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Author Topic: Human love vs God's love  (Read 3364 times)

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  • Bible-Truths Forum Member
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Human love vs God's love
« on: February 12, 2008, 01:52:20 PM »


I read the following article on line and believe that it is worth discussing.
Please note that the author is basically secular in his approach although he brings God's love into the picture.
Regards, indianabob

Some Thoughts on Love
By Dennis Prager
Tuesday, February 12, 2008

With Valentine's Day approaching, some thoughts on love.

1. The love relationship between a man and a woman is unique. There is no love like it for two primary reasons: First, it is the love of equals -- all other love relationships (except same-sex friends) are between unequals. Second, it is sexual.

2. Because it is the only love relationship between equals (again except for friends), it is the only relationship in which it is a good thing to seek to be loved. In other relationships, it is bad to seek to be loved. Parents who seek to be loved by their children will inevitably do a poor job as a parent. They may even damage their child. Leaders who seek to be loved by the public will be ineffective at best and dangerous at worst. One can only lead if he does not yearn to be loved. A teacher who tries to be loved by her students will likewise fail. Parents, leaders, teachers have jobs to do, and seeking to be loved compromises their ability to do those jobs properly. They should seek to do the right thing, and doing the right thing often means being not loved, even hated. If they seek any response from those they lead, it should be respect, not love.

But in the love of equals -- i.e., the love between a man and a woman and the love of friends -- it is not only all right to seek to be loved, it is a good thing. Taking the love of a spouse or friend for granted is perhaps the single greatest cause of marital divorce and the breakup of friendships. "What can I do to ensure his/her continuing love?" is a wonderful thing to keep in mind.

3. That is one reason the notion of "unconditional love" is foolish. The fact is, we all earn love, and it is a good thing to have to do so. What possible good purpose can the belief that your spouse loves you unconditionally -- i.e., no matter how you act -- serve? If we believe our spouse loves us no matter what we do, what would motivate us to be on our best behavior at all times? Why be kind even when we are in a foul mood? Why work to stay attractive if he will love me no matter how much I neglect how I look? Why continue to pay attention to her -- like regularly calling her from work -- if I know that even if I ignore her, she will continue to love me?

Unconditional love is not a good idea. I don't know where it originated, but I am quite certain it's relatively recent, a product of an age that has put primary importance on feelings. With the possible exception of a parent's love for a young child, unconditional love is not a good idea among people, and it's probably not a good idea concerning God's love for us. I am familiar with no biblical basis for the notion that God loves us no matter how much cruelty and evil we engage in (God's love of His Chosen People, Israel, is specifically depicted as conditional upon Israel's behavior), or for the notion that God loved Adolf Hitler and Mother Teresa equally. Frankly, I would be disappointed in such a God. It renders Him a love machine whose love cannot be affected by our behavior, not a loving being who is affected by how we act. It renders His love amoral. And it prevents us from growing up.

4. "God is love" is a half-truth. God is many things, and love is only one of them. One can just as accurately say "God is punishment" or "God is justice" or "God is truth."

5. We show love to those we love by doing what they consider loving, not necessarily by what we consider loving. A young man once called my radio show and told me he was not planning to give his girlfriend flowers or even a card, or to do anything special for her on Valentine's Day. His reason was that he considered Valentine's Day a creation of American capitalism -- just another way to sell cards, flowers and gift items and increase companies' profits. I asked him if his girlfriend agreed with him about the insignificance of Valentine's Day. He said she didn't, that, in fact, she thought it important that he do something special for her on Valentine's Day.

I then asked him if he considered birthdays special and expected his girlfriend to do or get something special for him on his birthday. He said he did. How would he react, I then asked, if his girlfriend dismissed the significance of birthdays the way he dismissed the importance of Valentine's Day and ignored his birthday? He acknowledged that he would be hurt.

Just as his girlfriend should make his birthday special whether or not she believes in the importance of birthdays, he should make Valentine's Day special for her whether or not he deems the day special. We show love to the other in the way he or she understands it, not the way we do.

6. Finally, to the extent that emotions can be measured, it may be difficult to say whether love or hate is the stronger emotion. But this can be said with certainty: Among the psychologically healthy and morally decent, there is no comparison. Love is the most powerful force in our life. And the more the merrier.


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Re: Human love vs God's love
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2008, 03:16:03 PM »

Hi Bob

I read the article. I do not want to knock it but personally I think it is written from a human experience and perspective and not a God experience or perspective so for me if feels quite passionless and perhaps a little stale as an article.

For instance, how is it different to many other articles written on this subject? How is it dynamic in its insight by contrast to the many competing articles that vie for position it seems, to reveal the nature of Love? How hopelessly they all fail in my experience, if they miss out the author and owner of the title LOVE. 

I have preferred the article on agapao and phileo love that Ray has written in the full light of the Word of God blazing a trail of inexcusable light on full beam in the path of revelation. For me that gives me HOPE, a sense of excitement in getting closer to knowing God and a deepening intimacy in coming to know GOD. Compare this to human psychological models that discuss love in a human framework which compares in contrast to the dark sides of human needs, assessments, shallowness, fickleness, and sometimes pure obtuse carnal narcissism which for me is the opposite of love. That path goes in the reverse direction into darkness and conjecture though some may hold out that this is psychological wisdom. The wisdom of the world is foolishness to God.

I know my comments may make me appear to be narrow in my views or intolerant or unappreciative of human perspectives and intelligence. On the contrary, I simply am not able to receive any nourishment from human understandings that seek to further invent, discover or undress the human nature in the absence of the realisation that to explore Gods Spirit and His Ways Wisdom and Understanding is a way to intercourse with the Truth in acquaintance with HIS  Spirit and Truth and not the spirit of man and his carnal understanding, needs and feelings. Gods ways are not mans ways and Gods thoughts are not mans thoughts.

Maybe I am just too old or too weary to go on intellectual dalliances any more. I simply pass by the merry go round or the sea saw. I like the light of Gods Word on this subject and that is what warms me and encourages me towards HIS light and HIS embrace in the comfort of HIS Truths rather than the cold academic meanderings of lost minds in search for their lost souls.

I know you are mature enough not to take anything I have written here personally as against you or the author of this intelligent article. Intelligent it is. Insightful it is. It just leaves out revelation and that is a big miss for me. That is just how I am. Narrow perhaps.

Also the article is quite long. We could dissect it and have a conversation around any one of the points raised and explore avenues open or closed in the Scriptures by comparison. I know I have not done that but perhaps some other brothers and sisters may be more creative in their responses. I hope so. Love is a worthy topic of conversation!

Peace be to you

Arcturus  :)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2008, 03:28:55 PM by Arcturus »


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Re: Human love vs God's love
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2008, 12:15:19 PM »

Hello Bob,

              Prior to my coming to this Site, I was in the process of trying to study Bible Greek(Koine) and have accumulated approximately 200 Greek words accompanied by definitions, Scriptural examples, etc. I  only concentrated on words of importance and are sometimes a source of controversy among different Denominations. Well here's alittle info about Love in consideration of Greek meanings and their English equivalents.

                     AGAPE(LOVE)---  the type of love guided or governed by principle. It can include affection and warmth, but doesn't require it. Christians rightly show agape towards others for whom they may feel no affection or fondness doing so for their welfare; Gal.6:10; Luke. 6:32-34.
                      See: 1John. 4:8,9; Gal. 6:22

                     PHILIA(LOVE OR TENDER AFFECTION)--- means to be fond of, have personal attachment to a friend with sentiment or feeling towards them.  John. 5:20 " For the Father loves the Son"; John. 12:25, " The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal(age-lasting) life."

                      According to W.E. Vine, " Love can be known only from the action it prompts. God's Love is seen in the gift of his Son, 1John.4:9,10. But obviously this is not the Love of complacency, or affection, that is, it was not drawn out of any complacency, or affection, that is, it was not drawn out of any excellency in its objects, Rom. 5:8; It was an exercise of the divine will in deliberate choice, made without asignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself; Deut. 7:7,8.

                 The New Testament(Greek Scriptures) only employs forms of the Greek Words Agape and Philia, with Agape and its' forms appearing most often.

                  Storge' (Sexual Love)--- where the word Eros is derived is not used in the New Testament, the kind of Love between the sexes.

                  One of the best definitions of Love of course is explained at 1Corinthians. 13:1-13, we all struggle at times with exemplifying that.

                  Some Forms of AGAPE, 1. AGAPAO(1Peter.3:10); 2. AGAPON( He that Loves, (John. 14:21) ;AGAPETHESETAI, Will be Loved; AGAPESO(I will Love him) All John. 14:21. AGAPATE; " If you Love those Loving you, of what credit is it to you. (Luke. 6:32) AGAPESAS; Demas has forsaken me because he Loved the present system of things. (2Tim. 4:10). EGAPESAN; " Men have Loved the darkness rather than the light, for their works were wicked. For he that practices vile things hates the light and does not come to the light, in order that his works may not be reproved." (John. 3:19,20). AGAPEN; " God recommends his own Love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans. 5:8).

                         Loving our enemies, therefore, should be governed by the principle established by God and should be exercised in obedience to his commandments, whether or not such Love is accompanied by any warmth or affection.

                                      Your Brother in Christ, Samson.
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