Friday, February 14, 2014

Love Is Like a Box of Chocolates

by Niki Turner
(replay of an oldie but a goodie)

This week we've tasted some of the different expressions, or forms, of love. If you're like me, you've enjoyed these varied flavors of love, and each taste has left you wanting to reproduce such goodness and sweetness in your own life. But filling up on brotherly love, parental love, or sexual love – as delicious as they are – cannot satisfy the whole spirit, soul, and body

 Imagine a box of chocolates. Maybe it's heart-shaped, covered in smooth red satin with a plush ribbon bow. Your mouth begins to water just thinking about the assortment of rich, dark chocolate within, wrapped around sweet cream fillings and gooey soft caramels.
You lift the lid, only to discover this box has a fatal flaw...

The chocolate is gone! 
(Insert horrified scream.)

Each fluted paper cup nestled within holds the fillings, without the chocolate. A glob of strawberry cream (or is that used bubble gum?) resides next to some nondescript tan nougat. At least you think it's nougat. The caramels, exposed to air, are hard enough to crack your molars. One cup holds a couple naked peanuts.
There's no mystery. No secret code to break before you choose your piece of candy. You know exactly what you're getting. Orange cream and raspberry gels and cherry cordials just aren't the same without their luscious milk or dark chocolate wrappers.

What chocolate is to a box of assorted creams and caramels, agape (ah-gah-pay) is to phileo (brotherly love), eros (physical or sexual love), and storge (parental love). Agape is the love that gives life to all the other flavors, that keeps each one within its proper range of expression, that brings satisfaction from the inside out.

Agape is selfless love. The God-kind of love.

Vine's Expository Dictionary puts it this way: "Love can be known only from the actions it prompts. God's love is seen in the gift of His Son, 1 John 4:9,10. But obviously this is not the love of complacency, or affection, that is, it was not drawn out by any excellency in its objects, Rom 5:8. It was an exercise of the divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause...”

"Self-will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God.”
"Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren, or toward men generally, is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered."
(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

Agape is love without reason, love that is unearned and undeserved. It's love by choice, love as an act of the will instead of an emotional reaction or mental response. It's love that sets aside its own will for the good of another, without consideration of reciprocity. In other words, agape loves no matter what. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13, it's the “love that never ceases being.”

Think about it. The gift of chocolate by itself is satisfactory. But receiving a box of assorted fillings, sans chocolate, is just not quite right.

When Romans 5:5 says God shed His love abroad in our hearts, it's talking about agape. God gave you His love, wrap it around all your other expressions of love, and you'll find them deeper, more meaningful, and more satisfying than ever before.


  1. Thanks for reposting this, Niki. I really like the line:
    Agape is love without reason...
    Simple and succinct. Beautiful.

  2. We certainly figure this out when we get older. Love is action-selfless action, isn't it? Unfortunately that's not always the wisdom we have when we are making those big decisions early in life.

    Hope you all have a special weekend with your loved ones!

  3. Good Post chocolates are a great gift to express your love! Now send flowers and chocolate delivery to your loved ones.

  4. It really looks tasty. I will surely try this.


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