Biblical Love Psychology: The stages and categories of Love

Funom MakamaStarred Page By Funom Makama, 18th Feb 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Relationships

I have read lots of divorce articles, talking about when and how to divorce amicably to avoid extra hurt. Well, I believe in the prevention principle and it helps save lots of treatment pills such as (Divorce). If we can prevent by loving each other the right way (especially in our marriages and serious relationships), we would not be thinking and even encouraging break-ups and Divorce.


The Title may suggest a Christian article, yes it is but nonetheless, it is for everyone to learn. When I was working on this article, I realize that there are so many principles and theories to Love. The Biological psychology even went as far as suggesting Lust as an aspect of Love (which I totally disagree with). I have tried so many other psychologies and I find them wanting, one way or the other, so I decided to use the Biblical psychology which seems perfect, wonderful and unique. Therefore, if you are not a Christian, I think you should take it upon yourself as a challenge to read through and see if there is anything contrary to what you believe in or what you think its right (and as well don't keep it to yourself but alert me by leaving a comment below). In view of this, I guess we can commence.

What is Love?

According to Wikipedia "It is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. It is a virtue representing all Human kindness, compassion and affection. It is also the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another". I totally concur with this definition. You cannot talk about Love when there is no one at the receiving end and if we apply this definition, what we do exactly is Loving.

Now that we know what Love is, we can go further to classify it. The way I love my sister can be seen differently from the way I love my friend. The way a Man loves his Wife is totally different from the way He loves his friends. So, Love can be exhibited in different ways and this is the point where Biblical emphasis would be applied.
1. Agape Love: Love perceived to come from God, charitable, selfless, altruistic and unconditional.
2. Phileo: Brotherly Love exhibited in friendship.
3. Eros: Intimate Love, romantic, affectionate or sexual Love.
4. Storge: Love bonded by blood (parent-child, sibling to sibling).

Stages of Love

Love occur not spontaneously. It does not just happen like that. It takes some stages to build up into that emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. And there are just two main stages to love, they are:
1. The attraction
2. Love itself

Categorizing based on these stages:
1. Agape: This is a unique form of Love from God. It is selfless, unconditional, no attraction and mostly unidirectional (irrespective of the other person's feelings, thoughts, actions/reactions towards you). Just loving the person whether he/she deserves it or not and even if the person is killing you, just continue to love the person (huh! strange isn't it?)

John 15:13 states: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

Romans 5:6-8: "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Psalms 52:8: "But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever."

What else can we say? These verses have said it all. That unfailing Love of God is the Agape.

More categories of Love

Phileo: Love in friendship; brotherly Love; platonic Love. There is definitely an attraction here. Something must draw two people to become friends. It is maybe they think alike, or they feel compatible and many more reasons, but a person cannot just walk up the street, meet another person and suddenly they become friends. They first create an acquaintance and the more they get deep into this acquaintance, the more the attraction drags them together to become friends.

Luke 16:9: "I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings."

This verse may sound funny, but the point in it is, the attraction there is the wealth. And this particular example is very practical in our today's world.

Storge: Familial Love: blood linked (parent-child, siblings-siblings). The attraction here is Blood. There was a time I went to the village and (you should have an idea of how Africans relate in terms of extended family) definitely, it is not everyone I will know. I met a lady and we talked for a long time, she did not really identify herself, she just told me her name and from the family she came. I went back home and was discussing it with my uncle and he said she is my Aunt (2nd coursin to my Dad). Trust me!~~ the next time I saw her, I had a different perception, approach and connection with her. I greeted her differently, with more respect and much Love, why? Now I know we are linked by blood and just automatically connected me with her.

Matthew 7:9-11: "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

2 Samuel 12: 19-24: "David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”

Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.

His servants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”

He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me


Eros is a very special kind of Love which depicts physical intimacy, romance, affection and/or sexual attribute. This is the category of Love which exhibits the highest form of attraction and it is thoroughly physical and burns from the inside. In fact, most journals, when referring to attraction only talk about the "Eros" but as we have seen and we will see more in subsequent articles under this series, we will realize that all except the Agape, has the attraction and Eros exhibit the greater form of attraction here. Here is an example of attraction been expressed in Love.
Songs of solomon 5: 10-16:
"My lover is radiant and ruddy,
outstanding among ten thousand.

His head is purest gold;
his hair is wavy
and black as a raven.

His eyes are like doves
by the water streams,
washed in milk,
mounted like jewels.

His cheeks are like beds of spice
yielding perfume.
His lips are like lilies
dripping with myrrh.

His arms are rods of gold
set with chrysolite.
His body is like polished ivory
decorated with sapphires.b

His legs are pillars of marble
set on bases of pure gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon,
choice as its cedars.

His mouth is sweetness itself;
he is altogether lovely.
This is my lover, this my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem

What can we notice in this passage? it is basically physical expression of a female lover to her man.

Now that we know the various categories and stages of Love, we can find out what and how these stages are manifested in Love. What is actually the attraction? What is the love itself? How can we distinguish the two? When can the two be applied? If you enjoy this, just simply move on to the next article on this series (The part II).

By the way, if you want to write like me and earn even more than I do, just register here. I am sharing the love....... so feel very free to accept.


Agape, Biological Love Psychology, Chrysolite, Compassion, Divorce, Eros, Human Kindness, Ivory, Jerusalem, Lebanon, Lust, Personal Attachement, Phileo, Pillars Of Marble, Pure Gold, Relationship, Sapphires, Storge, Strong Affection, Wikipedia

Meet the author

author avatar Funom Makama
A medical Practitioner and a passionate writer. A proud published Author of 2 books, more than 2,000 articles online and 500 Poems!

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
18th Feb 2012 (#)

Wow! A truly excellent and inspiring read. I loved how you backed everything up with quotes. THank you for sharing.

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author avatar Funom Makama
18th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks a lot Melissa for ur encouraging comment and once again, thanks Johnnydod for the star... More is to come Melissa, so keep on reading.

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author avatar pretty_writer
20th Feb 2012 (#)

We can still exhibit the Agape Love.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
19th Feb 2012 (#)

How right you are Funom - we don't try hard enough in our marriages. We so easily just walk away. This page is packed with goodies and so deserving of its star page. Love ya, Funom.

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author avatar Funom Makama
19th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks a lot Sheila Newton.... Did you read the whole series?

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author avatar Funom Makama
20th Feb 2012 (#)

Love ya too Sheila

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author avatar Emmanuel Opaluwa
20th Feb 2012 (#)

I love every line of this article...
and YES!!! I love the writer too...
Bless You for bin a blessing.

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author avatar Funom Makama
20th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks a lot Emmanuel..

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author avatar Lambasted
20th Feb 2012 (#)

Now I understanding. I am reading this with an already read information on the series 5 and as you said there, we will understand every information you are trying to pass across, if we only read the previous series... Now I understand what you were saying perfectly in the series 5. I really enjoyed this. Maybe you should come and marry me!~~~ he he he!

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author avatar Funom Makama
20th Feb 2012 (#)

hahaha~~~ Both of you have asked me the same questions but in different articles... My answer is~~~ Maybe!

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author avatar Jules Castillo
23rd Feb 2012 (#)

thanks for the reminder of the kinds of love..i almost forgot those things

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author avatar Funom Makama
23rd Feb 2012 (#)

Its nice to know it served as a reminder. I am most glad.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
25th Feb 2012 (#)

I have often questioned the meaning of "love" and I think this series will bring me some answers.

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author avatar Funom Makama
25th Feb 2012 (#)

yes Ivy... Just read on!

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author avatar Barine Nakwaasah
2nd Mar 2012 (#)

You are so good. Keep this up!

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author avatar Funom Makama
5th Mar 2012 (#)

Thanks a lot and welcome to wikinut

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author avatar Milly
10th Mar 2012 (#)

Divinely methodical and earthly all encompassing, your analogy of Love, Funom! I enjoy weighing out the whole picture to see the Rainbow spectrum of Love. Although without Agape (or unconditional) Love overriding our selfishness there will always be the lack of love and goodness around us.

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author avatar Funom Makama
11th Mar 2012 (#)

your thoughts is exactly the summary of this series... So if you take your time to read through the Biblical Love Psuchology series of about 5 articles, you will understand that what you said is exactly the detailed explanation of this series, hence I oblige you to read on.

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author avatar Funom Makama
11th Mar 2012 (#)

BTW~~~ @Milly. thanks for the read.. I really appreciate it.

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