Happy Valentine’s Day! What kind of love will you be celebrating today? Culturally we see Valentine’s Day as a time to celebrate romantic love, but there are many different kinds of love! The Greek language describes these different types of love accurately:

Eros – Romantic Love

Phileo – Friendship Love

Storgy  – Family Love

Agape – Unconditional, Selfless & Sacrificial Love

I am grateful for these descriptions, because I certainly don’t love my children the same way I love to dance! It can be helpful to understand that we love different people in different ways.

Of all these types of love, Agape Love intrigues me. It is a very high and honourable thing to love without thinking of yourself first because we humans are selfish by nature. It is oh so easy to think of myself first, I do that without thinking! To put another first takes intention. It takes planning. It takes courage. It takes humility. But most of all, it takes love.

Love is sacrificial. That’s what makes it love. When I give up something of myself or for myself, for the benefit and blessing of another, that is love. There is cost in love. Love is not easy. It requires me to let go of something of mine, for you.

Having a baby and raising him has taught me more about real love than anything else. The very act of pregnancy was a sacrifice  – giving up my body so this person could be formed, held and birthed. And from his first cry onwards my life has centred around him. I have thought of his needs and wants first, before my own, and it is very interesting how this kind of selfless love comes so naturally when being a parent. Somehow, it doesn’t seem hard to think of myself second. Yet when my husband and I have a film night, I find it very hard to let him choose the film!

Having a child of my own birthed a natural selfless love that flows from somewhere in my heart I didn’t know I had and that has taught me something majestic about our Heavenly Father. His Love is like this – perfect. It is all giving, selfless and sacrificial. To God, He is all about you and me for we are His. And oh what joy that is to know, receive and share.

“This is real love. It is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:10, New Living Translation


God gave. He gave up His Son; and He gave us His Son. He sacrificed – let go of – his most precious and priceless blessing – his only son, for you and me to be saved from death, and to have a home with Him. Wow, that is love.


When I read and re-read this passage, I am reminded of what real love is. And no matter what type of love you are celebrating this Valentine’s Day, we can all celebrate His Love, the giving, selfless and sacrificial love that is God Himself. (1 John 4:16)