Greek culture emphasized the arts and intellectual pursuits. Describing life and how it worked was a common pursuit in Greek culture, and trying to describe love was no exception. Perhaps that is why the ancient Greeks hadsix different words for “love,”while we only have one.
Portions of the New Testament that were originally written in Greek use different words for love like “agape” (love of all) and “philia” (friendship). Understanding the original language gives us a new depth to our understanding of love in the context of scripture and human relationships. These six movies about love demonstrate it in its many forms:
Eros: “Old Fashioned”
“Eros” refers to passionate or romantic love, and most often refers to a sexual relationship. In our culture, true love is often mistaken for “eros,” as seen in secular films like “50 Shades of Grey.” Not only did the Greeks put this kind of love in a category all its own, but they understood its power:
“Eros was viewed as a dangerous, fiery, and irrational form of love that could take hold of you and possess you—an attitude shared by many later spiritual thinkers, such as the Christian writer C.S. Lewis.”
In the love movie, “Old Fashioned,” a young couple learns together the importance of doing “eros” God’s way. They are redeemed from their past mistakes and discover that love is much more than just this kind of heated passion.
“Philia,” or the love of a friend, was the most highly valued in Greek culture. In Romans 12:10, when Paul instructs us to “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves,” he is using this word.
“Philia concerned the deep comradely friendship that developed between brothers in arms who had fought side by side on the battlefield. It was about showing loyalty to your friends, sacrificing for them, as well as sharing your emotions with them.”
In “The Ultimate Gift,” Jason Stevens befriends Emily, a young girl with terminal cancer, and her mother. Their relationship develops into something truly special that embodies exactly what the word “philia” means.
“Ludus” means “playful love,” and is best seen between friends, young lovers, and in flirtatious behavior. It lives between “philia” and romantic love.
A great example of “ludus” can be seen in the movie musical, “Divine Will.” A troubled city slicker moves to the small town of Punkyville, Kentucky with his worship leader uncle, where he meets a sweet girl he quickly falls for. This fun family movie will keep you smiling while you tap your toes to its original songs.
Agape, or selfless love, is the love mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13.“Yes!” Magazinenotes, “C.S. Lewis referred to it as ‘gift love,’ the highest form of Christian love.”
There are lots of great examples of “agape” in PureFlix.com movies, but one we really like is in the Christian movie, “Saved By Grace.” In this film, a woman named Grace overcomes her own tragedies to show others they can as well, and in the process, saves a life.
“Philautia” can be translated as self-love.“Yes!” Magazineexplains: “The clever Greeks realized there were two types. One was an unhealthy variety associated with narcissism, where you became self-obsessed and focused on personal fame and fortune. A healthier version enhanced your wider capacity to love.”
“Radical Makeovers” is a powerful online series about celebrating the uniqueness God has gifted all of us with. The series focuses on a healthy kind of self-love: one that rests firmly in God’s hands.