What Is Storge Love?

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. Storge is explored by C. S. Lewis (1898–1963) as one of “four loves” in his book, The Four Loves (1960).

Storge Love Definition

The Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon defines storge love 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, philia, 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." Astorgos 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.

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

Many examples of family love and affection 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 of 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 a person becomes a follower of Jesus Christ, he or she enters into the family of God. The believers' lives are bound together by something stronger than physical ties—the bonds of the Spirit. Christians 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:

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.  Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. (Ephesians 4:1–3, NLT)

Scripture teaches brothers and sisters in Christ to walk in love, including the familial affection of storge:

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.


In 1 Corinthians chapters 12-13, the apostle Paul explains "the more excellent way of love." He asserts that all other spiritual gifts fade in comparison to love, which is the greatest. Without love, believers gain nothing and are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2-3).

Jesus said that love within in the family of God demonstrates to the world who are Christ's true followers:

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. (John 13:34-35, NLT)

Sources

  • The Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms (Second Edition, Revised and Expanded, p. 305).
  • The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians (p. 160).
  • Love. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2, p. 1357).
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Zavada, Jack. "What Is Storge Love?" Learn Religions, May. 4, 2021, learnreligions.com/what-is-storge-love-700698. Zavada, Jack. (2021, May 4). What Is Storge Love? Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/what-is-storge-love-700698 Zavada, Jack. "What Is Storge Love?" Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/what-is-storge-love-700698 (accessed September 18, 2021).