What’s Love Got To Do With It

By Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

Tina Turner coined this phrase with the release of her iconic eighties hit single. It is still popular today.  Before and after Ms. Turner’s popular song, love has been the central focus of songs, books , and movies.  Some entertainment channels, like Hallmark, primarily feature movies that focus on “true love.”  So… what does love have to do with it?  I would like to suggest love has EVERYTHING to do with it.  

Love is not simply a feeling or as Tina Turner describes “a second hand emotion” but it is an action.  Love is what we do. The feeling follows our expression or acceptance of love.  The sensation we experience when we receive an act of love is the same pleasure we have when we offer love to another person.  This affirms our need to not only receive love BUT to also give it away.  

Many of us are familiar with the three types of love: Eros (sensual/passionate), Agape (love of God for man and  with God or unconditional love), and Philia (friendship love). Most focus on sensual love.  We want to be loved/wanted/needed by that “special person”.”  We want someone with whom to share our lives.  We want someone to walk alongside us during life’s journey. But we seldom think about how the three types of love are interconnected.

Agape/Unconditional Love: When we love this way we see people for who they are (a person in need of forgiveness, redemption, grace, and mercy) instead of what they are ( imperfect beings).  High expectations are lowered when we embrace the fact that people are not capable of meeting all our needs. 

Philia Love: When we love this way we connect with others not only physically but emotionally.  There are times where a person will need someone to simply be present with them.  Philia love is demonstrated also when we pursue someone.  Not in a romantic way but seeking after those who are in need.

Jesus was a wonderful example of  agape love and philia love with the woman at the well (John 4:1-25).  He demonstrated unconditional love, He was present with her, and He pursued her  by going out of his way to meet her where she was.  This is love in action.  

Eros love is more meaningful when it is combined with agape and philia love.  We are free to be ourselves and feel safe, we do not feel pressured to live up to an unrealistic expectation of another, we embrace each other’s human imperfections, we seek to meet the other’s needs, and we extend grace and mercy.  This is a true love story.

Sadly, many have had past experiences that cause them to believe this can not be their reality.  They do see love as simply “ a second hand emotion.”  They have extended love but have not received it in return. It is a challenge to feel good about ourselves when we think we will not have a “happily ever after.”  It can be more difficult to feel hopeful and content when feeling disheartened about the absence of love in our lives.  It  may not feel safe to share these feelings, thoughts, and emotions. It can feel risky and for some  it will take courage. But it may be what is needed to begin your love story.


Love has a lot to do with it! Are you ready to take the next step?

Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

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