We love, because He first loved us. 1John 4:19
If our understanding of love is to be learned from God’s standard of love for us, surely it is intended that we practice this ‘God like’ love. But the problem is, in our humanness, even though we have the love of Christ abiding in us, (Rom. 5:5) we tend to lean on our own understanding and allow culture to denigrate our love into something less that what God wants us to practice. Read what D. W. Burdick says God’s (agape) love is all about.
[Agape love] is spontaneous. There was nothing of value in the persons loved that called forth such sacrificial love. God of His own free will set His love on us in spite of our enmity and sin. [Agape] is love that is initiated by the lover because he wills to love, not because of the value or lovableness of the person loved. [Agape] is self-giving and is not interested in what it can gain, but in what it can give. It is not bent on satisfying the lover, but on helping the one loved whatever the cost. [Agape] is active and is not mere sentiment cherished in the heart. Nor is it mere words however eloquent. It does involve feeling and may express itself in words, but it is primarily an attitude toward another that moves the will to act in helping to meet the need of the one loved.
May we learn to know and practice this ‘true love’ for this is God’s designer love that He ever lives & will forever practice- for “God is love” (1John 4:8).