That is why we must first get rid of the bitterness in our hearts so that we can love like God and forgive like Him too. If we hold any bitterness towards someone then we can't freely love them. We will always be on the guard for the next offense. The old, "I'll forgive you this time but don't let it happen again." defense. I would do that time and time again with my dad, always on the watch for the next time. Not only did it keep me from loving my dad but also I would get mad at God. Over and over again I the verse about farther's not pushing your child to the point of anger would come up, and I would always ask God, "But what if you are a child and your father has already pushed you to anger." The answer never came, probably because I knew already that I had to forgive him. Instead of God's band aid of love, I would use bitterness which for a long time got in the way of really loving anyone else, including myself.
Paul tells us to be like littler children and imitate God, which is the same thing in 1 John chapter four, we are to love like God. It doesn't take long for little children to learn to say no or mine, that selfish attitude is very much alive in all of us. They hear us telling them no, don't touch, even that is mine.... No wonder they are so quick to spit it right back at us. In order for us to be like God we have to spend time in His word or you can look at it as His love letters to you. The more we understand and accept His love for us the more we can give it to others when they don't deserve to be loved according to our standards. Our standards are not God's standard, which I am very thankful for because according to my standards God shouldn't love me the way He does.