To get a better handle on what we mean by treasuring someone, imagine that you owned a priceless painting. You would make it the center of attention in your home. You would protect it by making sure it was hung securely and away from direct exposure to the sun. You would highlight it with indirect lighting and a subtle yet elegant frame. You would certainly brag about it to your friends and family because it meant so much to you. You would constantly feel grateful for the opportunity to possess something so marvelous and valuable. Just coming home from work and looking at it would raise your spirits.

Parents who treasure their teenagers respond to them in many of the same ways. When you treasure a person, you want to protect her. You'll go out of your way to see that she succeeds. You'll highlight her best points, mentioning her frequently in conversations. The thought of coming home to see her after a long day at work will give you energy.

Isn't it interesting how inanimate objects such as paintings tend to keep their value over the years, whereas living objects like teenagers often see their value drop? The decision to treat teens as priceless treasures sometimes has to be made hourly! But it pays rich dividends as we see our teens grow up to be adults who understand what it means to be honored and what it means to honor others.

Read the rest of the story next week on Crosswalk.

From The DNA of Parent-Teen Relationships

© 2006 Smalley Relationship Center.