SORROW IN CHILD BEARING
Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”
This verse has always been interesting for me. I believe that Adam and Eve probably had children prior to this occurrence. They were given the same commandment as the animals, that is to replenish the earth. I realize that this seems to be speculation at first, however, the words of this text bear out my assumption.
The phrase “greatly multiply your” is one word in the Hebrew. Its meaning is that of increase of something from one point to another. This is a verb, and as it is used, the implication is that Eve had borne children, however, she did not do so in sorrow or pain. The promise to Eve, as a result of her sin, is that she and all females who give birth, would experience sorrow and pain when conceiving and bearing children. This is only one of the curses that resulted in the sin committed by our first parents.
The other aspect of this curse is that her “desire shall be for your husband.” This implies that prior to the sin, both Adam and Eve shared the same level of desire and station before God. One was not more dominate over the other. The only true dominance was the fact that Adam was created and that Eve was formed from Adam. Paul speaks of this same idea in I Corinthians chapter eleven. Now that sin has entered into the picture, two things happen to the relationship between men and women. First, her desire, or longing and craving, would be towards her husband. Next, he would rule or have dominion over the woman. This has existed from that time till now. I realize that in our modern world women have strongly sought after equality with men in every aspect, however, the fundamental differences still show that this verse is active in the human race.
The only true equality to found in men and women is in Christ. Salvation puts us on an equal level and in Heaven, there shall no longer be the distinction between the sexes. In Christ we not only find our salvation, we also find that harmony that was lost by sin. We are, again, equal before God.