Biblical Love: Agape, Storge, Eros, Philia

After reading about friendship and love in Chapter 9 in your textbook “Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment in the 21st Century” take some time to research the different types of love we see in the Bible: Agape, Storge, Eros, and Philia. After conducting some research discuss the following:

Provide a brief definition and example of each of these types of love.

Compare and contrast these different loves with Sternberg’s three loves in his triangular theory of love.

What role do friendship and love play in living a well-adjusted life?

 

Agape – this type of love is unconditional love; that sees beyond the flaws and loves you regardless. This is the type of love that we should have for humanity; it involves sacrifice, giving with no expectation of something in return; our behavior should show this type of love for/toward others.

Example: Love for those who are in the world, strangers, individuals in need…

Storge – this type of love represents the love we have for our family and friends. This is the natural parental love, family member love, close friend love. This love is unconditional and accepts the flaws of the other person which ultimately leads us to forgiveness; it involves commitment and sacrifice, and should make you feel comfortable and safe.

Example: Love for your daughter the moment she is born…

Eros – this type of love is passionate, intense, and romantic. This is the love that causes to say that we are in love with an intimate partner, that date that leads to marriage and unity. However, this love can change if one feels hurt, then their feelings toward the person is affected, and that is because it is more of a self-centered type of love. For this love to be lasting it must grow into another type of love.

Example: The inviting love for my husband through our dating and into our marriage…

Philia – this type of love is warm and affectionate, and usually platonic.  It leads to a desire to want to have a friendship with someone.  It leads to making the agape love more alive.  It is a chosen love but it also a committed love.

Example: Love for my spiritual mentor throughout our friendship…

Sternberg’s Triangular Love Theory is defined as being love that consists of 3 components which are intimacy, passion, and decision/commitment.  In my opinion, I believe Sternberg’s definition of intimacy is more closely related to that of a family type of love, which resembles storge love; the passion love is more closely related to that of dating to marriage love, which resembles eros love; his definition of decision/commitment love is more closely related to friendship love, which resembles philia love.

The one that seems to be missing from his theory is Agape love.  We can compare this to his other theories and try to make agape love fit within those lines, but in my honest opinion, it’s simply not there.   While I cannot say whether or not Mr. Sternberg is a Christian, I would think that a Christian or spiritual person would certainly include this type of spiritual love, the most important love of all, into their work…

To answer the last question, I believe that friendship and love have a very important role in living a well-adjusted life.  We can love others better when we are more secure in ourselves. I say this because if we are not, we may tend to lean on others for happiness and acceptance, rather than standing strong in who we are, strengths and weaknesses.  This confidence in ourselves as the humans and spiritual beings that the Lord has created us to be, will help us in identifying how we can best serve others, the Word of God tells us that we should not desire to be served but rather to serve others.  This knowledge will help us to be establish more genuine and stronger relationships with those that the Lord has placed into out lives.  When we understand ourselves better and accept ourselves, and strive to grow, we then become better able to do the same for others.

 

© URWM

 

References

Weiten, W., & Lloyd, M. A. 1. (2004). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the

21st century (7th Ed.). Australia; Bangalore: Thomson/Wadsworth.