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Key Types of Love Discussed in the Bible

Gabrielle Applebury
Woman and man reading Bible

There are four main types of love illustrated in the Bible. Better understanding what types of love are expressed in the Bible can help you connect with the differing types of love in your life.

Storge Love in the Bible

Storge love encompasses the love that is shared with family members. This type of love can connect parents to their children, as well as siblings to each other and their parents. This type of powerful love may feel instinctual and unconditional, especially when it flows from parents to their children. Storge love ignites parents to protect their young and keep each other safe. Storge love can be seen when:

  • A parent sacrifices themselves for their child
  • Siblings put each other first and value each other's presence in the family
  • A child seeks comfort from their parent

Examples in the Bible

There are many examples of storage love throughout the Bible. Some examples of this powerful love include:

  • The love between partners Noah and Naamah
  • The parent-child bond that Abraham and Isaac shared
  • The love between siblings Ephraim and Menashe

Eros Love

Eros love is otherwise known as erotic love and is shared between romantic partners. This type of love can be seen in a relationship where the couple feels passionate about one another and has a strong sexual pull to each other. This type of love can make a couple feel close, connected, and intimate. The Bible prohibits this type of love unless a couple is married. Examples of eros love include:

Woman and man kissing
  • A couple passionately kissing
  • Having an intimate sexual experience with your partner
  • Holding your love tenderly

Examples From the Bible

Eros can be seen scattered throughout the Bible. Some poignant references to eros include:

  • In Peter 2:11, "Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts..."
  • In John 2:15-2:16, "If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world."

Philia Love

Philia is the love shared between friends. This is the love that those who have a deep and meaningful friendship may feel towards one another. This type of love can make you feel as if you're close enough to be siblings because of how powerful the bond you have with each other is. Philia love provides support, nurturing, and understanding from someone who is not related to you, which can feel incredibly meaningful to have in your life. Examples of philia love include:

  • A friendship with someone that you've known since you were little
  • A newer friendship that you both have nurtured and feel committed to

Philia Love in the Bible

Philia love can be seen throughout the Bible. Some examples include:

Agape Love

Agape, in the Bible, is considered the highest form of love possible. Agape love encompasses the connection between God and humans, and vice versa. Agape love is unconditional and selfless. Agape love can be seen in altruistic acts of kindness. Examples include:

Volunteers helping to feed others
  • An individual who volunteers and expects nothing in return
  • Someone who goes out of their way to help others in need
  • Assisting a stranger just because

Examples of Agape Love in the Bible

Agape love may be the most prolific type of love seen throughout the Bible. Examples include:

  • 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 4:8, "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
  • Romans 12:10, "Honor one another above yourselves."

Understanding Love in the Bible

Love is a complicated emotion that may feel a bit easier to understand after exploring the four main types of love that can be found in the Bible. In the Bible, love is actionable and feels alive when it's referred to. Knowing the different types of love in the Bible can help you understand which ones are present in your own life.

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Key Types of Love Discussed in the Bible