Love Metaphors for "Agape"

"LOVE IS THE WILL AND DETERMINATION TO VALUE ANOTHER PERSON."
Everette Worthington, "Family Counseling: An Approach That Works." Christian Counseling Today, October 1992, pages 13-17

Look at this definition and take it apart. 

What is "Will?" - choice.

What is "Determination?" - commitment.

Agape is the choice of commitment to value another person!

How do you value another person?

"Love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person"

How do you value people? Respect them after you determine their value.

Here is an example of how to value other people.  Let's say you have a $20 dollar gold piece in your hand and it is dated 1886.  What is the coin's value? What we know about this at face value is that it is worth $20.  If you go to the grocery store, it can buy $20 worth of groceries.

Would that be wise?  No necessarily, somebody else might attach a higher value to it.  Maybe there is some place else that I can go to get it's value.  Let's say that it is sealed in a polyethylene pouch so that it can't be scratched, has no fingerprints on it, it's just like it came out of the mint.  How much do you think it's worth?  You need to go to an appraiser, an expert for coins!  A coin collector or a coin shop owner may have the knowledge of the value.  What does he say?  He would pull out a book that has estimated values of coins based upon how they have been trading.  He will check out the mint marks, and verify your statements on the coin's condition and then he will give you the value out of the book.  Today, that coin may be worth $15,500.00.  Wow!  It has appreciated a little bit.

Now that you know how much it is worth, you go back to the grocery store. you get $15,500.00 worth of groceries, go to check out counter, and hold out the $20 gold piece.  What will the cashier do? She will only allow $20 worth of groceries.  That is what covers he top of the first grocery cart.  She will only value it at $20, that is store policy, face value.

As you stand there looking at all the groceries, a coin collector comes in, asks to see the coin, and checks the condition.  He sees that it is in mint condition and he says, "I'll give me $5,000 in cash right now."  Is that a good trade for the coin?  You only have to put back two-thirds of the groceries you collected.  Depends on how hungry you are.  

The store manager is watching and he is a coin collector too and he says- "I'll give you $10,000!"  That is a better offer and you only have to put back a third of the groceries you have collected.  Is that a good trade for the coin?  Depends on how hungry you are.  

Now the guy who came in the door ups his bid to $14,000.  What now?  The manager says, "$14,500."

What will you do now?  Let it go or keep it.  Some say, "Take the 14,500, it's a bird in the hand."

Now you have defined value of the coin.  Something's value is "WHAT YOU ARE WILLING TO TRADE FOR IT."  The real value of the coin is what you are willing to trade for it.

Now, back to our definition: LOVE IS THE WILL AND DETERMINATION TO VALUE ANOTHER PERSON.

Love is the decision and commitment to not trade that person until you have hit the right price.

What do you think your value is? $15,500- $10,000 - 5 cents?  What book will you go to determine your worth? 

The Bible.  It says your value is worth the life of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  Who can come up with this kind of cash?  Your life was traded for the life of God's only Son.  That establishes your value.

If you as an individual were the only one in need of forgiveness, then God would have sent His Son just for you!!!

How often do you sell yourself and others short?  Everyone of us, at one time or another, will do that.  We understand the de-valuing process because we don't believe what God says we're worth!

LOVE IS THE WILL AND DETERMINATION TO VALUE ANOTHER PERSON!

 

"LOVE SEEKS THE HIGHEST AND GREATEST GOOD FOR THE OTHER PERSON AND PROVIDES FOR THE ONE LOVED WITHIN THE LOVER'S POWER TO PROVIDE."
Unknown Author

How in the world do you "seek for the highest and greatest good for another person?"

You have to study that person and determine what that other person needs.  You, yourself, have to be a person that is the highest and greatest good for the other person.

You can learn to "appreciate" them, increase their worth (the way you hope that your house appreciates in value).

What about "providing for the one loved within the lover's power to provide?"

We are looking at giving away love not trading love.  So what if the other person needs $10,000 and all you have is $100.  If the other person really needs the $10,000, and all you have is $100, you give them the $100.  You cannot give them the $10,000 because you do not have it to give.  Their need is greater than your supply.  "Give" means that it is theirs to use with no thought of return.  Since you do know the person, or should, you can tell if they really need it and how well they will use it.

Look beyond the money example.  Does a person need a word of encouragement and do you have a word of encouragement.  Give it.  What if they need you to hold them while they cry though a loss.  If you can, then give it.  What if they need a listening ear to help sort out a mess.  Everyone has advice.  Be careful that you know what you are advising about and that they are asking for advice, not comfort.  Sometimes, all a person wants is for you to be there with them.  Be there as long as you can be.

 

"LOVE IS GIVING ONE ANOTHER SPACE TO BE ALL THAT THEY ARE AND ALL THAT THEY ARE NOT!"
Unknown Author

This is the unconditional part of love.  This love shows acceptance of who they are.  If they are not someone you want to be with, depart before any commitments.  Once you have committed, you are committed to accept who they portrayed themselves to be.  If they sold themselves on false pretense, you will need to work out how that happened and see what can be changed.  

All people change some.  In the relationship you will notice the changes.  Your influence may help or hinder change.  They still get to make a decision about who they want to portray themselves to be.  Study long before you commit.  You obligate yourself when you do commit.

 

Summary of The Metaphors

Love is a direct and deliberate act.

WILL AND DETERMINATION is based upon the SACRIFICE to love who is valuable to you.

SEEKS THE HIGHEST GOOD is based upon the ACTION OF LOVE, DO SOMETHING.

GIVING ONE ANOTHER SPACE is based upon the ACCEPTANCE OF WHAT IS NOT YOURS TO CHANGE.

NOT ONE OF THE THREE HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH FEELINGS.  THEY ALL HAVE TO DO WITH A DECISION- ACTION BASED - ACCEPTANCE!!!

IN THE Offering Plate ILLUSTRATION- we put this kind of love into the offering plate,  love with no strings attached.  This kind of love is only the agape kind

HERE LIES A PROBLEM - NONE OF US ARE BORN WITH THE NATURAL INCLINATION OR ABILITY TO GIVE AGAPE LOVE!!!

THE ONLY WAY TO GET AGAPE LOVE IS FROM GOD AND HE WILL DO AGAPE LOVE THROUGH YOU!