As God is the author of love, He should be the one to define it. Loving others as God intended requires nothing in return. Loving others as God intended transcends circumstances and reciprocation. Loving others as God intended means imparting value to the object of His love, not expecting some value in return.
It is easy for me to love someone whom I believe adds value to my life. What happens, though, when that value is diminished? What happens when my emotional investment is not returned? What happens when love feels more like work than fun?
Marriages, personal relationships, and ministries collapse because we do not fully understand the true sacrificial nature of love. Remember the Greatest Commandment - love God, love others. There is no addendum added stating: "as long as everything is cool."
The book of 1 John is a crash course true love. It is in 1 John we learn love is way beyond feeling and conditions. True love must be unconditional and selfless. Once we place a condition on love, it becomes self serving and is no longer true love.
Unconditional love is truly liberating as we can begin to love those whom we deem difficult and unlovely. This goes back to the whole loving only those who bring value thing. God loves me yet I bring Him no value. I have nothing to offer, I have nothing God needs, yet His love for me gives me value.
There are so many broken people who lack self value, who have been written off as worthless, yet God loves them and His love brings them value. How will someone know God loves them? When one of His representatives (you and me!) show love.
I can tell you about a beautiful painting all day long, but unless I actually show you the painting, you can not fully grasp the beauty. That is how love works, we cannot merely tell people God loves them, it is imperative we show them.
Loving others God's way imparts value to the object of His love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Jesus said, "By this, they will know you are my disciples, if you love one another." So lets get busy doing what Jesus told us to do.
Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!