"When we state that it is a mitzva to love people, this means that it makes no difference who the person is." - Sara Schnirer, founder of Bais Yaakov in Em B'Yisroel 2:75-78.
Yesterday I went to the shul of the Rabbi who we met with after my son came out. I haven't been there in a few months because of the cold weather. The Rabbi gave an interesting talk.
He spoke about love, specifically the love of a parent for a child. It was short and to the point and it hit home.
He said that R. Akliva's students perished because even though they may have loved each other, they did not respect one another. He went on to say that without respect, love is not enough to sustain a relationship. There has to be a balance, he stated, between love and respect.
He concluded his short drasha by saying that it is a parent's responsibility to love a child, but even if the child does not live up to the parent's expectations or even leaves the path, the parent must tell the child that he loves the child and respects what he is doing.
It is incumbent upon the parent to balance his love for his child with the respect due to the child no matter what.