What has happened to a cultural value of love, its meanings and implications
According to Merriam-Webster dictionaries definition of love
1. 1a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties maternal love for a child (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers After all these years, they are still very much in love. (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests love for his old schoolmatesb : an assurance of affection give her my love
2. 2 : warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion love of the sea
3. 3a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration baseball was his first loveb (1) : a beloved person : darling —often used as a term of endearment (2) British —used as an informal term of address
4. 4a : unselfish loyal and benevolent (see benevolent 1a) concern for the good of another: such as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) : brotherly concern for othersb : a person's adoration of God
5. 5 : a god (such as Cupid or Eros) or personification of love
6. 6 : an amorous episode : love affair
7. 7 : the sexual embrace : copulation
8. 8 : a score of zero (as in tennis)
9. 9 capitalized, Christian Science : god
The Meanings of Love in the Bible
Article by John Piper
Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org
Love in the Bible, as in our everyday usage, can be directed from person to person or from a person to things. When directed toward things, love means enjoying or taking pleasure in those things. Love towards persons is more complex. As with things, loving persons may mean simply enjoying them and taking pleasure in their personalities, looks, achievements, etc. But there is another aspect of interpersonal love that is very important in the Bible. There is the aspect of love for persons who are not attractive or virtuous or productive. In this case, love is not a delight in what a person is, but a deeply felt commitment to helping him be what he ought to be. As we will see, the love for things and both dimensions of the love for persons are richly illustrated in the Bible.
As we examine the Old Testament and the New Testament in turn, our focus will be on God’s love, then on man’s love for God, man’s love for man and man’s love for things.