If you're going to focus on the negative qualities in the other person, that is what you are going to notice more and more, I guarantee it. And soon you've made a mountain out of a molehill.
So how do we keep a loving perspective when those little annoying character traits are all too real? When Sally always bites your head off when she's having a stressful day. When Billy always makes you do the chores while he lazes in front of the tv?
An obscure little text in Philippians gave me a clue.
The trick is to focus on the good qualities, the excellent things in the other person.
Granted, it's not easy, but the promise in the bible is that if we do that, our love for the other person will increase and we will be pleasing to God.
I've given three different bible translations below of Philippians 1:9-10 because each says it a little differently, but drives home the same point:
Focus on the good stuff, the excellent qualities, of the person that you love, so that your love for that person can increase!
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
New Living Translation (NLT)
I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.
New International Version (NIV)
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,
Finally I'd like to end with Philippians 4:8 (New Living Translation:
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.