You set aside all your wrath and turned from your fierce anger. . . . Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. (Ps. 85:3, 10)

DON AND MARIE fell in love quickly. They didn’t know all about each other, but visiting his family farm, Marie was sure she could love this man her whole life. They entered into marriage with great hope for a bright future.

Children came quickly. Don’s job at the dairy seemed like a great fit for a young man starting his family. Then came the injury that gave him back problems the rest of his life. A career change was necessary. And in the midst of all this life happening, Marie started showing signs of the secret illness that had troubled her since puberty: manic depression. This specter would hang over them for nearly sixty years of marriage.

When I asked my dad why he stayed with my mom through all the hard times of her illness, he said in no uncertain terms: “When we married it was for better or worse. I would never walk away from her.” Period. End of story.

My dad fleshed out for me a love that turns away from hurt and anger. He showed me a picture of love modeled after the Scriptures, where faithfulness is totally joined with love, a marriage where peace is joined with a desire to live righteously.

This is a picture of marriage: more than just passion, it’s deep-seated and requires sacrifice and conscious, intentional choice.

Begin today to form your relationships according to His picture-perfect plan.

Annie Wamberg lives in Colorado Springs. An empty-nester, Annie has plunged back into singing. When not sleeping, Annie runs a cleaning business.