Our society is obsessed with love. But it is not agape, the self-giving love originating in God, but eros, the romantic or self-preserving or even selfish love. Beebe and Foster write, “Its [our nature as human beings] unbridled lust, mindless greed and relentless pursuit of power is destroying our capacity to give and receive love.”

Paul wrote of agape love when he wrote 1 Corinthians 13. “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (vv. 4-8).
God’s love is radically different from our approaches to love. Again, Beebe and Foster write, “Because it is fundamental to human nature to love and seek love, the central purpose of our life with God is learning to love in such a way that all of our heart’s longings–both natural and supernatural–are satisfied.”
We’ll examine some spiritual writers on their understanding of God’s love over the next several days.