After Adam and Eve sinned, God told the woman, “I will multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
First and foremost, while many regard this to be the curse of Eve, it is important for us to recognize that, upon the disobedience of man and the woman (who was yet to be named Eve) , God did NOT curse the woman, as he did the serpent and the ground (Genesis 3:14; 3:17), but instead told her the consequences of her selfish lusts. The consequences of her sin was sorrow.
Often the increase in the sorrow of the woman in conception and childbirth is taught to us, as an increase in the pain of labor during childbirth, but the Scripture does not necessarily state an increase in pain, as a consequence of sin, but refers more to the condition of the woman, in conception and childbirth, as one of sorrow (and travail). At this point it is also important to recognize that the pangs of child birth are momentary, only to be replaced with joy upon child birth. Reflectively, God was continuing his revelation of his plan of redemption (Salvation) unto the woman. After he had confirmed the enmity between the serpent (Satan) and the woman (the Church), he was now confirming with the woman (the Church) that the woman (the Church) will be in a state of sorrow and travail, as a woman in labor, when her hour will come, as her bridegroom (Jesus) will be taken away from her, to the Father. The hour of the Church to act for God is here and now, for when we look around, we see that it is not received in a friendly manner by the world. Instead the pangs of the Church to have those who are not part of God’s family to be born (again) into his kingdom is an arduous and travailing task, often combined with sorrow, as many are put into situations such as torture (verbal, mental, physical), separation from their loved ones, beaten, imprisoned, and in some case even death. Jesus himself expressed the very state of sorrow that his disciples will be subject too, but then went on to assure that the present state of suffering (sorrow) will be turned into a state of joy, for just as a woman has sorrow when she is in travail because her hour has come, upon the delivery of her child, she remembers her anguish no more, because of the joy she experiences when a man is born into the world (John 16:21).
Additionally, God told the woman, that her desire will be to her husband, and he will rule over her. Some teach that this means that the woman’s disobedience led to her losing her position of equality with man, for though she was made as a help meet for him, her husband would now rule over her. Though this is certainly plausible, a more thorough scrutiny of the Scripture, reveals a hidden treasure in it, for the text does not read, the woman’s desire will be to rule over her husband, but instead she would be ruled over. Reflectively, this is actually a continuation of God’s revelation of his masterplan of restoration after redemption as to how the desire of the woman (the Church) will be her husband (Jesus Christ who will wed the Church – Revelation 19), and (not but) he (Jesus) shall rule over her.
Points to ponder:
The consequences of sin is sorrow – the sorrow (or anxiety) of being separated from our Savior (the bridegroom) and until he returns in the clouds (Revelation 1:7) and takes us to his Father’s mansion (John 14:2) to be with him (John 14:3), we as the Church have to travail as a woman in child birth. To have people be born again into the family of God, so that they can address God as Abba Father (Romans 8:15), the Church has to toil, but Jesus has promised that in a little while, we shall see him again (John 16:16) and when we do, our sorrows shall be turned into joy and we shall remember our anguish no more (John 16:21). Are you still in a state of sorrow? If yes, repent. If not, let us look forward to the glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ, diligently, when he shall turn our sorrows into joy.
Genesis 3:16 (KJV)
16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
John 16:1-7; 16-22 (KJV)
1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?
6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.
17 Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?
18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.
19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?
20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.