Understanding what love means is vital to understanding the Bible. Love in the Bible means respect and esteem. When God says love your neighbor, He means “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” When He says love your enemies, He means respect them. When God says “love Me,” He means to honor and respect Him.
The endearing, affectionate love that we usually understand love to be is a different kind of love. That love cannot be commanded. It can only be nurtured and hoped for, and it is what prayer and free will are all about.