This month, we are looking at four different types of love: philia, agape, storge, and eros. In this post, I want to let you in on a little of my family history that includes storge love. After you read through this, comment below if you know your family history dating back to the 1700s, if you don't know it going that far back, let me know how far back yours goes!
Storge is a Greek word for family love and boasts natural affection between parents and children, brothers and sisters, and other members of the family. Storge is cherishing one’s kindred and includes the natural love between siblings, cousins, and grandparents.
Let’s start with the opposite of storge to begin. The antonym of storge is astorgos, and the importance of this word is that the absence of love in the world is foretold in scripture as a sign that Jesus will return for the 2nd Coming.
Astorgos means without love or devoid of affection and is found in Romans 1:31, “Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.” As we look around the world that we live in, it is easy to spot a lack of love and affection, as well as confusion of what love is. It does not take long for me to see homeless people in my neighborhood and my heart aches for them as I know they are someone’s sibling, parent, or child. On a day like today, when it was 20 degrees outside, I wonder why we, as Americans, tolerate homeless people living on the streets without their basic needs of food, water, safety, and shelter being met. This is unacceptable!
Astorgos is also found in 2 Timothy 3:3, “Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.” People (including big corporations) break contracts all the time. People lie on such a common occurrence, that we are in a place where trusting people can become increasingly difficult. The news that we have circling our social media apps, radios, and televisions is unbelievable. Major lies are allowed to penetrate our minds daily without any punishment or censorship.
Astorgos also reminds me of Matthew 10:21, “And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.” This verse is especially significant as many believe that the failure of the family unit is the result of a direct assault by Satan and a warning of the end times. We see this in our daily lives as family members disrespect each other or refuse to talk to each other because they “hate” one another. There are so many broken relationships in our world today.
Now that we see astorgos is alive and thriving in our world, let’s shift to storge and focus on what we can do to love on our family this week.
Romans 12:10 encourages believers to “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” This type of love means to love dearly, to be devoted, to be affectionate, and to love in such a way that it resembles a healthy bond between husband/wife, parents/children, and brothers/sisters.
Exodus 20:12 provides a reference to storge love by saying, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” Honoring one’s family is essential. It is important to know that our actions and speech reflect not only on ourselves, but also on our family reputation. This makes for a good conversation with your family. Ask what the family's reputation is currently, and what the reputation you want your family to have looks like in the future.
As I incorporate my Native American Indian theme this month, I want to introduce you to the Cherokee Indians and my personal family history. Although I am not a registered member of this tribe, our family legacy is that I am part Cherokee, part Chickamauga to be exact.
History reveals that my ancestors are Princess Cornblossom (my 6th generation Grandma) and her father is Chief Doublehead (my 7th generation Grandpa); however, the mere mention of their names has caused major debates between complete strangers for generations. A simple Google search will show you the crazy accusations of them being fictional or a myth. I have personally argued as to why people are so eager to debate my ancestry when there is evidence that they lived. I don’t understand why some people seem to have a goal to destroy my family's legacy.
I do believe that Princess Cornblossom and Chief Doublehead were Cherokee Indians, although their names are not on the Dawes Rolls, which are also known as the final rolls or a list of all people accepted for tribal membership. This could be because of timing where our ancestors weren't in the right place at the right time to take attendance. It could also be that they were disliked or thought of as traitors, because Chief Doublehead sold native land to colonists in an effort to bring about assimilation and peace. Regardless of the reasons, they are not listed on the roll. There is a State Marker for Princess Cornblossom in Stearns, Kentucky that reads:
Burial site of daughter of Chief Doublehead. Legend is that as a young girl she accompanied her father at signing of Treaty of Sycamore Shoals, 1775, transferring Cherokees' land between Ohio and Cumberland rivers to Transylvania Society. As'Quaw tribe settled in region south of river. Protecting tribe's secret mine, she killed a renegade. Married Big Jake, trader.
In addition to the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals, Chief Doublehead is listed on many treaties including; the Peace Treaty at the Tellico Blockhouse in 1794, an 1805 treaty signed at Hiwassee Garrison, and an 1806 treaty giving up land between the Tennessee and Duck rivers. Chief Doublehead was a powerful acculturationist and was assassinated in 1807.
Princess Cornblossom died August 13, 1810. The event is known as the Great Cherokee Children Massacre, and took place at Yahoo Falls in Kentucky on August 10th. Her mission was to relocate the tribe's children to refuge and safety. They were on their way to Reverend Gideon Blackburn’s Presbyterian Indian School in Tennessee. On their way, a government militia was waiting to kill them all (mostly women and children). As Cornblossom approached the entrance to Yahoo Falls, she found her husband scalped and murdered. The battle ensued and Cornblossom was shot with a rifle. In total, more than 100 Cherokee men, women, and children were raped, tortured, scalped, and massacred.
As we think about storge love, we think about the love of family. For Cornblossom, she desperately wanted to get Cherokee children to safety. Their journey was going to be over 200 miles on foot. This was during a time preceding the Indian Removal Act (dated 1830) and the Trail of Tears (1831-1877). Although the exact numbers are unknown, some believe approximately 60,000 Native Americans were forced from their homes and it is estimated that 15,000 people died while on the Trail of Tears (a distance of 2200 miles).
Hopefully your family history is not as distressing as the life of Chief Doublehead and Princess Cornblossom. I hope no one has to be removed forcibly from their home or have a militia on the hunt to exterminate them. Nevertheless, the history of Cornblossom and Doublehead is and honorable one. They sought to protect their loved ones while living and dying a life of storge love. There is no family feud worth fighting and I pray you will reach out to your loved ones this week and let them know how much you care for them.
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