Many people say, "I thought Christians were supposed to love everyone" or "God is love." Both statements are absolutely true! The Bible does tell us that God is love. God's love is nothing like the love between friends or between lovers. God's love is pure and unmerited. It does not wax or wane. It was demonstrated for us on the cross in that "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:8, TLB
God is love, but He is also much, much more than love alone. And that is coming in another post, for another day.
The closest mirror to God's love that mankind demonstrates here on earth is the love a parent has for a child. Any good parent, draws the line in what they will and won't allow a child to do, in order to keep them safe. In order to give them what is best for them. Sometimes, it's merely a situation of teaching them restraint. One cookie is okay, twenty leads to a belly ache and pain. Other times, a parent's love may lead them to seem harsh in order to protect their child. They might swat a hand that reaches out toward a hot stove or a fire. Better a little pain that is soon gone than searing pain that will leave scars that never go away.
Now, you are closer to understanding God's love. Too many today expound only the part that God loved us so much while we were sinners that He sent His son to pay the price for those sins, but never go on to tell that God has no plan to leave us that way! For one thing, we can't have the fellowship with God that He desires when we are living in sin. For another thing, those sins will leave nasty scars on our lives that keep us from living life fully.
Here, is the Bible's definition of true love, Godly love. It's nothing any of us can obtain on our own, but something we should all aspire to.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.- NIV