4 Types of Love (Agape’, Phileo, and …)

Love is a big concept. It has many different meanings in the world. Learn how God’s agape’ love is different from all the other types of love.

4 TYPES OF LOVE - AGAPE, PHILEO, STORGE, EROS

There are four main types of love found in the Bible that are categorized by four Greek words.

If we are to live as God instructs us, it is vital that we understand the differences between these kinds of love.

1. Storge

(Pronounced stor-JAY)

  • Type: Family Love
  • Kind: AFFILIATION
  • Says: “You are family.”

Storge’ is family love. It is the natural love that family members feel for one another. It accepts people for who they are and loves them where they’re at. It is based on a family connection.

Bible Verses:

Romans 12:10
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”

A compound word of phileo and storge is found in the words “be kindly affectioned” and speaks of the special familial relationship of God’s people through Christ.

Strong’s Concordance – φιλόστοργος philŏstŏrgŏs, fil-os´-tor-gos; from 5384 and στοργή stŏrgē (cherishing one’s kindred, espec. parents or children); fond of natural relatives, i.e. fraternal towards fellow Chr.:—kindly affectioned.

If we are to live as God instructs us, it is vital that we understand the differences between these kinds of love. Click To Tweet

2. Eros

(Pronounced: AIR – ohs)

  • Type: Sexual Love
  • Kind: ATTRACTION
  • Says: “I want you.”

Common uses of the word today:

  • Erotic

This word is not used in the Bible, but the concept is seen throughout. It describes a sexual love that is either good or bad based on the context.

Eros is a physical attraction that is highly emotional and sensual. It can only be fully enjoyed with God’s blessing within the covenant of marriage.

Bible Verses:

Song of Solomon 1:2–4

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: For thy love is better than wine.

Because of the savour of thy good ointments Thy name is as ointment poured forth, Therefore do the virgins love thee.

Draw me, we will run after thee: The king hath brought me into his chambers: We will be glad and rejoice in thee, We will remember thy love more than wine: The upright love thee.”

3. Phileo

(Pronounced: fill – EH – oh)

Type: Brotherly Love
Kind: AFFECTION
Says: “I like you.”

This word is used often in the New Testament as the underlying word for love.

Common uses of the word today:

  • Philadelphia – City of Brotherly Love
  • Philanthropy – Love of Mankind

This type of love says, “I like you because…” It is based on affection. It is feeling over reason. This is the most common type of love.

Bible Verses:

1 Thessalonians 4:9
“But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.”

Hebrews 13:1
“Let brotherly love continue.”

4. Agape

(Pronounced: a – GAH – pay)

  • Type: Divine Love
  • Kind: ATTENTION
  • Says: “I commit to you.”

This is godly Christian love. It is committed sacrificial love. It says, “I love you because I choose to love you.” It loves regardless of personal cost or reciprocation.

This is the love that God has for us, that we should have for God, and that He teaches us to have for others. It is the strongest of all loves.

Bible Verses:

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

John 13:34–35
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

Want to know more about Agape’ Love?

Read the article: 16 Characteristics of God’s Agape’ Love

Read the article: God Loves You – Will You Accept His Love?

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