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We’ve been reading about Storge love this week, which is defined as “natural affection.” It’s a gentle feeling, like a warm blanket on a cold winters night. Unlike eros which can strike you like lightening, it comes to you slowly and and ever so softly.
It’s a feeling that bonds one heart to another. It’s communicated through kindness, and often expressed with a hug and a kiss. It’s holding hands with your child as you walk through the park, it’s a kiss on the forehead after a long day at work, it’s the warmth of a trusted companion and friend. Storge love is familiar, it’s comforting, it’s homespun.
The reason that I wanted to study this one first is because affection is woven through every love we experience. Whether we’re talking about friendship, romantic love, or agape love, we’re usually affectionate with the people we care for.
As I was reading this week about Moses’ mother, the two women brought before King Solomon, and the relationship between Naomi and Ruth I discovered two things:
- Love goes hand in hand with sacrifice
- Releasing our grip on people (and things) is an important part of loving them, and loving God well.
My kids are grown up (two are adults now) and letting go is a very tough part of parenting. With aging parents, I’ve had to learn to let go of my dad when he passed on. I’ve had to let go of pets I’ve loved dearly. I’ve said goodbye to friends who moved on… I’ve wanted to hold on tight, but I’ve had to let go.
I remember when I was a young child. I had a baby doll named Pee-Wee. I loved that little doll with the curly blonde hair more than you can imagine. I remember bathing her in the afternoons at the bathroom sink with a bar of soap, and then wrapping her in a tea towel to keep her warm as I rocked her to sleep. I ironed her clothes, combed her blonde hair, and fell asleep with her in my arms every night.
We were inseparable–until my niece came along.
Mom said that I should give Pee-Wee away. “You’re getting old,” she said, “maybe you should give the doll to Sharleen.”
Against better judgement, I packed up my doll along with her tea-towel blanket and handed her off to the next generation.
The next Saturday we went over to visit. I couldn’t wait to see Pee-Wee.
I thought maybe they’d change their minds and send her back home with me. I thought perhaps I could figure out a way to smuggle her out of the house… but that didn’t happen. In fact what happened next was horrific.
I walked in the backyard and found part of her face in the freshly cut grass. She was torn to shreds by a lawn mower and scattered in pieces across the backyard.
I learned a lesson that day. Love comes softly, but when it’s time to let go it cuts deep. It rips your heart into a million pieces and you wonder if you’ll ever be the same again.
And I wasn’t the same. I was stronger. I’ve opened my heart over the years to countless friends and family, puppies, teachers, a bird…
Storge has always been a part of my life and always will be. Our love tanks don’t empty because someone walks out or passes away. God continues to bring that familiar affection into our lives time and again.
Our parents pass on, children are born… our children move out, grandkids come back to visit… friends move on, new friends step in…
Don’t get me wrong, we can’t replace the people we’ve lost, but we can love again, and with God’s strength we can move on.
We must learn to let go when God calls us to it. It’s never easy, but it’s a part of loving them, and loving Him well.
You ave loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife
P.S. Come back on Monday, and I’ll some new study questions for you, Bible verses for the week, and yet another colouring page.
Click here to download today’s colouring page: