"The solution is to be found through the sanctification of the parents. Become saints and you will have no problems with your children." Father Porphyrios , Wounded By Love
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
One of the nicer four letter words in our English language, but how accurately are we using it? How about our kids and teens?
Often we hear and say...
I love my family,
like I love my new sneakers,
and love that new television show.
A mother loves her children,
a teen has a first love,
and then there's the love of God
and love for one's "god."
It's a word that can be used as a noun or a verb, but more commonly we think of it as an emotion.If you check out the word "love" in the Greek language, however, you'll actually discover four words to choose from.
Here they are:
Filia - is designated for friendship love.
Eros- is a more passionate love that one is willing to die for, like that of the Martyrs. This is commonly associated with physical lust, but it need not be.
Storyi - is the parental affection of a mother or father for their child.
Agape - is the perfect divine love that God has for His creation.
As Orthodox Christians our aim is to imitate God's agape, but only He loves us perfectly. Our love for each other falls short of the mark because of our fallen human nature, and inevitably we hurt one another. Think about it. Sometimes our so-called love is tainted with selfishness, worry, doubt, control of the other, jealousy, and worst of all pride. For example, when we think we deserve to be loved by everyone or criticize the way others "love" us.
I think one of the most important things we learn from the Holy Scriptures is that love is an action. It is not merely an emotion or feeling.
"This is how we know what love is:
Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." 1 John 3:16
This February, challenge your families to ACT in love for someone else or for God...even when we don't "feel" like it.
And when we need a small reminder of the love God has for us, remember this prayer:
"I am loved by God the Father Who created me out of nothing. I am loved and redeemed by God the Son, my precious Jesus, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I am loved by the Holy Spirit, God;s power and presence within me. Blessed Trinity, glory to You. Amen."