There is probably no type of love more important to us than the love we feel for our families. The Greeks call this storge.
Families are where we first learn to love. When a mother pours out her love on her baby, when siblings learn to help one another, when a father works to provide for his children, when the whole family eats, plays, sleeps and lives together, we all learn something about love.
It’s interesting that the Greek word storge never occurs in the Bible by itself. It only occurs as a compound word, either as an extreme negative or as an extreme positive. Paul calls the morally bankrupt cultures of the Roman Empire and of the world in the end times, “heartless and without natural affections”. It is the lack of storge that results in that condition. The loss of storge condemns the world around it. When the family falls, the nation falls.
This is why I refer to the family as the building block of society. When the family works right, we learn to love and we grow into a great people. In many ways this is the story of our own nation. However, when the family unit falls apart, so does the culture.
On the other hand, Paul combines storge with another love-word, philos, to give this extreme admonition of love:
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.”
Storge shows up in the word devoted. When we turn to Jesus, we become a part of His family. There is a devotion in that relationship that binds us together by His blood. Jesus called on us to love one another with the deep affection of storge love.
“Whoever does the will of My Father … is My brother and sister and mother.”
“Little children … A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”