Tuesday, October 20, 2020


When our son Luke was three years old, he was a restless sleeper. One night he wandered into our bedroom in the small hours and grumpily I sent him back to his room.

Minutes later, he was back again. This time I spanked him and carried him back to bed. He hung over my shoulder weeping and clung to me tightly, his arms around my neck.

A few minutes later, I was almost asleep when I was conscious of a presence in the room. I opened my eyes and there right in front of me was a little boy standing at the bedside, his teeth and eyes gleaming in the dark and a cheeky smile on his face. ‘I love you, Daddy,’ he said.

He went to sleep in our bed that night! What was he really saying? Not so much ‘I love you’ as, ‘I need you.’

The most powerful form of need love was known by the Greeks as philia. Philia is warm and spontaneous, and refers to the love of friends or family–an affectionate, warm, spontaneous love.

Philia is expressed by kindness, friendship and loyalty. At the same time, however, it also expresses a deep sense of need. It is affectionate love.

The term brotherly love (philadelphia) derives from it. Such love is mandatory (Hebrews 13:1).

To read more on this topic see Living in the Image of God, Barry Chant (Miranda: Tabor, 2012 available in eBook and Paperback) from which this edited extract is taken.

Barry Chant

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Barry Chant is a regular speaker at church services, seminars, conferences and conventions. Hundreds of thousands of his books have been sold around the world. He has degrees in arts, theology and ministry, a diploma in education and a PhD in history. He was the co-founder and former president of Tabor College, Australia.

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