Puppy Love

One afternoon last week my son came home from school with a message and a request: “Pa, tomorrow our topic will be about different kinds of love. Can you give me some information so I can at least have a head start?”

So I shared with him what I know. I did not expound further for I didn’t know much about this topic either. I just remember that I learned this in high school when I attended a one-week vacation youth camp organized by our church. That was about 25 years ago.

Storge is the love between people who are connected by blood. Others call it family love. Have you heard the saying, “Blood is thicker than water.”? Well, that saying puts emphasis on the Storge kind of love.

Philia is the love between friends. The famous story of David and Jonathan in the Bible is, I think, a good example of Philia love.

Eros is about romantic love. This is why Eros love is always connected with sex.

Platonic Love is considered as non-sexual love. I seldom hear this kind of love used to describe love between two people of the same-sex. Platonic Love is often used to describe strong love between a man and a woman who do not have any kind of sexual relationship.

Agape is the kind of selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional love. This is the highest kind of love, the kind of love God shows to human beings.

Unexpectedly, after quickly enumerating and differentiating these kinds of love, my son threw me a serious follow-up question, “How about puppy love?” Yes, he was serious about the question. So I knew instantly that his seriousness put me in an awkward dilemma. How would I explain the concept of puppy love?

So I threw back a quick answer. “Puppy love is for puppies; they are not for people. That’s why it’s called  puppy love. 🙂

This morning as I was visiting friendly blogs, I was greeted by a post titled “Puppy Love” by spilledcookies. Suddenly I remembered my conversation with my son last week, and my quick answer to his unexpected question.

spilledcookies‘ opening sentence says, “There’s no better example of unconditional love than a dog.” She’s right. We can learn a lot about the actions of love by simply observing dogs when they express their puppy love. They are indeed loyal, sacrificing, full of hope, and truly loving. Dogs are even forgiving to their human masters.

Thanks spilledcookies for the reminder!

I remember, last March I posted this…

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Pride, Arrogance and Forgiveness


To be painfully honest, I struggle with my own silent pride everyday. I always need to take extra effort in reminding myself that I am not “more profound” than others…that I’m not better.

Another article from Enough Light reminds me of what a pastor told me about why arrogant people are not in heaven while all other sinners are there. I still remember how it goes. Let me convert the pastor’s voice in written words. I hope I can achieve the same effect.

“Did you know that heaven is populated by ALL kinds of sinners, except for one type?


Murderers, rapist, liars, thieves, adulterers, robbers, swindlers, and all other sorts of sinners can be seen in heaven, except for one group: the arrogant and the prideful people.”

Then the pastor explained further,

“All those sinners got a realistic view of themselves and their standing with God. Their realization brought them to confess and repent. Through faith, they were welcomed by the grace of God in heaven.”

However, the group of arrogant people couldn’t even believe the notion that they are in need…and that they need to be saved. They are not accustomed to the belief that they are “not better” than others. They have a very distorted view of themselves. The idea that “we stand in common ground” infuriates their hearts. They would not accept that, like all of us, they are sinners and that they need forgiveness. They are consumed by their wrong sense of SUPER-superiority. That’s why not a single one of them made it to heaven.”

For a fortifying closing, the pastor reminded me by explaining the concept of forgiveness,

“Remember, except for angels, the population of heaven is comprised of FORGIVEN people. Arrogant people cannot accept FORGIVENESS because in the first place, they don’t believe they are wrong. And forgiveness, even if it’s offered to you, it will not have any power unless you receive it in your heart.”

“And the only way to receive it in your heart is first, to get rid of your own arrogance and pride, and second, to believe that you will be forgiven.”

The pastor’s simplified explanation left me pondering about the connection of FORGIVENESS and PRIDE. Forgiveness is a two-way street. To complete the loop, both are needed: first, it should be offered; and then, it should be received. The good thing is, God’s FORGIVENESS has already been offered more than 2,000 years ago. To complete the crucial loop, only the other step is left. We just need to RECEIVE it. And the only thing that prevents us from receiving it is our own pride and arrogance.

Arrogant and prideful people do not know how to forgive; and they do not know how to be forgiven either.

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This post is a response to a friends post in ENOUGH LIGHT article titled, “The perils of self-deception…what are your spiritual blind spots?? Part 2.”

Intimacy or Worship?

Hello Laura,

It took me days to figure out how to respond to your interesting article. But I’m afraid it expanded too much that I now feel awkward to paste it under your post as a reply. So I decided to write it in my blog and then connect it with your post through a pingback.

Let me try by quoting a few separate paragraphs from the same chapter of Philip Yancey’s REACHING FOR THE INVISIBLE GOD:

“Knowing an invisible God, we assume, has little in common with knowing a living, breathing person. Or does it? Actually, the more we understand how the mind works, the more it becomes clear that all knowledge—of God, people, or anything else—involves uncertainty and demands an act of faith.”

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“So many times people have surprised and misled me. I have learned that one of my best friends had a secret life of sexual addiction, that another was abused by her father for fifteen years. I thought I knew these friends, only to discover I was missing vital information about them. All human relationships rest on a platform of uncertainty that preserves the mysterious quality of otherness. In knowing one another, we always fall short.”

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“Knowing another person is a tricky matter involving much approximation and mystery.”

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“…knowing ‘other minds,’ whether other person or God, always requires an act of faith.”

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Having a relationship with God is ‘different’ and at the same time ‘similar’ with having relationship with other people.

The same in the sense that it involves uncertainty, mystery and faith. Just like ours: I have not seen you yet. And you’re not sure that I am a real single person. I have not yet audibly heard your voice, and you’re the same with me. But through faith, we communicate. Through faith I can hear your inner voice and have a hint of how you feel about Christianity and about life.

We become acquainted with each other by the contents of our articles and by the way we deliver our chosen words. We both need faith to maintain the positive healthy relationship. The same with God. We become acquainted with Him through his writings—the Bible. And we need faith to maintain a healthy relationship with Him.

Paradoxically, having relationship with God is also different from having a relationship with others. Simply because God is different from us. He’s God, we are humans. We cannot touch Him nor literally hear His voice. We cannot see His figure. Again, Philip put it succinctly. This last one is excerpted from the same book but from a different chapter.

“We are profoundly different, God and I, which explains why friendship is not the primary model used in the Bible to describe our relationship. Worship is.”

Thanks Laura for your exploration on this topic! It’s very interesting! And I agree with you, I think we need to start looking for a better and more appropriate term than the word “relationship” with God.

How about the word worship?

Because that’s the one thing that makes our relationship with God different from any other relationships. No matter how much we claim intimacy with God, we always worship Him. In strong contrast, that’s one thing we don’t do with other people who are so “intimate” with us—we don’t worship them.

We can be intimate with both God and humans, but it’s only God that we worship.

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This post is a response to a friend’s article Problems with saying you have a “relationship with God”…maybe we need new terminology?