Karen Waddles recounts the story of a wife whose relationship with her husband began to heal when she began to learn to submit to God.
Paul Harvey was a news commentator who often finished stories with the line, “And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the rest of the story.” I met a couple a few weeks ago who made me want to know “the rest of the story.”
Mario could win a contest for the happiest man in the world with his ear-to-ear smile. And it got brighter and more intense when he looked at Kristen, his wife. I was intrigued as I looked from one to the other, and a few days later I called Kristen and asked to hear her story.
Mario and Kristen Zuniga have been married for four years. Kristen is going to school and working towards her bachelor’s degree. She had decided that she wasn’t going to have children—this despite Mario’s desires to have a family:
“I decided that I could be a good wife by submitting to God and not my husband. I felt like if I tried to make sure dinner was taken care of and the house kept in order that was a good enough substitute. Mario should be satisfied with that. And surely God—because He is merciful—would not punish me for my disobedience.”
God graciously pursued Kristen through messages her pastor preached—powerful messages about God’s will and obedience. Kristen struggled to hold on to her resolve to not get pregnant. She had been raped as a child and decided that she would never allow another person to control her body. And for now, pregnancy wasn’t in the cards.
Kristen began to notice a distancing in her relationship with Mario. The intimacy in their marriage began to fade. They were not working in one accord any more. They were beginning to live very separate lives. God continued His pursuit of Kristen through a study the women of her church did on Lies Women Believe.
“I was struck by the very first chapter when Nancy talked about Satan and Eve. If Eve had only listened to what Adam said! I realized that I was not listening to Mario! I was hearing him, but I wasn’t listening. I prayed about it. And once I decided to submit I felt a weight lift. I felt the peace of the Lord!”
Kristen’s marriage grew stronger and stronger. There was less fighting. They were finally at peace with each other. She realized that submission was not about control at all—it was about trust.
“Before, I would make decisions without Mario’s input. Now, I go to him with most decisions. He prays about it and makes wise decisions.”
Mario wept with the news that Kristen was willing to have a child. He had agonized in prayer every day that God would convict her heart, feeling they were being disobedient to God’s desire for them to have a family. Finally the bondage was broken and they were set free from Satan’s lies to experience the fullness of God’s purpose.
“And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Gen. 1:28).
And, here’s the reason behind Mario’s joy: Shortly after Kristen expressed her willingness to have a child Mario was called to preach. And as they journey toward this new call, they await the delivery of their first child: Liv Faith Zuniga on March 29, 2012. Great is His faithfulness!
“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations” (Deut. 7:9).