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. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.(Genesis 3:16-19)
It was only after the announcement of the gospel of the “seed of the woman”, that the temporal sentence was passed upon the transgressors. To the man and the woman, each in their respective God assigned spheres of life, would come care, sorrow, and frustrating toil.
To the woman who listened to the serpent, sorrow would be multiplied in the area of conception , birth, and marriage. The problem would include but go go far beyond the uniquely feminine ordeals of ovulation and pain in childbirth.
God says that He would “greatly multiply” the sorrow, conception and childbirth! Did Adam and Eve realize that they would be the parents of billions of children? Though every birth of a baby is a joy, always it is mingled with sorrow, because each child soon evidences the original sin of Adam, and is thus a reminder of our first parent’s sin.
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.(Psalm 51:5)
This is why childbirth itself required special offerings and cleansings in the Law of God. Babies are born sinners, the sin of the garden is constantly multiplied. Circumcision also teaches this, because it presupposes guilt. Children are not born righteous, they are not alright “just as they are”, they are little Adam’s and Eve’s with corrupted natures, passed down through birth.
Conception is cause for sorrow mingled with joy, in a fallen world, estranged and alienated from God. Children are indeed a blessing, and to conceive of a child is a privilege given us of love. But what shall become of that precious child? How will his/her life develop? How many mothers have cried bitter tears for a child gone astray?
In the best of marriages and circumstances, we can catch but a glimpse of the astonishing beauty of the original plan. The joy of man and wife bringing children into God’s world, rearing them together in love, security and order, that thy might mature and repeat the blessed cycle.”Be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth”, the original vision, or as the Psalms put it,
Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.(Psalm 128)
But in the world now run by the fallen sons of Adam and Eve, conception often occurs out of marriage, without love, and as an evidence of shame. The USA alone recently passed the abominable landmark of its fifty millionth abortion. How awful! Woe to us! God says in Proverbs 8 that all those who “hate me love death!“.
Another aspect of the sentence upon the woman is that the delicate balance between man and woman would now be skewed, and the woman would suffer greatly because of it, particularly in marriage.
“Your desire will be to your husband…” is not a blessing although it sounds innocent enough. What is being said is that you will be vulnerable and in a position of utter dependence upon him, in a sinful world you will need him more than he will “need” you.
It has been pointed out that this is similar to a phrase in Genesis 4 where Cain is warned by God that Sin desires to rule him. If so this is saying that an insecurity within the woman will cause her to seek to rule in the marriage over her husband.
In fact though , He shall rule over you… in this sinful, fallen world. The man has ruled by his strength and by the perversion of his position as the “head”. Most of human history has alternated between deifying women, or harshly suppressing them, both of which are hurtful to women.
No woman can live up to the perfection of an Aphrodite, or an Athena, or a Madonna, idealizing women actually debases and suppresses them, as our modern pornographic culture demonstrates.
One need only look as far as the Muslim world to see the Satanic hatred of women lived out among the one billion adherents of the cult formed around a pirate,rapist and murderer.
The Law of Moses was a definite elevation of the status of women, but it was only the morning star compared to the Sunrise of the coming of Jesus Christ into this world as far as the restoration of the respect originally intended for women by the Creator.
But in this age of darkness and declension from the Revelation of Jesus Christ, women are once again coming under the full brunt of this curse. Every so-called modern liberation movement celebrated in the west as emancipatory, has actually destroyed the status of women.
Feminism is actually hateful to true womanhood. The liberation from marriage has helped the “playboys” of the world but consigned millions of women to single parenthood, and poverty. “No Fault” divorce laws lobbied for by feminists have worked in favor of immoral men, but hurt women.
Pornography debases women. The so-called “sexual revolution” has made for women, a coarser, ruder, harsher world, than the Judeo Christian world which it supplanted. Love and Romance are virtually dead in our brave new (godless) world.
Finally though, with joy we realize that this curse is temporal, for soon the “seed of the woman” returns to bring in a better order. Maranatha!