If you’re into programming highlighting the matching parentheses in your code is probably something you find rather desirable. Emacs doesn’t do so by default, but the global minor mode show-paren-mode, that comes bundled with Emacs, does.

(require 'paren)
(setq show-paren-style 'parenthesis)
(show-paren-mode +1)

Valid styles are parenthesis (meaning highlight the matching parentheses), expression (meaning show the entire expression enclosed by the parentheses) and mixed (meaning show the matching parentheses if both are visible, and the expression otherwise).

Personally I find parenthesis as the least distracting option and therefore I favor it.

If you’d like to change the faces used for matching and mismatched parentheses you’d have to alter show-paren-mismatch and show-paren-match. Most decent color themes do this out the box.

show-paren-mode is enabled out-of-the-box in Prelude.