God understood that we would have a hard time comprehending love and so He worked to bring it down to our level by describing love in actions. In I Corinthians 13, the love chapter, you can see God trying so hard to help us understood what love really is. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. As you can see God is trying to help us understand the concept of love by describing all that it is and is not.
As someone who comes from a home environment of unconditional and supportive love, I have a great concept of love. Therefore, when I think of God and how much He loves me, I have no problem translating that into our relationship. However, you have to think about those people that visit our churches and the only way they have ever felt love is through a harsh word, or a physically abusive touch. Then they come and sit on our pews and we say to them, "God loves you." It does not translate to them. In fact, all of the sudden their concept of God is someone who is judging, harsh, no affectionate, having no patience with their issues and no positive physical reinforcement. For those of us raised differently, we have a hard time understanding why they don't believe or act like they believe that God truly loves them. Perhaps, we should change the way we pray for others around us regarding love. Instead of praying that they feel the love of God, let's pray that they would come to UNDERSTAND the concept of love so they could then receive the action of love.
So I challenge you today to be thankful, grateful and appreciative if you were raised in a home that created a positive perspective of love in your life. But if you were not, then perhaps you need to pray that God will help you understand His Character of Love so that you can receive it the way He is giving it to you! And as we receive His love then in turn let us show His love!