Storge – What does the Bible say?
Natural affection


 ‘Storge’ would best be described as affection. C.S. Lewis describes this kind of love as ‘the humblest and most widely diffused of loves’.

We need to understand storge, is the love and affection that naturally occurs between parents and children, can exist between siblings, and exists between husbands and wives in a good marriage.

The word only occurs once in the New Testament in Romans 12:10 in the word, philostorgos, which is a compound word made up of philos (the noun form of phileo and storge). Romans 12:10 is a very important verse, directing us to be very loving and kind to each other.

It doesn’t describe the love of God in sending His Son into the world for us because storge is natural, almost automatic and inevitable. It’s the type of love that binds families together, races, clans and social groupings (including national unity and patriotism).

Biblical Marks of Maturity in a good marriage relationship Independence: The Bible teaches that when a man marries he is to leave his parents and cleave to his wife Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Matthew 19:4-5 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘Forthis reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to hiswife, and the two shall become one flesh’ ?

Ephesians 5:31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Rebekah is a good example of independence from parents for women - "And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go" (Genesis 24:58). 

Some young married men and women are still psychologically dependent upon their parents - husbands who are still "Mama’s boys" who can’t cut the apron strings, and wives who are still "Daddy’s girls" who won’t build their own homes with their husbands.  Some parents encourage this kind of dependence instead of preparing their children for independence and insisting that  they be mature and independent.  Some parents interfere in their children’s marriages, and young married couples sometimes allow their parents to interfere. This doesn’t mean that it’s wrong for young couples to respect their parents, or seek advice from their parents or from others. Grown children ought to love and respect their parents, and parents ought to live in such a way so they can be respected. It is wise to seek advice from those who are more experienced. But people shouldn’t enter into marriage when they can’t be independent, and they shouldn’t enter into marriage with the idea that their parents are still going to make their decisions for them.  If a man is not mature enough to make decisions and assume responsibility and leadership, he is not emotionally mature enough for marriage.  If a woman is not mature enough to "cut the apron strings" and build a new life with her husband wherever he leads, she is not emotionally ready for marriage.

 Mature attitude toward sex:

The Bible teaches that God intends sex to be an enjoyable, satisfying  part of marriage

I Corinthians 7:2-52 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wifedoes. 5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

 Proverbs 5:15-19

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
And running water from your own well.
16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad,
Streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be only your own,
And not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be enraptured with her love.

Instead of having mature, Bible-based attitudes toward sex in marriage, some have very immature attitudes. 

Some think of sex merely as something to "get," instead of shared affection, mutual enjoyment and satisfaction.  Some use sex in the marriage as a weapon to coerce the marriage partner, or as a manipulative tool to get their way about something.  Some think that sex, even in marriage, is dirty and sordid. 

In contrast to such immature attitudes, people with mature, Bible-based attitudes realize that sex in marriage is a part of expressing, building, and maintaining love

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

The ability to seek your companion’s happiness as diligently as you seek your own:

I’m not just talking about the infatuation that typically exists before marriage but often doesn’t survive marriage.  Some immature people can be considerate for a short time in order to get what they want, but they have never developed the capacity for real, sustained consideration that is a part of real love and real maturity.  Marriage ought to a be relationship in which the husband is concerned for his wife’s happiness as much as his own happiness, and vice-versa.  An old story is told about a young man who sold his pocket-watch to buy an expensive brush for his girl friend who had beautiful hair, not knowing that she had cut her hair and sold it in order to buy him a gold chain for his pocket-watch.  That story illustrates the kind of attitude the Bible teaches husbands and wives should have in marriage. 

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

Ephesians 5:28-2928 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church

Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband teaches husbands to love like that.

Titus 2:4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,


1 Corinthians 13:5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

teaches wives to love like that.  One reason this kind of love is not demonstrated in many marriages is because many of the young men and women who enter into marriage have never developed the maturity that makes lasting love possible. 

Capacity to live up to commitments:

We are living in a society that makes it easy not to develop this kind of maturity.  The popular concept is: "If you make a commitment but you find out that something is not the way you thought it was, or something is not to your liking, or it’s too hard to fulfil your commitment, then get out of it."  We frequently see famous athletes who renegotiate their contracts, refusing to live up to the contract they already have.  Many children are seldom required to honour their commitments when fulfilling the commitment is found to be unexpectedly difficult. 

In contrast to this modern attitude, God teaches us to keep our word even when keeping our word is causing us to hurt

Psalms 15:4
In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honours those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;

Marriage is a covenant that involves vows and requires a commitment between the husband, the wife, and God

Malachi 2:14
Yet you say, “For what reason?”
Because the Lord has been witness
Between you and the wife of your youth,
With whom you have dealt treacherously;
Yet she is your companion
And your wife by covenant.

Matthew 19:6 
So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

The fact that a marriage often encounters unexpected difficulties and requires unforeseen sacrifices doesn’t nullify the commitment.  What is needed for marriage is the kind of maturity that enables a person to fulfil his commitments until the hardship is over, or even if it is never over

Psalms 15:4

In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honours those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change

Ability to understand and accept authority:

There is a special need for this today because there is growing stress in many marriages over authority in the husband/wife relationship.  Instead of having a mature attitude toward authority, some husbands think authority is a weapon to use on their wives.  Instead of having a mature attitude toward authority, some wives think accepting authority and living under authority makes them inferior. Some young women are even omitting the bride’s traditional promise to "obey" from their wedding vows.  What is needed is a maturity that is capable of understanding and accepting the true nature of authority.

That means husbands who are mature enough to understand that having God-given responsibility is a solemn responsibility, not an ego trip.  That means wives who are secure enough about their own worth to realize that accepting authority doesn’t make one inferior.  So if someone is not emotionally mature enough to understand and accept authority, they really are not mature enough for marriage. 

Marriage Bible Verses

Proverbs 5:18-19
May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.  A loving doe, a graceful deer-- may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.

Proverbs 12:4
A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favour from the LORD.

Proverbs 19:14
Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.

Proverbs 20:6-7
Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?  The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.

Proverbs 31:10
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

Matthew 19:4-6
"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'  and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' ?  So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

Ephesians 5:22-23
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour.

Colossians 3:18-19
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

Hebrews 13:4-7
Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."  So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"  Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

Storge can love the unattractive, it doesn’t expect too much; it turns a blind eye to some faults, it suffers long, it is kind and it forgives quickly. However, God loves the unlovable and we his children should do the same. 1 John 4:19 says, ‘we love him, because he first loved us’ and Romans 5:8 goes that step further ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’. This is an incredible love and far deeper than a mere affection.

Ps. 127:4 says, Children are like arrows for a mighty man.  Psalm 127:3-5 says, Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is his reward, like arrows in the hand of a warrior so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. An arrow is something you shoot ahead of you. That is what our children are, arrows that we are shooting into the future and we want them to represent God. The whole purpose of having children is that God wants a godly offspring in the earth.

Ephesians 5:2, in the Amplified says, And walk in love, esteeming and delighting in one another as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us. 

Psalm 103:17
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children--

Joshua 24:15
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

Proverbs 11:29
He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.

Proverbs 15:27
A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live.

Proverbs 31:15-17
She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.  She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.  She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

Man (and woman) was created with a built-in desire for relationship; first with God, then with others. It was God who established the institutions of marriage and the family.