Women are bound with their husbands and children in a way that no man can understand. This is by God’s design. He made it so that marriage and motherhood would be paradise. And it was, until Eve and her husband sinned, and God’s design was broken.
Turning to the woman, God cursed her in the very sphere that defines her joy. It would serve as a constant reminder that a woman gave birth to sin in the human race. She would pass it on to all her sons and daughters.
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.” The curse was doubly strong. The pain would not come in childbirth only. Rather, it would encompass all of childbearing: her pregnancy would be plagued with discomfort, her labor with bodily pain, her nurturing with emotional stress, and her bond with agonizing concern.
Not only would the woman give birth to little sinners, but she would be married to a big one. “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” This was a reference to her deep impulse to rule over and control her husband rather than lovingly submit to him. In return, he would forcefully and emotionally fight against her.
All that was designed to bring her joy would now bring her anguish. It was meant to be a constant reminder of Eve’s sin. In His kindness, God has given us technologies and medicine to alleviate some of the pain involved in childbirth. Still, it is only through guiding her children to fear God that the emotional pain of childbearing is reduced. The more her family believes and trusts God, the more it will resemble paradise.
- How would you describe the curse of woman by God? In what ways does it keep us keenly aware of sin’s effect on humanity?
- What does this part of the story tell us about God? In what ways does He show us mercy and love? In what ways do we see His holiness and justice?
- What can this teach us today? How might we live differently in order to alleviate the pain and difficulty of sin from ourselves and our family?