(STAR) BUSINESS MATTERS (BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE) By Francis J. Kong - Day of hearts! Today is a special day for me and the Ilocana. She will spend the day with me… watching and listening to me do training for a group of some very talented and charming bank executives. Yes. This is how we celebrate Valentines. And it’s no big deal actually… because everyday is just as romantic for us as Valentines Day.

This is an old one but it still is funny to me.

Ever heard of the Seven Ages of the Married Cold?

Here’s how it operates:

During the 1st year of marriage, everything was still so hot and romantic – The husband says, “Oh, sweetie pie, I’m really worried about those nasty sniffles you have! There’s no telling what that could turn into with all the germs that’s been going around.

I’m going to take you right down to the hospital and have you admitted for a couple days of rest. I know the food is lousy there, so I’m going to bring you some takeout from our town’s best Italian restaurant. I’ve already arranged it with the head nurse.”

2nd year – ”Listen, honey, I don’t like the sound of that cough. I called the doc and he’s going to stop by here and take a look at you. Why don’t you just go on to bed and get the rest you need?”

3rd year – ”Maybe you better go lie down, darling. When you feel lousy you need the rest. I’ll bring you something – do we have any canned soup around here?”

4th year – ”No sense wearing yourself out when you’re under the weather. When you finish those dishes and the kids’ baths and get them to bed, you ought to go to bed yourself!”

5th year – ”Why don’t you take a couple aspirin?”

6th year – ”You oughta go gargle or something, instead of sitting around barking like a dog!”

7th year – ”For Pete’s sake, stop sneezing. Are you trying to give me pneumonia? You’d better pick up some tissues while you’re at the store.”

Gary Smalley writes an article entitled: “Love is a Decision.”

Here’s what he says: “If your marriage relationship doesn’t have a destination, how will you know when you arrive? And why wait for love to materialize out of stardust, when you could choose excitement and romance – now?

There is a simple yet profound plan for a marriage of depth and warmth and excitement! Plan, you ask? Exactly! Good marriages are no accident. The rules are simple enough; you just need them outlined for you to follow in a profound guide. Tough times can strike any family relationship. But deciding to love - in practical ways outlined here – can result in relationships that are tougher than tough times.

Six elements to staying in love, included in Love is a Decision, are:

1. Making your spouse feel truly honored

2. Learning the art of touching – tenderly

3. Keeping courtship alive in your marriage

4. Re-opening a heart closed by anger

5. Building – or rebuilding – trust in a relationship

6. Becoming best friends with your family

These six elements are the keys to Love. Love is not an emotion, love is not a feeling, love is not happen-stance. Love is a Decision. Love is waking up every day committed to honoring your mate by implementing the above six keys. If you want to have a great relationship, guess what, it’s up to you.” And he is so right!

If you want to wake up each and every morning excited about your marriage and not just on Valentines Day, then deciding to do this is the first step. If you don’t know how to make this first, most basic step, then Love is a Decision will help you get there! They say that marriages are made in heaven, but God leaves the maintenance to men. Don’t be so successful in business you forget to make your marriage successful too!

(Francis Kong will be the lead trainer for the Dr. John Maxwell’s “Developing the Leader Within You” leadership program this Feb. 18 to 19 at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel. For further inquiries contact Inspire Leadership Consultancy Inc. 632-6872614)

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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