When I was younger, I thought that I should be able to love how and who I wanted to love. For example; I want to love this person halfway; this person not at all; and this person completely.
I now think God, time (and kids) shows differently.
The criteria you use to weed people out will eventually be used against you. When we start down the path of deciding how to love, and calculating the cost, and deciding people are inconvenient–we end up eventually weeding out everyone.
When God said “How can you love God who you haven’t seen, when you can’t love your brother who you do see?” [I John 4:20] He is; of course, correct. How can we?
Our children and spouses and friends see how we treat others. “Actions speak louder than words.” Our family needs to see that with God, all things are possible. [Such as forgiveness. Such as stepping out first in faith towards someone.] They need to see that even when we are tired, sad or angry–that we WILL love anyway. Our family will then have the benefit of knowing that they are loved completely–by seeing love in action. Deep down, a child or spouse knows that there can be no exclusions or exceptions in love. If there are exceptions in the way we love, then there can be exceptions in the way we love them.
How you love shows who you are. Period.
We are not made to love in halves. It seems we love everyone or no one at all.
I am responsible to love my neighbor as myself.
Only God can show us what love in total looks like, and only God can give us that strong, steady and determined love.
Further reading: John 13:34, John 15:9, 2 Chronicles 6:14, James 2:8