top of page

Love between the Sheets PT II

Happy Valentines Day!

Are well really getting what we need when it comes to love and What it looks like?

Paul begins in I Corinthian13 by describing just how useless, even destructive, spiritual gifts are when not applied from the standpoint of love. Paul describes the love he's talking about. It's not a love of swollen feelings that may come and go. It's not the love of flowery or eloquent words. This is God's love—from the Greek agape—often described as "unconditional love" by Christians. It is unconditional in the sense that it does not depend on the one being loved, but on the commitment of the one acting.

Paul uses seven positive statements about what love does, and the other seven are negative statements about what love does not do. In all cases, true Christian love is about setting one's self aside for the good of other believers.

Love is patient and kind. good of others. On the other hand, love doesn't envy or boast, not even regarding the spiritual gifts of oneself or others. Love is not arrogant, convinced of one's superiority over others. Love is not rude, meaning that it does not act indecently, sinning and breaking cultural norms to bring attention to oneself. love like this have given up on seeking their own status and satisfaction first and foremost. Instead, they genuinely commit themselves to seeking good for other believers.

Love refuses to take any joy or pleasure from wrongdoing. Instead, it declares that was is true is worth celebrating above all. Love loves the truth. Love doesn't set limits on love. Love does not declare, "This far and no further." Love bears, or puts up with, all things for the good of other believers. That is true even if that means loving from a greater distance to avoid the active abuse of others. love believes all things, pushing the burden of truthfulness onto others instead of carrying the burden of uncovering falsehood. Love doesn't stop hoping for other believers to do good, no matter the evidence of the past. Love doesn't quit when the trials of life pile up. Love keeps going.

Love Between the Sheets Pt. II

So, when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love [agape] Me more than these?” [Peter] said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love [phileo] You.” [Jesus] said to him, “Feed My lambs” (John 21:15).

In asking if Peter loves Him more than these, Jesus could be referencing the fish, which would be akin to saying, “Do you love Me more than fishing?” Or He might have the other disciples in mind, in which case Jesus would be asking, “Do you love Me more than you love these other disciples?” But based on Peter’s earlier prideful declaration that he loved Jesus more than anyone else, Jesus was probably asking Peter if he still believed that to be true: “Do you love Me more than these other disciples love Me?” Regardless of intent, Jesus was inquiring about Peter’s love for Him, and the word He used was agape.

Peter was aware of how he had failed his Master and was humbled by this realization that he had responded to Jesus with the word phileo instead of agape. He knew that his earlier actions prevented him from being able to claim the superior form of love Jesus asked about.

Point to Ponder....We know where we are.

[Jesus] said to [Peter] again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love [agape] Me?”

[Peter] said to [Jesus], “Yes, Lord; You know that I love [phileo] You.”

[Jesus] said to [Peter], “Tend My sheep” (John 21:16).

As though to make His question easier, this time Jesus dropped the phrase “more than these.” But He still used the word agape, and again Peter responded with the word phileo.

[Jesus] said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love phileo Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love phileo Me?”

And [Peter] said to [Jesus], “Lord, you know all things; You know that I love phileo You.”

Jesus said to [Peter], “Feed My sheep” (John 21:17).

This time Jesus also used the word phileo. He had stopped asking if Peter had agape for Him. The passage reveals that this grieved Peter. In fact, the whole conversation would have been painful to him. First, Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love Me?” The three questions would remind Peter of his three denials. Being asked the same question three times would make Peter think Jesus did not believe his professions of love. Then in the third question, Jesus shifted to the word phileo as though calling into question even this inferior love Peter professed for Him. The possibility that Peter did not even possess phileo for Jesus broke the disciple’s heart.

Pay Attention to this point!

What may have added to Peter’s pain is that throughout this conversation, Jesus did not use the new name He had given Peter (Matthew 16:18). Peter means “rock,” signifying strength and a firm foundation. Jesus reverted to calling Peter by his original name, Simon, which implied that Jesus was not seeing Peter at this moment as a rock. Considering Peter’s arrogance when he boasted of his love for Jesus, he undoubtedly needed this reminder of his own weakness and humanity so as not to place so much trust in himself again.

The point to notice in this account is that Peter recognized the higher calling associated with agape. As a result of his earlier denials, he did not feel comfortable telling the Lord he had this superior love for Him.

Jesus’s words to Peter should move us to carefully evaluate our own love for the Lord. I cannot help but picture Jesus asking, “Charles, do you love Me?” When Jesus looks at my life, what kind of love does He see for Him? Is it simply an affectionate phileo, or does He see all-encompassing agape? Would Jesus have to ask me three times whether I love Him, and humble me as He did Peter?


Phileo is the love wives are instructed to have for their husbands. Titus 2:3-4 commands “older women [to]…admonish the young women to love their husbands.” The Greek word for “love their husbands” is philandros, a combination of phileo and aner (the Greek word translated “husband”). So while husbands are commanded to have agape for their wives (which we will discuss in detail later), wives are commanded to have phileo for their husbands.

The reason for the difference is that the needs of husbands and wives are different. Most men—myself included—would say it can be very discouraging and trying at times being a husband, father, provider, spiritual leader, and all the other roles and responsibilities that fall on men’s . What could be more encouraging for a husband