Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
(540) 473-2325

Responsible Love

I Love You

Subject Transitive Verb Object

Agape / Agaph Philos / FiloV

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  Impersonal Love Personal Love
  Emphasizes the subject Emphasis is on the object
 

Demands integrity in the subject

Demands attractiveness in the object

  Does not demand reciprocation Demands reciprocation
  Directed toward everyone Directed toward a few
  Unconditional Conditional
  Displays virtue Virtue dependent
  Confident Vulnerable
  Settled in mind Volatile
  Depends on resident Bible truth Depends on impersonal love
  Problem solver Problem maker
  Mandatory Optional

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The kind of love John is speaking of in I John is the kind seen in the left hand column. This kind of love ensures the best treatment of others and is not moved to sin or disillusionment if ill treated by others.

Because personal love alone is vulnerable abuses take place, and people are hurt. Personal love, or ones attraction to an object, only sees what it likes and wants from the object. This is why teenage love is often so volatile and unstable. It is also why so many marriages fall apart.

When virtue love is present, it screens the character and integrity of the other person.

Virtue love helps you to be objective with your decisions. This kind of love is always fair, and it does not let emotion cloud good senses. Once you have trust that the other person does have integrity, then the relationship will find stability. Trust must be developed toward the one loving you, and trust can only be identified through the character of the one who says they love you. And for you to identify this characteristic you first must value it yourself. In other words, you will not spot a wolf if you don’t know what a wolf looks like. You cannot spot bad traits if you do not have the contrasting good traits. In any field in life, even in love, it is truth that puts the searchlight on error. Without truth error has no resistance for taking control of your soul. The old saying; “Birds of a feather flock together”, is true.

Many people in the world will say they adore you or love you. Get to know them before you run to the mirror and exclaim, “At last they think I am wonderful; at last I know I have worth; at last now I am somebody.”

Just hold your horses for a while. Find out if they are genuine, or are they just setting you up to use you as a stepping stone to their next venture, or a stepping stone to their next conquest. Just because a person says they are saved, and they might be saved, does not mean they have virtue. It takes plenty of good raising and personal dedication to the word of God to develop the love noted in the left hand column.

Always consider the source. Agape love always places the emphasis on divine values found in the Bible, and because it does it affords you the strength to maintain your personal integrity.

This is why the emphasis on Bible exposition in the local church is so important. Only the word of God develops genuine humility and good character, and these virtues must reside in the souls of people before they can love responsibly.

The Pastor
September 2008

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