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."
God turns His attention specifically to Adam and Eve and explains to them the consequences of their decision to reject His government over their lives. Essentially, He tells them that because they have rejected His rule over their lives, they no longer will have the blessings that He gave them in the garden. Instead of the life they formerly had in the garden, when God blessed them by providing for all their needs, they would have a difficult and painful life without His presence.
This is a lesson mankind is still learning and is something we need to remember: obedience to God’s government brings blessings. Sin brings hardships and curses (study Leviticus 26 carefully to see how this principle applies to nations).
The specific results that God warned Eve’s female descendants would face were:
- Sorrow and pain in the reproduction and parenting process. As a result of being separate from God, the entire process would be much harder and more painful than it would have been with God directly involved in their lives.
- Oppressive and despotic treatment by men. Women throughout the majority of human history have been treated harshly, or even abused, by men and have been considered to be of lesser value than men. The World Health Organization recently reported that over a third of women around the world are victims of physical and sexual abuse (The Week, July 5-15, 2013, p. 8). God’s will was never for men to abuse and mistreat women. God’s standards for how men should treat their wives are found in Ephesians 5:25-31; Colossians 3:19; and 1 Peter 3:7. Though these scriptures specifically apply to husbands and wives, the general principle is that men should treat all women with respect and honor.
Even though history is characterized by women facing these challenges, this will change when God’s government is restored to this earth (Acts 3:21).
To learn more about God’s standards for marriage and the blessings it brings, see the articles in the section on “How to Have a Happy Marriage.”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “God Sees.”