Last night I got the opportunity to speak at our church about the facets of Love. Since Valentines day is tomorrow and everyone seems giddy about the event planning on flowers, chocolates and cards, I decided to teach about Love. Here are my sermon notes and in a few days, I will upload the sermon link so you may also hear the message.
I John 4:16 –
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.
This type of love that comes from God :
Daily Live in Love
There is love that is perfect love
Is forever love
Is Greatest love
We have to receive it and put it on – abide in it
Sacrifices for sake of others
Love is a choice….
Greeks had terms of love:
- Storge – affection that parents have with their children, (putting up with family members) Storge Lovers: life long friends
- Philia – mental love of give and take – loyalty to others – general shoulder to shoulder friendship, Philia Lover: Philos love is a mutual, “give-and take” relationship,
- Eros – Physical love – passionate love with sensual desire – love at first site – looks. It is based more on “self-benefit”. Pure emotion without the balance of logic:
Erotic lover wants to know everything about the beloved from the first moment of their RELATIONSHIP, all of his or her experiences, joys and sorrows, who else he or she has loved in the past, how much and in what ways. like to wear matching T-shirts, identical bracelets, matching colors, order the same foods when dining out, find out that their blood types are the same; they typically want to be identified with each other as totally as possible. Breakups are explosive and painful. Eros love can only succeed in the long-term if it progresses into a higher form of love. Otherwise, it will not last.
- Agape – spiritual love – true unconditional love, expecting nothing in return – no self benefit: Agape Lover: forgiving – “not a fall in love desire” but this love is always available for the opportunity to show that love. They are patient, have the ability to wait indefinitely for the behavior of their love to change.
Other types of LOVERS:
- MANIA (Possessiveness and Intense Dependency) (Eros and Game player )Mania is an obsessive love that, intimate and intense, often includes jealousy, possessiveness and a lack of communication. Maniacal love can lead to domestic violence. The constructed ideal of this type of lover is obsessed to where they are unable to sleep, eat, or even think logically around the loved one. The manic lover has peaks of excitement, but also depths of depression, with very few periods without a high or low, jealous – irrational.
A manic lover cannot tolerate loss of contact , even for short periods of time, and is distressed by a lack of the lover’s presence .
* crushed by real or fancied rejection, possibly to the point of suicidal ideation.
* manipulate the behaviors or feelings of the loved one,
* do not tolerate separation at all well.
The manic lover has a tendency to review past relationships and speculate about what when wrong – high level or anxiety, have problems related to anxiety and associated with low self-esteem and a poor self concept.
- Pragma (logical – sensible) a person who is unable to invest love in “unworthy” love objects. (You DESERVE ME) The pragmatic lover is keenly aware of the comparison level for alternatives that he or she has. Pragmatic lovers are inclined to look for a “deal – good bargin” A pragmatic lover typically assists the loved one to fulfill his or her potentials; for example, such a lover might make sure the love object finishes school, asks for deserved promotions, gets the attention or that he or she “deserves” from physicians, stockbrokers, or employers. And everything is planned – family
- Ludus (game player) A ludic lover hates dependency, either in himself/herself or in others. This type shies away from commitment of any sort (does not like lovers to take him or her for granted). The ludic lover enjoys strategies, and may keep two or three or even four lovers “on the string” at one time. A ludic lover may even create a fictional lover to discourage a real one’s hopes for a permanent relationship. He or she avoids long-range plans. Self-centered and won’t listen
1973 book The Colors of Love, John Lee compared styles of love to the color wheel.
Three primary styles:
1. Eros – Loving an ideal person
2. Ludos – Love as a game
3. Storge – Love as friendship
Three secondary styles:
1. Mania (Eros + Ludos) – Obsessive love
2. Pragma (Ludos + Storge) – Realistic and practical love
3. Agape (Eros + Storge) – Selfless love
The human brain supports falling in love, which is why we have such a strong physiological response when we are attracted to another.
Most people want love but believe self gratification is in there too.
- make me ‘feel good’
- Love MUST nourish it. : feed it, to take care of it, to value it.
True love is not about what you feel, it is about what you do.
*Euphoria Stage. Emotion and feeling based but can be a long term with different value if love grows.
The more time you spend with a person the more you learn about their character and personality. The real test of love is being able to love someone when you know their flaws and short comings.
The ultimate goal is to love in Reality with some euphoric feelings and avoid the stage of ‘Offense’.
*Offense stage comes swiftly after the Reality stage because the relationship was built based on the feelings felt in Euphoria as opposed to a solid friendship.
The Offense stage is different from having hard times in a relationship.
The Offense stage: constant conflict and tension because of false expectations.
*Reality stage it’s not about how you feel, it’s about a choice. The real test of love is being able to love someone when you know their flaws and short comings.
The ultimate goal is to love in Reality with some euphoric feelings and avoid the stage of ‘Offense’.
Humans have evolved three different brain systems to encourage mating: sex drive (lust), feelings of attachment (trust), and romance (being in love). Each of these systems plays a role in desire.
Lust. Sex drive is associated with a class of hormones called testosterone (even women have it) Playing competitive sports have been shown to trigger testosterone production; in fact, women get a bigger boost than men during a competition. Making love can also create the same effect. Studies have shown that sex raises testosterone levels, so the more sex you have, the more sex you desire.
Trust. Feelings of trust and attachment are fostered by the chemical oxytocin. You can stimulate oxytocin naturally with touch. Hold hands while you watch TV, trade massages, or sleep in each other’s arms. Oxytocin, the love/hate hormone . Human and animal studies have shown that oxytocin plays a role in bonding;
While affecting positive behaviors of trust and bonding, it can also affect opposite behaviors like jealousy, envy, and suspicion. when the association is negative, the hormone increases negative sentiments”.
Love. The third chemical that drives relationships is dopamine, a key player in the brain’s reward regions that’s been found to promote romantic love. Research shows that —taking risks or trying something new—can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain.
SONGS: MRI and PET scans reveal that when you listen to music that excites you, your brain releases dopamine during the most exciting moments of the song and even in anticipation of those moments.
Some things a person does can produce so much dopamine that over time, the dopamine response lessens, which means you can lose the ability to feel any kind of pleasure at all. The usual culprits of this dopamine dulling effect are things like cocaine and heroin, which is good news for the great majority of us who are not addicted to illicit substances. The bad news is that if you’re addicted to fatty foods, the same thing could potentially happen to you. If you let rats eat as much cheesecake, bacon, sausage, and other fatty foods as they want, not only will they become obese, but their dopamine responses will start to attenuate over time. So while a small slice of cheesecake once in a while may get your dopamine flowing, overdoing it may have negative consequences on your brain.
Feeling of intense romantic love lasts only about 18 months to—at best—three years.
Brains of these middle-aged men and women showed much the same activity as those of young lovers, individuals who had been intensely in love an average of only seven months. Indeed, there was just one important difference between the two groups: Among the older lovers, brain regions associated with anxiety were no longer active; instead, there was activity in the areas associated with calmness.
Sacrificing Love: It is the foundation to every key relationship in life.
Business : we treat our colleagues, employees and customers
Communities : reach out to people and make their lives better
Love is sacrifice and has a lot more to do with being a servant than with being a hero.
When you are concerned about the well being of others, you sacrifice.
- Give up plans
- Give up independence
- Give up privacy
- May have to part with whatever is most precious to you for the sake of someone else.
Hard because our Culture teaches exact opposite – Logic thinking doesn’t make sense or logic, it’s not fair.
True personal fulfillment never comes through self-gratification but opposite.
“Put aside your own pleasures and shoulder your cross and follow me closely. If you insist on saving your life you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.”
Matthew 20:26 … whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,” (throughout the gospels: the one who rules is the one who serves)
Luke 22 :28 The one who stands beside me in trials. (Through everything you love)
It is only when we give ourselves to God and joyfully serve his people in sacrificial love that we find fulfillment and satisfaction that the world will never know.
In marriage = a lot of sacrifice
- A good marriage enhances the life of each spouse, making it fuller and more satisfying than it would be if the marriage did not exist.
- Loving marriage help both spouses grow into their full potential rather than squelching either persons dreams
- Loving spouses put the other persons needs above their own
In friendship = willing to make investment in someone’s life
Why is it so hard? Commitment
Try it – keep giving and giving – good actions not a feeling…. Some do good but then what happens when people come to the point they are running on empty? They get angry at people: how do you know, people become problems. (hermit)
God tells us not only to live sacrificially but also steadfastly. (persistent, loyal, consistently)
“I am done!” I am burnout….
How do we get refilled?
Spending time alone with God – He is source of love. Jesus did this many times, leaving the crowd and go pray.
(can’t depend us getting love from another person) Hosea 12:6 But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.
Want peace? 2 Corth 13:11 : Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Satan. If he cannot destroy, he will try to disgrace or distress us If believers were left to themselves, they would fall; but they are kept by the power of God
Burn out 3 ways.
- Spiritually : Love tank is low – daily time with God before the day starts. Listen to Christian music
- Emotionally: Feel uninterested in others – Life itself happens (bad days) . replenish yourself through relaxing or recreation
- Physically: Won’t listen, no serving, no confront or encourage people, no energy, easily irritated, critical, short fused, defensive and negative. It is hard to love others and equally hard for others to love them.
Act as Jesus would act and do in all 3 areas.….
I John 4:12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
I Corth. 13:1 : If I had knowledge, if I gave to the poor, moved mountains, but If didn’t love others, I would be nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not always want nor boastful, is not conceited, or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Love suffers long.
Love is kind.
Love does not envy.
Love does not parade itself.
Love is not puffed up.
Love does not behave rudely.
Love does not seek its own.
Love is not provoked.
Love thinks no evil.
Love does not rejoice in iniquity.
Love rejoices in the truth.
Love bears all things.
Love believes all things.
Love hopes all things.
Love endures all things.
Love never fails.
So what does Love Got to do with it… Everything… because without love you are nothing…