Chaplain: There are 4 kinds of unconditional love

By Dean Knutson

Unconditional love is a love when you love someone no matter what they do and expect nothing in return. This love is also the love that God shows to us every day of our lives and it is given to us freely with no questions asked and he does not expect anything in return.

To love unconditionally, we obey God’s command to put on love and respect regardless of the circumstances. If we refuse to obey this command, we tend to rationalize (tell ourselves rational lies) and believe that others have caused us to be harsh and rude.

Dean Knutson mugshot
Dean Knutson

In the Scriptures, there are four kinds of love mentioned. These four types of love are: agape love, philia love, eros love and storge love.

We need to take a look at each of these loves to understand the different ways we show love to one another.

First: Agape love is the love of mankind and is God’s divine love for all mankind. It is the faithful love of God for humans as well as the human reciprocal love for God. This is the highest form of love and is contrasted by eros (erotic love) and philia (brotherly love). Agape love can also be explained as a love that is willing to make sacrifices for the good of the beloved. Jesus showed agape love for us by his death on the cross.

Second: Eros love is the passionate love or romantic love. It is the love shared by married couples or long-term couples.

Third: Philia love is the love of friends and equals. It is the love among close friends, warriors or extended family.

Fourth: Storge love is the love that parents have for their children and children for their parents. It is the love shown between brothers and sisters.

There are four marks of unconditional love and they are: This love is unfailing, unrestricted, steadfast and it is productive.

There are so many ways in which we can show our love for all people. There are also many things that happen that can deter us from loving each other the way that God would like us to.

How many times have we despised someone for an action that they have done against us, an angry word that has been spoken in haste, a thought entered our mind that may cause harm to someone else?

God created us after his own image and we need to show our love to our fellow man no matter what the circumstances are. Because of our busy schedules, many of us let our daily lives control us and dictate to us how we run our lives. We need to slow down and take into consideration the needs and the concerns of our fellowman. We need to love others as God first loved us.

In this holiday season, how can we show agape love to our family, neighbors, communities and someone you may know who is in need? Sometimes just a friendly word or a kind act is all it takes to help make someone’s day bright instead of dark and gloomy. Maybe someone needs help getting to a store, a medical appointment or a hot meal.

How can we help our fellow man and show them the love that God has shown us?

Some of the events in the month of December that we need to remember are:

Start of Advent: Dec. 3

Pearl Harbor Day: Dec. 7

Start of Hanukkah: Dec. 7

National Guard Birthday: Dec. 13

Bill of Rights Day: Dec. 15

Start of Yule: Dec. 21

Christmas Eve: Dec. 24

Christmas: Dec. 25

Start of Kwanzaa: Dec. 26

Boxing Day: Dec. 26

New Year’s Eve: Dec. 31

Wishing all of you a very joyous holiday season and let us show our fellowman the love that God first showed us — unconditional love.

Dean Knutson of Ashby Post 357 is the chaplain for The American Legion Department of Minnesota.