-There is general love. You love humanity, nature, music, hot gingerbread on a winter day.
-There is friendly love. You have a group of people that you hang out with. Within that larger group, you have closer friends, and maybe even a best friend who is more like your brother or sister.
-There is family love. This includes people you care the most about, and though you may fight like cats and dogs, you would go to the wall for them simply because the same blood flows through their veins that flows through yours. You didn't choose to love these people. But you were born into it.
- There is love between a husband and wife, which starts between a close man and woman. This is the deepest of human loves, and should only exist between you and one other person. It produces the greatest joys, and often endures the greatest of pains.
And then there is the love of God. Not just a love for God, but a love of God. This is supernatural. It is self-sacrificing, humble, and difficult, though highly rewarding. It is active in our relationship with God, and with others. In fact, it should be active with every 'other' person in your life. This love does not result in the same feelings you get when you love your wife in that intimate love, or even the feelings that come with other human love experiences. It isn't based on warm and fuzzy moments, but rather on eternal realities. We love people with this love because God loved us with this love. This love shines the most brightly when we don't feel like loving another person in any way. This is the love that attached Jesus to a cross. Many loves can add to your life. This love of God actually gives you life.
Today you will get to choose who and how you love. Sometimes it will be easy. Other times, not so much. By making a choice at the beginning of the day to surrender to the love of God, you will set yourself up to love others in the right way. In fact, by surrendering to the love of God, you are setting other people up to be loved... even when they are unlovable... and they don't even know it. One of Jesus' closest friends put it this way, "We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen. And we have this command from Him: The one who loves God must also love his brother." (1 John 4:19-21)