What Is Storge?

Storge Love in the Bible

Storge Love in the Bible
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Storge (pronounced stor-JAY) is a Greek word that is used in Christianity to mean family love, the bond among mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers.

The Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon defines storge as "cherishing one's kindred, especially parents or children; the mutual love of parents and children and wives and husbands; loving affection; prone to love; loving tenderly; chiefly of the reciprocal tenderness of parents and children."

Storge Love in the Bible

In English, the word love has many meanings, but the ancient Greeks had four words to describe different forms of love precisely: eros, philae, agape, and storge As with eros, the exact Greek term storge does not appear in the Bible. However, the opposite form is used twice in the New Testament. Astorgos means "without love, devoid of affection, without affection to kindred, hard-hearted, unfeeling," and is found in the book of Romans and 2 Timothy.

In Romans 1:31, unrighteous people are described as "foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless" (ESV). The Greek word translated "heartless" is astorgos. And in 2 Timothy 3:3, the disobedient generation living in the last days is marked as "heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good" (ESV). Again, "heartless" is translated astorgos. So, a lack of storge, the natural love among family members, is a sign of end times.

A compound form of storge is found in Romans 12:10: "Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." (ESV) In this verse, the Greek word translated "love" is philostorgos, putting together philos and storge. It means "loving dearly, being devoted, being very affectionate, loving in a way characteristic of the relationship between husband and wife, mother and child, father and son, etc."

Examples of Storge in the Scriptures

Many examples of family love are found in Scripture, such as the love and mutual protection among Noah and his wife, their sons, and daughters-in-law in Genesis; the love of Jacob for his sons; and the strong love the sisters Martha and Mary in the gospels had for their brother Lazarus.

The family was a vital part of ancient Jewish culture. In the Ten Commandments, God charges his people to:

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12, NIV)

When we become followers of Jesus Christ, we enter into the family of God. Our lives are bound together by something stronger than physical ties—the bonds of the Spirit. We are related by something more powerful than human blood—the blood of Jesus Christ. God calls his family to love one another with the deep affection of storge love.

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