The word “love” can be a little frustrating, with its vague meaning that can be applied in so many different ways. I can say I love the KU Jayhawks, Pink’s hot dogs and my wife Jillian, but for the sake of our marriage I should find a better way to phrase that! The Bible uses several words to describe different kinds of love, with the big four being: Storge (Familial Love), Philia (Friend Love), Eros (Romantic Love) and Agape (Unconditional Love from God). Personally, I’m a big fan of all four, and I thought I’d use them to frame my letter this week.
Storge: I am so overwhelmingly, profoundly, immeasurably grateful for my family. If you don’t know them, here’s a quick rundown. Jillian and I have been married for just over 21 years (more on her later), and we have four amazing kids! Madison is our oldest and is a freshmen at Azusa Pacific University where she’s studying to be an actress. Aiden is a junior at Oaks Christian and is creative and absolutely hilarious. Bella is in 8th grade at Mesa Verde and is incredibly smart, witty and kind. Olivia is the baby of the family, a fifth grader at Arroyo West. She is funny, witty, adventurous and a voracious reader. Our family is an amazing gift from God.
Philia: I consider any and all of my friends to be a gift, but as I write this I am especially grateful for the many friends who have shown us love here at MPC. Our family feels deeply blessed to be part of such a loving, kind and encouraging church family. Thank you!
Eros: Let me tell you about my amazing wife! She’s the funniest person I’ve ever met. She seems quiet, but she has a razor sharp wit that often only I get to appreciate and I kind of love that! She is beautiful, she loves Jesus with every fiber of her being and she is the kindest, gentlest person I have ever known. She is a deep well of wisdom, encouragement, love and grace. It would be impossible for me to talk about love and not talk about her.
Agape: Agape love goes so far beyond my understanding that often I can do nothing more than thank God for it and awe at its very existence. I am so profoundly grateful for the grace, hope, forgiveness, salvation, love and life that I have found through Jesus. I couldn’t imagine walking through this world without the knowledge of God’s abounding love. Every day I strive to be worthy of that love and to do my best to share it with those God puts in my path. Some days I feel like I do that well, others not so much. Yet God persists in loving me without limits, and I am ever grateful for that.
I love the music of the late Rich Mullins. In his song, “Let Mercy Lead” (which inspired us to name our son Aiden) Rich sings the words
“Let mercy lead
Let love be the strength in your legs
And in every footprint that you leave
There’ll be a drop of grace”
May it be so for all of us.