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Sunday Dialogue Part One: Looking for love in all the wrong places

"Looking for love through the wrong kind of glasses."
"Looking for love through the wrong kind of glasses."

Just what is this thing called ‘Love?’ This is part one of a series dealing with what love is and what love ain’t.

The quote, “Love is never having to say that you are sorry,” came from a popular movie some decades past titled, “Love Story.”

In the movie Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw star in this 1970’s movie that is about two young people who are from different backgrounds but fall in love. Their relationship is riveted with conflicts and then tragedy strikes when she is diagnosed with a terminal disease.

I remember having on a white blouse when watching this movie way back then, and when they turned the lights back on in the theatre, I had black dots on my blouse and black streaks running down my face from mascara. They didn’t make it tear proof in those days.

Is love really never having to say you are sorry? We can look at this in two ways. Perhaps it means that when you love someone so much that you will never do anything to hurt them and then there will be no need to say that you are sorry. Or, perhaps, it means that when two people love each other so much that no matter what happens you just don’t have to say it because the other one will know that you are sorry. Or is it necessary to actually say, “I’m sorry,” sometimes?

The last explanation seems right. But first we need to look at what the word, “Love,” means.

The word love can be used as a (1) noun, (2) adjective, or (3) a verb.

1. As a noun, it means an intense feeling of deep affection toward a person or thing.

2. By adding - ly- to the word, it becomes lovely, and that indicates a description of someone or something that is loved.

3. As a verb, it is an action word meaning the expression of the feeling of love, i.e. “I love……”

The language used in the Bible explains the different kinds of love as: Eros, Philos, Agape.

Eros Love

Eros is a Greek term which actually means desire and longing. And according to the Greek methodology, Eros is the name of the Greek god of love. Also referred to as erotic love, this is a selfish kind of love as it associated with sexual love. Eros love is based on a strong feeling we have against one another, and it usually develops during the 1st stage of a romantic relationship. This kind of love is based on the physical traits. And unless it is redeemed by the Lord’s presence; this type of love can end up being possessive, since it always seeks to 1st conquer and then control.

God created physical attraction between a man and a woman, but He never intended for it to be selfish. He created desire and longing which makes up sexual love which is crucial in any marriage. This love was meant to be preserved between a couple, and it is essential for any health marriage. And since it is mostly based on self-benefit, many people tend to fall out of love if they are not happy with the marriage.

Philos Love

This is a unique kind of love like the one you have for a companion or pal. It refers to loving one another just like your brother or sister. This love is for a pal who is really close and dear to us, and it is characterized by various different shared experiences between two people. In fact, this is the kind of love that many Christians tend to practice towards one another. And although Philos love is really wonderful, it is not that much reliable, since it can end up souring at times as we have all experienced at some point in our lives.

Agape Love

This is a special term which represents the divine-love of the Lord towards his Son Jesus Christ, the human beings and all believers. This is the best of the three types of love in the bible, in fact, Jesus himself showed this type of divine love to his Father in heaven and humanity. Agape love is the love that God commanded all believers to have for everyone whether he/she is a believer or not. Agape love should never be determined by our feelings; it is more of a set of behaviors or actions. With Agape, you do not have to actually feel it for you to give it, which means that you can be able to show love without feeling anything at all. At times, feelings can follow after showing this kind of love.

The greatest love ever shown to mankind was when God loved His people so much that He allowed His only earthly Son to die as an expression of the greatest love story ever told. John 3:16 “For God so LOVED the world (His creations) THAT He GAVE (willingly) His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish (in hell) but have everlasting life.

Today love is so loosely used that the real meaning gets lost. We say we love another person, but we also say we love French fries. It is used as in the desire to do something as in, “I would love to go to the movies with you.” When we actually should be saying “I would be happy to go to the movies with you.” But we would not say, “I am happy in you, will you marry me?”

Many songs of the time reflect the human need to find love. We need love just as much as we need air, water and food. God’s love was designed in our DNA, and we are always looking to be loved in many ways.

The lyrics to this song explains the need of someone looking for love – so often people are in love with love, and they are just looking for someone to pin it on and often they don’t “look before the leap.”

The lyrics of Johnny Lee’s song “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places’ exemplifies the deep emotional need for love in a person’s life and how looking for love is not the answer; especially looking for it in all the wrong places. Sometimes people spend a lifetime looking for love and never fine real love because they did not recognize it when it came along. And because they have a pre-conceived notion of what love is when they would better seek what love isn’t.

Well, I spent a lifetime lookin' for you
Single bars and good time lovers were never true
Playin' a fool's game, hopin' to win
And tellin' those sweet lies and losin' again.


I was lookin' for love in all the wrong places
Lookin' for love in too many faces
Searchin' their eyes, lookin' for traces
Of what I'm dreamin' of
Hopin' to find a friend and a lover
I'll bless the day I discover,
Another heart- lookin' for love.

And I was alone then, no love in sight
n' I did every thing I could to get me through the night
don't know where it started or where it might end
I'd turn to a stranger just like a friend.

And you came knockin' on my hearts door
You're everything I've been lookin' for
No more lookin' for love in all the wrong places
Lookin' for love in too many faces

Searchin' their eyes, lookin' for traces
Of what I'm dreamin' of
Now that I found a friend and a lover
I'll bless the day I discover you-oh you

Now go back and read the lyrics of this song and imagine singing this to Jesus and not a companion. God is love. Without God there is no love. For love is of God. Don’t spend a lifetime looking for love in all the wrong places that never satisfies. Look at the lyric that says, “And You came knockin’ on my heart’s door.” Just are we are looking for love; there are many who are looking for our love.

In the Bible Jesus says in Revelations 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

Next week will be Part two of this realistic look at love – what it is and what it is not. Why is it important that we love ourselves before we can love others?

If you would like to follow this series, and this column, you may do so by using the tab above to subscribe; it’s free. You will be notified in your inbox each time a new article is published.

There is another song that has a deeper meaning…. “Love is a Many Splendored Thing”…. but sometimes it can be a many “splintered thing.” If love is supposed to be a great and wonderful thing – why does it hurt so much?

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