Illustration: Relationships, Respect

Don Wilton writes: "People quit on us when they don't feel valued. George and Mary Lou were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. A reporter asked George, 'What's your recipe for a long, happy marriage?' George explained that after the wedding his father-in-law handed him a package. Inside it was a gold watch that George still used. He showed it to the reporter. Across the face of the watch where he could see it a dozen times a day, were written the words, 'Say something nice to Mary Lou.' We all need that watch!

"In his book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell writes about a relationship expert who was able to predict the potential success of a couple's marriage based on their interaction with one another. What was it he looked for that indicated a marriage was headed for trouble? Contempt! If one treated the other with contempt, the relationship was usually doomed to fail. Now, insincerity and flattery don't work. For a person to feel valued [he or she] must know you genuinely value them. To feel respected, [he or she] must know you genuinely respect them. When we devalue others we start treating them like objects, not people." (The Daily Encouraging Word, 1-11-10.)