Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more... duh, duh, duh, deh, dih, duh
Sadly, English is a terrible language. We have one word for "love". Whether it is you love ice cream (mmm, ice cream), lolcats, God, your neighbor, or your wife. We even say "make love" and say its "lovely" (pretty).
Fortunately, the ancient Greeks had three words for "love" - eros, phileo, and agape.
"Eros" is the sexual attraction kind of love. I can't find it in my concordance (It's not used in the Bible). This is a message to all the Christian singers with the songs about how "Jesus is my boyfriend". It's not that type of love. The old time hymn writers had a much better understanding of this, and we play fast and loose with it today...
"Phileo" is the type of love we are most familiar with. It is the sort of feeling for friends and people you like. It is a feeling of good will and "wanting the best". Happiness and warmth from thinking about them and being with them. It is not the kind of love God has for us. (God does not have our picture on His refrigerator).
"Agape" is God's love for us. It is a concept almost entirely foreign to us. It is a love of choice. To choose to love when the object of love does not (necessarily) deserve it. To give sacrificially ("give until it hurts") to the one loved.
How does God show us this love?
The greatest example of God's love is the life and death of Jesus. Without the life and death of Jesus, no one could be saved. It is through Jesus that we come to know the Father.
God also shows love to the unsaved (Matthew 5:45). Instead of striking them dead instantly, He allows them to live. He even allows them to thrive and prosper. This in no way indicates His pleasure with their behavior! It is an expression of His love for those who are not deserving.
What lesson can we learn from God's love?
Some people are in the difficult position where someone they love (be it phileo or agape) is hurtful. I've found the book "Love Must Be Tough" (James Dobson) to be very helpful in this matter.
The Biblical stance must be to leave that situation.
Maybe the person will see the error of their way, maybe not.
But their is a theology lesson here as well. Some day, God will "leave the situation" for every unsaved person.