I was recently down along Kelowna’s magnificent waterfront and was reminded again that it’s wedding season. Within minutes I encountered three different wedding parties, each with their photographer, attempting to capture the magic of the day.

Watching them laugh and smile for the camera I couldn’t help but wonder how many will still be smiling five or 10 years from now.

When a marriage is working right there is nothing like it. Unfortunately, when a marriage has gone wrong, there is nothing like it either.

Wedding season is a great opportunity for each of us to “tune-up” our own marriage.

Each wedding you observe or bridal party you encounter can serve as a prompt for you to select one special act of love to spice up your own relationship. Plan a picnic lunch and kidnap him or her from the office. Slip an exciting note into a lunch bag. Take a favorite coffee to your partner at work. Walk the waterfront holding hands, with an ice cream cone in the other hand.

Most of us are aware that it is the little actions over time that build a healthy marriage much more than the occasional extravagant expression.

On the other side, it’s possible that some injuries have occurred in your relationship causing it to require a little extra attention or TLC.

A few weeks ago I schmucked my ring finger (that’s a technical term for a tendon avulsion fracture) resulting in a splint being placed on prominent display. The situation caused one friend to remark how much he liked my new wedding ring. The size and visibility, he explained, was putting other husbands to shame.

My first reaction to his comment was the intended laugh. Further thought, however, caused me to realize that more than a few marriages I’m aware of would benefit from the same kind of careful protection provided by my splint. I have discovered the old adage is absolutely true when it says that if you have a sore thumb you realize how often you bump it. When you have an injury, a little extra caution and protection is absolutely essential.

Could it be that this wedding season, beyond a few special loving actions, you might want to add some extra protection to your fragile relationship?

There are numerous helpful books, video downloads, counselors or enrichment retreats that might pay huge dividends for you. When I say dividends I mean it in every sense of the word.

In addition to the emotional, relational, spiritual and social benefit to working on your relationship there is a very practical financial benefit as well. One counselor I used to work with had a sign on his door that said, “Marriage is grand. Divorce is a hundred grand.” He was being very conservative.

It is common to talk about the death of the institution of marriage in today’s climate. Some are quick to suggest that today’s young person doesn’t like the long-term commitment marriage suggests. I say, “Baloney.” Peel back the onion and almost everyone longs for the deep, unconditional, permanent love found in a healthy marriage.

To everyone who is married, let this wedding season be a good one for you. Whether it’s a gentle nudge to spice it up a notch or a calm commitment to take better care of your relationship, everyone wins when all our marriages thrive.

Tim Schroeder is pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Kelowna and chaplin for the RCMP and Kelowna Rockets hockey team.

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