Have you ever loved someone? My guess is, most who read this will have to answer yes. We have all loved someone, or many people over our lifetimes. Parents, children, siblings, cousins, neighbors, in-laws; we love many people in many different ways. The ancient Greeks, in their philosophical pursuits, labeled eight different types of love.

1. “Eros” or Erotic Love
2. “Philia” or Affectionate Love (friendship)
3. “Storge” or Familiar Love (kinship)
4. “Ludus” or Playful Love (young love)
5. “Mania” or Obsessive Love
6. “Pragma” or Enduring Love (Mature Love)
7. “Philautia” or Self Love
8. “Agape” or Selfless Love

Passion : [pash-uhn] noun
1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, such as love.

Suppose you wanted to improve a relationship, or renew the love you have had for someone? Sometimes a marriage may lose some passion, friends drift in and out of our daily lives, and people move away. How do we rekindle these flames? Since all love flows from God, I suggest you start with prayer. Ask God to lead you, to send the Holy Spirit to guide you. Allow the Spirit to inspire you to take a course that is aligned with the will of God. God will not fail you in your efforts to show love to anyone!

The next step is to build up the love you have for that person. To do this, you should reflect on all the positive expressions of love that this person has demonstrated for you. It is always easier to love someone who loves you, so try to remember all the love that has been shown to you by this person. Compose a list of these occasions, so you may add to it as you recall more events. Let your heart be filled with gladness and gratitude for these gifts of love. Let that gratitude guide you as you interact with them.
The last step is action. If you started with prayer, and have reflected enough on the love shown to you, you will want to express your gratitude. Choose the appropriate method and do it! Is it a card or a phone call to a friend out of town? Maybe. Perhaps a favor for a neighbor is just right. Is the object of your gratitude your spouse? Well, only you will know the best choice there. No matter who it is, if you are unsure of what action to take, remember; prayer is God’s “help-line for tech support.”

When apathy is replaced with passion in our lives, some amazing things happen in our relationships. The really interesting thing is that cause and effect become blurred. Let me give an
example. When you treat your spouse more passionately, your love deepens. When your love deepens, you treat your spouse with more passion. Which is the cause, and which is the effect?

Likewise, when your spouse is treated more passionately, their love may deepen, prompting them to treat you more passionately. One feeds the other. It is like a resonance feedback, becoming more powerful with each vibration.

So there it is. I offer this technique for two reasons. The first and most obvious is as a contribution to any of my new friends here at Mt. Healthy U.M.C., who wish to improve a relationship in their lives. This method has worked for me on a few occasions, and I believe it can work for you as well. There is another reason as well.

At the request of Pastor Jonathan, I will be filling the pulpit in his absence On Sunday July 2nd and July 9th. My two part sermon series, Archeology and Gospels, will refer to this method. It is my hope that you will have had the chance to give this a try by then. I would love to hear how it has worked for you!