"This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have you.

John 15:12

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

"You are My friends if you do what I command you. John 15:14

"No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

"You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and {that} your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. John 15:16.

"This I command you, that you love one another. John 15:17

THREE KINDS OF LOVE: 1. AGAPE - UNMERITED LOVE

AGAPE IS THE LOVE A MOTHER HAS FOR HER NEW BORN CHILD

"Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Isaiah 49:15

It is the love that motivates God to provide for everyone on the planet no matter what their spiritual condition is.

"But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:44

so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:45

It is the love that filled God¶s heart when He sent His own Son to die for us even when we were His enemies.

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Romans 5:10

TO BE GIVEN, AGAPE REQUIRES ONLY ONE PERSON.

EVEN IF IT IS NEVER RETURNED IT IS STILL LOVE.

AGAPE - IN ALL ITS WONDER DOES NOT CREATE A RELATIONSHIP.

AGAPE MUST BE GIVEN TO CREATE A FRIENDSHIP.

BUT AGAPE DOES NOT CAUSE A FRIENDSHIP.

THE GREEK WORD FOR FRIENDSHIP IS PHILEO.

THREE KINDS OF LOVE: 1. AGAPE - UNMERITED LOVE

2. PHILEO - THE MUTUAL LOVE THAT EXISTS BETWEEN TRUE FRIENDS

AGAPE IS THE FOUNDATION OF PHILEO THEREFORE IT IS THE GREATER LOVE.

AGAPE IS THE INVITATION TO PHILEO.

BUT AGAPE¶S DESIRED END IS PHILEO.

THE DESIRE OF GOD¶S HEART WHEN HE SENT HIS ONLY SON TO DIE FOR US WAS THAT WE WOULD RETURN HIS LOVE.

HE LOVES (AGAPE) US EVEN IF WE DON¶T LOVE HIM.

THE RETURNING OF THAT LOVE OPENS THE DOOR TO FRIENDSHIP (PHILEO) WITH HIM.

. . . AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS," and he was called the of God. James 2:23

friend

And God¶s intention is that the same love He has (Agape) would be shared and result in friendship (Phileo) between us.

"This is My commandment, that you love (agapao) one another, just as I have loved (agapao) you. John 15:12

"Greater love (agapao) has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends (philos). John 15:13

"You are My friends (philos) if you do what I command you. John 15:14

"No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends (philos) , . . . . John 15:15

PHILEO DESCRIBES THE LOVE OF PEOPLE WHO NOT ONLY ARE THE OBJECTS OF LOVE (AGAPE) BUT RESPOND TO BEING LOVED BY LOVING IN RETURN.

WE ARE TO LOVE (AGAPE) EVERYONE - INCLUDING OUR ENEMIES.

WE MUST NOT - ACTUALLY CANNOT - LOVE (PHILEO) ANYONE WHO DOES NOT LOVE (PHILEO) US IN RETURN.

THIS IS BECAUSE PHILEO DESCRIBES A RELATIONSHIP AND NOT A CONDITION OF THE HEART.

WE PUT OURSELVES IN GREAT DANGER SPIRITUALLY, EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY WHEN WE BELIEVE WE HAVE A FRIENDSHIP (PHILEO) WITH THOSE WHO DO NOT YET SHARE THAT FRIENDSHIP (PHILEO) WITH US.

THIS IS BECAUSE PHILEO IS A CONVENANT LOVE BASED ON MUTUAL COMMITMENT.

IT REQUIRES TWO HEARTS WHO AGAPE EACH OTHER.

WHEN GOD TELLS US TO LOVE EVERYONE HE IS NOT TELLING US WE ARE TO EXTEND THE COVENANT OF FRIENDSHIP TO EVERYONE.

TO AGAPE IS NEVER WRONG. TO GIVE TO OTHERS WHAT IS TO BE ONLY GIVEN WHEN PHILEO EXISTS ALWAYS DAMAGES BOTH PEOPLE.

THREE KINDS OF LOVE: 1. AGAPE - UNMERITED LOVE 2. PHILEO - THE MUTUAL LOVE THAT EXISTS BETWEEN TRUE FRIENDS

3. EROS - THE EXCLUSIVE LOVE OF ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN IN THE COVENANT OF MARRIAGE

EROS IS SEXUAL LOVE.

EROS IS TO BE EXPRESSED ONLY IN THE EXCLUSIVE LOVE OF ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN IN THE COVENANT OF MARRIAGE.

For Eros to find its fullest expression it must be founded on Agape for each partner must love (Agape) the other in spite of their failings.

Eros must also be based on Phileo for both must give and receive the gift of friendship to be a mutual relationship.

And Eros must be exclusive. Sexuality practiced without faithfulness is exceedingly selfish and destroys both friendship and love.

Eros is only for this life.

"For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
Matthew 22:30

It becomes clear what we are saying about Phileo when we look at Eros.

Like Phileo, Eros is meant to be exclusive.

When we love (eros) more than one person that love (eros) becomes defiled and perverted.

The good that God intends to grow out of Eros becomes one of the worst evils when it is not exclusively shared.

Only a person seeking to justify his or her sin would claim that because the Bible teaches to love everyone they are free to have sex with anyone.

So it is with Phileo. We are not to Phileo everyone.

God Himself loves (Agape) everyone. But He is not ³friends´ (Phileo) with everyone.

Listen to these sentences carefully and you can see how easily we can become confused or even deceived by our language:

1. We are to love everyone. 2. We must not love everyone. 3. We are to love only one person.

We are to love everyone.

We must not love everyone.

We are to love only one person.

When we put the proper definition of the word love in context we see the truth:

1. We are to love everyone.

We are to have a heart of compassion and mercy (Agape) for everyone no matter how they act towards us.

2. We must not love everyone.

We must not consider everyone as friends whom we can commit our lives in mutual care and trust.

3. We are to love only one person. We are to share sexual love only with our marriage covenant partner.

Friendships are one of the most important influencers of behaviour in our lives.

A godly friendship is really the only true friendships we are to have.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:14

Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
2 Corinthians 6:15

Every study regarding behaviour indicates who are friends are will be who we become.

So how do we find and maintain godly friendships?

The primary thing a godly friendship does is lead us to a deeper relationship with God.

In evaluating a friendship we need to ask, Does my relationship with this person lead me closer to God and following His desires or farther

Do you ever talk about God with your friend?

Do you ever pray to God with your friend?

Do you ever share the things that God is teaching you or teaching them with your friend?

Do you ever share ministry with your friend?

If not then it is not yet a godly friendship.

While this is important for our non-romantic friendships it is vital for our romantic ones.

The beauty of romance will quickly fade without friendship.

But the beauty of a godly friendship especially in marriage will grow with each new day.

The first thing we must do is to recognize what I have said before. True godly friendships are mutual relationships.

The are not based on narcissism.

Before we can have a godly friend we must be a godly friend.

We must first of all have our self-esteem needs met by God before we can ever be a true friend to others.

Until we have released others from the stranglehold of expectations to meet our needs we cannot be a godly friend.

When we find God as the one who meets all our needs and our only life giver we can then be simply kind to others without either falling into servitude or manipulation.

Then we can love like Jesus did. No narcissism. No strings attached.

I choose to not use the word love so much when talking about friendship.

The word I like to use for this love is kindness. True Friends are kind to each other. This is the foundation of a godly friendship.

If you are in a relationship with someone and you or they are not kind it is not a friendship.

Thinking that it is friendship will lead you to an abusive or codependent relationship.

I have found most people understand what kindness is. They don t mistake it for meeting their own needs from others or in the case of romantic relationships they see it as different than romantic feelings.

When I share this with those who say they "love" but mistreat their friends they often admit that they do not feel kindness toward them.

Being kind to each other is the only way to build a godly friendship.

Until there is mutual kindness we are not yet godly friends.

Until we know we have a godly friendship we are to give Agape caring without expectations or a covenant commitment.

Look for kindness to see which relationships could become or already are godly friendships.

While there are many more aspects to consider in building godly friendships the last I want to consider today is respect.

Again most people know when they are respected. They may not be as clear if they are loved or not.

Respect is crucial to all relationships but especially to friendships.

In a major study on the indicators of success or failure in marriage the researchers found a very interesting unmistakable clue to a soon coming divorce.

They found a direct correlation between people rolling their eyes in a despising gesture when they were talking with their spouse.

When one spouse exhibited this behaviour they always ended up divorcing their spouse within six months.

What does that behaviour mean? It is an act of deep disrespect.

To respect someone means we value them for more than the meeting of our ego needs.

It means we see them as uniquely valuable beyond what they can do for us or their likeness to our own identity.

I ask people to honestly answer the question, Do I respect this person?, Do they respect me?

Do I trust them?, Do they trust me?

Do I feel valued by them for more than what I give them? Do I feel the same for them?

Do they take an interest in my life as a whole? Do I do the same for them?

Do they take time to involve themselves in my life outside of their own interests? Do I do the same for them?

It is not wrong to say no to any of these questions. But it is wrong to commit ourselves in friendship when the answers are not yes.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful