If you ask people what love is you get all kinds of answers. "It's an emotion." That's like saying that a Lamborghini is a vehicle. It doesn't really describe what it really is. "It's something that causes a being to feel empathy for another being." No, that is the result of love, it doesn't describe what love is.
You really see the problem for atheists regarding love when it comes down to the animal kingdom. In the wild there is a distinct lack of love. Oh they'll point to the way a mother cares for her young in the wild. Is this done out of love? Or is it instinct? I would argue that it is instinctual. Especially since most species of animals eventually send their offspring off into the world on their own, and don't even seem to recognize them as their offspring once they do so. In fact, they view them as rivals for food.
Even wolves, which are probably as close to a familial species without being fully like humans in that regard as you can get. For some reason wolves will, for no apparent reason, expel a relative from the pack. You also see a lack of love in wolves during mealtime. The alpha pair will kill another pack member if that pack member tries to muscle in on a kill before the alphas have had their fill. In the animal kingdom self-survival is paramount, and love plays no part in that survival instinct.
In humans, parents would gladly go hungry in order to feed their young. Parents would do without water to make sure their children were hydrated. Love is something that overcomes the self-preservation instinct. Love trumps all self-centered motives. It is because of love that we put others first.
Where does that come from? Could evolution explain something like love? Or is it like intelligence and speech, something that scientists have no clue about and can only float partial theories to describe?
If someone asks me "where does love come from?", the answer is easy. God.
1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.Notice this wording. "God is love." Those two are not mutually exclusive. You can take the inverse of it: Love is God. In other words, you can't have one without the other.
Atheists will claim you can have love without God, but when they try to explain how that is when their arguments become thin. Love is something that could not have evolved, it is something that had to be placed within us. It is innate. Visceral. We couldn't have evolved from loveless apes into loving humans. It is impossible.
Now atheists would also look at ape behavior and try to say it exhibits feelings of love. Does it? Apes groom one another. Do they do that because they love the one they are grooming? Or is it because they like to eat the bugs they pick out of their fellows' fur? Apes copulate to reproduce. Do they do that out of love? Or do they do that for the self-gratification it provides? Everything you can observe in the animal kingdom has some selfish motive.
So where did love come from?
Genesis 1:26There is your answer. God created all the creatures of the earth, but it wasn't until the creation of man that we see Him say: "Let us make _______ in our image, after our likeness". God is love, therefore a creature created in His image, in His likeness would innately have love. It is so simple if you just accept it.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
God instilled love in man. He instilled instinct in animals. He instilled altruism into man. He instilled survival into animals. He instilled the capacity to care for others emotionally in man. He instilled the capacity to care for others if there is some reward for self in animals. Love is one of the things that sets humans apart from the animal kingdom.
Atheists can't describe love. They can't explain it. They can't give an origin for it. The problem is fundamental for atheists: Without God you can't have love.
Want a description of love? Read I Corinthians 13.