celebrate this Valentine’s Day, send a video message to the members in your family telling them that you are thinking of them.
Philia is the Greek word for the love of close friends; this type of friendship is created when two people choose to remain a permanent part of one another’s lives. Philia exists between people who share something in common that bonds them together. Perhaps it is a favorite TV show, or suffering through the same math class together, but the people who love you with this type of love have chosen to tie their life to yours.
This choice is a gift you can celebrate! Write your closest friends a letter or card (or even a text message!), thanking them for the way they love and support you.
Eros is the idea of romantic love between two people who have committed their lives to each other. When people think of love, this is often the type that comes to mind. It is the story we celebrate in movies, books, and poems. It is the bond between fragile, messy people who humbly seek the best for their partner.
If you have someone in your life that loves you in this way. You could give them a gift or flowers to show them how much they mean to you. Sometimes the best gift you can give is to write them a poem or a love note reminding them of who they are to you.
Maybe you don’t have a “special someone” to celebrate with this Valentine’s Day. That’s okay too! Go out with a group of friends!
The last form of love is called Agape. Agape is a deep and profound love that goes beyond our natural abilities. It is a love that does not change, even in the harshest circumstance. It is the love of God, a love that demands nothing in return, a love that offers grace and forgiveness even when it is entirely undeserved.
This form of love is perhaps the most important we can experience. It is a love that transforms us. It gives us hope and enables us to love others more selflessly.
Spend time today thanking God for his great love for you! Reflect on his goodness, mercy, and infinite love. God created you to experience this: the unending love he has to offer. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8
This Valentine’s Day, take time to celebrate the people who love you. Take to heart the words written in the Bible: “Let all that you do be done in love.”