That’s a very, very good question. It implies that we need to make some effort, it doesn’t come automatically. Some are harder to love than others. We want to love in the way the God loves. We can’t give in the way God gives but we can love the way God loves. The scriptures say this is a prominent, if not the most prominent characteristic he has. “God is love” (1 John 4:8)
A familiar scripture John 3:16 tells us “God so loved the world that he gave his only begetton son” God so loved that he gave… a part of love is giving. We need to provide food, clothing, shelter, education, etc. for those under our care. That’s only right. What kind of food, what kind of clothing, what kind of shelter, what kind of education is up to each individual. Material things are a part of love but not the main part.
Jesus said to “love one another; as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) Yes, Jesus healed and feed thousands. We can’t do that but we can feed those at our table and lift the spirits of others around us. Jesus was kind, forgiving, patient, self-sacrificing, a good listener, a friend, helpful, compassionate, humble, unselfish.
Jesus washed the disciples feet (John 13:4,5 “He rising from supper and laid aside his garments; and took a towel and girded himself. After that he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded”) We should be willing to do menial, common day task to show our love.
Jesus taught us to love God first Luke 10:27 “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” We should always make sure God’s love is first and following what He sets as a standard of right and wrong. But we should also love our neighbor.
Jesus gave the story of the Good Samaritan answering the question who is our neighbor? It’s all we came in contact with. We should help where we can – our own family needs coming first. (Luke 10:30-37)
Love is actions and attitude. We should try to follow the “golden rule.” Luke 6:31 ”behave to your fellow men just as you would have them behave to you.” We would want others to be kind to us, we would want others to be merciful, we would want others to be kindly honest with us, we would want others to listen to us and consider our feelings and thoughts, we would want others to spend time with us and leave us alone when we needed it. We would want others to help us when were in difficulty. We would like someone to understand us.
Jesus did admonish us to “love our enemies.” Can we act so positively towards them as we would our friend? No. We should have a forgiving heart – though we may need to keep a distance from them. We should wish them no harm, rather good and we are to do good if the opportunity arises. Romans 12:17-20 “Don't pay back a bad turn by a bad turn, to anyone. Don't say "it doesn't matter what people think", but see that your public behavior is above criticism. As far as your responsibility goes, live at peace with everyone. Never take vengeance into your own hands, my dear friends: stand back and let God punish if he will. For it is written: Vengeance is mine. I will repay’…Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head'.
Love is a life long learning process as new individuals and circumstances come into our life. This explanation is only a brief one. Read the Bible, especially 1 Corinthians 13 and keep the thoughts of love before our mind. Verses four through eight are beautiful and a favorite of many. “ Love is patient and kind. Love knows neither envy nor jealousy. Love is not forward and self-assertive, nor boastful and conceited. She does not behave unbecomingly, nor seek to aggrandize herself, nor blaze out in passionate anger, nor brood over wrongs. She finds no pleasure in injustice done to others, but joyfully sides with the truth. She knows how to be silent. She is full of trust, full of hope, full of patient endurance. Love never fails.”