The love God has for humankind differs from the kind of love humans most often express, which can be difficult for humans to comprehend, is called Agape. This is a perfect, higher and unique form of love that God demonstrates.
In English, we use love to describe various types of this feeling, everything from warm affection, friendship, enjoyment, that of the physical or sexual nature, and so on.
But God’s love is not a love that is trivial, fleeting, or superficial. God’s love is enduring, forgiving, compassionate, while at the same time – a ‘tough love.’
The Greek word agape was rarely used outside the New Testament, where it describes the highest form of love, a unique form attributed to God.
Agape also describes the fatherly love of God for humans and is used to describe the type of love that moves God to sacrifice his son for the redemption of the world, according to Britannica.
Despite our best efforts, as human beings and for some people, love has its limits. People can hurt us so deeply that our love fades and we withdraw it. We also sometimes have “conditional love.” This means we have a set of conditions, rules, terms that must be met in order to give our love. It may possibly even place certain restrictions. Another way of looking at this is to say conditional love is love that must be earned.
However, there are those human beings who are capable of “unconditional love,” that they give freely without any of the above parameters. But even still, as humans are fallible creatures, sometimes even unconditional love can break and wither.
The late Reverend Billy Graham wrote: “God’s love is far deeper than this. His love is not a passing fancy or superficial emotion; it is a profound and unshakable commitment that seeks what is best for us. Human love may change or fade; God’s love never will.”
The Bible encourages us to love our enemies and forgive others. That can be one of the hardest things to do.
Could you forgive someone who murdered a family member or your child? Loving would be even harder.
But God can do both of these. How, you wonder? Because God can read hearts and minds and ultimately has the power to redeem and cleanse a person of their sinful nature in the next life.
At the same time, God does allow us to suffer at times, out of love, for our own growth and development, in the same way a parent allows the child to experience uncomfortable things to better educate and prepare them to be resilient enough to handle life. This doesn’t mean that God does not love us, it is actually because God loves us.