Divine and Perfect Love
Christ has commanded us to love. From beginning to end, the Scriptures are God's love letter to us. Love marks us, sets us apart as followers of Jesus. Paul writes in Romans 12:9 "Let love be genuine, ... love one another with brotherly affection." Throughout the New Testament, we are encouraged in this way.
So why is it so hard to do?
The love that God calls us to is a supernatural love. A sacrificial love, a "willing to lay down oneself for another" kind of love. One that is impossible in ourselves. The desire to love another must be from God Himself. The desire to love God is our response to God's love at work in us.
Recognizing my limitations and weaknesses, my inability to love well, is a start to loving well. It's actually a relief to know that I can't love on my own! On my own I am left to navigate relationships my own way which leaves me often hurt, irritated, and yet longing for more. These longings for more are from the fountain of Love Himself. He put these longings there so therefore only He must be the answer. Father is the source of extravagant love. This kind of love doesn't give up on others, it loves even through pain, it waits and pursues, it changes us even if those we love do not. His love alone can change my selfish heart, transforming it into an agent of love in this world that longs to know Love.
Truly we can only love "because HE (Christ) first loved us."