Storge, like agape, is one of the Greek words for what is often translated and understood as “love”, and it is also found in the Scriptures. It’s not talked about as much, however, even though the problems caused by a deficit of storge is epidemic in our society. In this week’s 5 minute “Audio Gem”, Jay talks about storge love, as well as a the “redefinition” of all love that came from the Cross. Enjoy!
Some years back C.S.Lewis’ book, “The Four Loves” was brought to my attention when it was taught by Midge Jordan from New Zealand. She’s a grandmother by the time she gave her thing, and the thrust of her talk was on “storge” love. Even C.S.Lewis didn’t quote the scripture in his book on “The Four Loves” where the greek word storge was concerned, nor the preaching of some of the other guys I was hearing who were preaching on storge. I think rightly saw, however, that storge is the foundational love of life. It’s the love that a parent has for a new child, whether it’s a mother dog, or a puppy, or a mother cat or a kitten, or a human mother. In the first instance it’s the love of a mother, and it’s the first signal to new life that it might possibly have value. It’s the gospel of the old creation, storge love. It’s the affirming love that makes life blossom. And so that just blew my mind because I was increasingly seeing that we are suffering from an information glut but an affirmation deficit. The whole culture is dysfunctional for a lack of storge and families become so dysfunctional and even a mother’s love is gone.
As I looked at it more, I found that storge is in the Scriptures in 2 Timothy 3:3. It’s a negative, that is a two negative list. There’s a list in Romans 1 where it says “without natural affection”. That’s storge, and the word storgonos means ‘without it’. And when that’s gone, you can forget it. You can see that in our culture and even in our own hearts, our own lives, and our woundedness. And then I think Paul repeats it again. Notice that it says, “in the last days” in Timothy, and again it’s storgonos or without natural affection. Then I think some place in Romans it says, “be kindly affectionate toward one another in brotherly love.” So, that legalizes it from the vantage point that storge is a part of the agape package.
But those loves were for the natural. Phileo was a natural love, storge was natural love, and eros was a natural love. These loves are all flawed and fallen but for the redefinition of love at the cross. The Greeks knew about agape before the cross but they didn’t know anything about something that you now know….Kings will shut their mouths because of Him! Because what they had not seen, they will see. That’s what the world had never seen before – a man lay his life down for his enemy. So now when that’s the backbone of the other loves, when the other loves get kicked in the teeth they don’t go away, because now there’s a love there that’s good for enemies.
Now I say that, but I always say it presumptuously because then I go out and somebody tears my face off and I want to punch them out. But that’s what I mean by being “lovers in training”. I thought I was a lover in Christ and then Jesus has been teaching me ever since, “Well, you think you’re a lover? Okay, let’s go into this environment.” I turn around and I’m like, “Oh God, do I have to put up with this?” And it’s Jesus on the cross hanging there and He looks at down at me and He says, “Yeah, I fixed it so there’s nothing you can’t forgive.” He reminds me of what He did for me. I put Him there! He loved me so much that He not only laid His life down for me, He laid His life down for me when I was taking it! I put Him there! That’s what the desolate woman sees in Isaiah 54:1, and that desolation is the fertility of the Holy Spirit. And she gets it! In Isaiah 53:1, “Who has believed our report?” She does! And Paul says, she’s our mother. The desolation of our flesh is the fertility of the Spirit.
By the way, in the passage there (and it makes me go want to punch out translators)…, Isaiah 52:14 in the NIV says, “Just as there were many who were appalled at him (i.e. foot note: Hebrew ‘you’, which is enough to blow your mind), and King James, astonied at him, and New American Standard, astonished at him. In the Hebrew the word astonied, astonished, etc, means desolation. It’s the same word that’s translated desolate woman, and it’s the same word as the abomination of desolation in Daniel, which is a flag post for Jesus in the eschatological discourse. And the sense of it is this, that just as there were many who were made desolate at the sight of you, My people, so He will be marred beyond human recognition, more than any other man. And the desolate woman gets it. But because of the translators, an English speaking reader doesn’t get the connection between that and Daniel. That’s a high crime where translation is concerned.