Genesis 3:16-19


Genesis 3:16-19

16 To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;

Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. 18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; 19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”

These verses are God speaking to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden after they had disobeyed and ate the forbidden fruit.

I’ve spent several days mulling these verses over in my head and thinking about them from different angles.  When I have tried to write out my thoughts on paper, I can’t seem to get them down in a clear, concise way.  So, I’m just going to start typing out my thoughts and hope it makes some sort of sense by the time I’m done.  I do have a tendency to babble a bit, so I apologize up front, to those reading this and to my future self when I come back to re-read it (laughs).

I do want to point out a couple of things first though…

a.  If it starts to sound like I am “male-bashing” through some of my thoughts on this…that is not my intention at all.  Give me the benefit of the doubt.  I am not a Bible teacher here and sometimes thoughts are hard to convey with words.  If you can read something two ways, read it in a way that isn’t dissing on women or men as we are all in the same boat here.  I am merely commenting on what I see in the framework of my own experiences and observations.  If I generalize, it’s to save my fingers the extra work of typing politically correct through this post. (laughs)

b.  My thoughts are just that, mine.  I don’t claim my thoughts as being supreme or fully accurate and I know I’m missing pieces and sometimes huge pieces of background knowledge and culture etc.  I am not a Preacher, Pastor, Minister etc.  If something I write gives you pause and makes you question…Great!  Go read God’s words yourself and research for yourself and ask your Pastor etc.  If you agree with me…super.  If not…even better!  That means you’ll dig into the Word maybe more than you would have before 🙂  Then you can come back and teach me something in the comments!  I welcome that 🙂

Okay, so (did I stall long enough? hehe)  here we go! here’s what happened.

The serpent messed with Eve’s head right?

Eve started out by being obedient, admitting that God said not to eat that fruit.  Well, then the serpent started his smooth talking car salesman pitch and as every girl knows…salesmen are wonderful and talking you into buying something right?  Well, suddenly the forbidden fruit looked all shiny and cool and we just had to try it right?

Well, guess what? Eve fell for the pitch and took a bite and then the Bible says “and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” Who’s leading who here?  It sure wasn’t Adam being the leader here was it?

Eve talked to the serpent, got tricked or fell for it (however you want to look at it), she ate and gave it to him and he ate.  Adam was right there with her and took a backseat to the goings on.  Maybe he was watching a football game or something?

So they both screwed up royally.  And there isn’t any hiding from God.  I’m going to take a closer look at the punishments here.

To the Women:

Genesis 3:16-19 16 To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”

So, God really knows how to discipline huh?

Literally hitting us where it hurts!

Okay, so this “curse” (that’s what I’m going call it) is directly on Eve (Women).  God took this most miraculous and awesome and happy event and shadowed it with a whole heck of a lot of pain.  (Good and Evil right?)

“Yet your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.” This is a bit confusing and could mean a couple of different things depending on how you read it.

1.  Desire  here can mean the desire of a man for a woman or woman for a man

2.  Or it can be a bit more sinister in nature as a beast to devour.  You can look at how it is used in Genesis 4:7.  The difference is subtle.

If I read it just as written it doesn’t really make too much sense.  “Yet your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.”  Think about it…if my desire is for my husband (in a good way) then is it really a “curse” or a “discipline” for him to rule over me?

Well, if he is a good man, then not at all.  If he is an evil man, then yeah, it would be a curse.

God doesn’t work by flipping a quarter here though, at least I don’t believe so. If I read it as “desire” being more along the lines of “a beast to devour”…then I’m getting a bit more of accurate picture.  If my “desire” is more like a devouring beast…my nature is suddenly not that of a woman in heat for her hubby…but now my nature looks like I’m craving power.

Specifically the power to rule over him. “Yet your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.” So now we have a power struggle in the relationship that previously had no struggle. This reading would be consistent with the punishment fitting the crime, with justice etc.

Eve took over the leading role with the serpent.  Adam is not without blame here either because he sat back and did nothing!  (So don’t get puffed up guys!)

So the women’s curse is upon her body and emotional/psychological state. Men want to know why women never seem to know what they want…well…now you know!  (laughs)

 To the Men:

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;

Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. 18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; 19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”

Now this is where God truly shows His creative ingenuity!

First in vs 17 God is talking to Adam and says because you listened to the voice of your wife… God is not cursing Adam for “listening to his wife” and talking with her generically as some men would love to interpret this verse so they have an excuse for tuning her out and not seeking her input on things.

God is cursing Adam because he thoughtlessly listened to Eve and NOT TO GOD. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but if God commands you to do or not do something, He’s the big guy, the BOSS, the OWNER.  What HE says goes.  Adam wasn’t real smart about this. Not only did Adam fail to lead Eve in obedience to God, he failed to protect his wife from being taken advantage of by the serpent.

Adam failed in his responsibilities and as a result, his wife was cursed…with PAIN no less.  Not to mention she was cursed in the very same way in which Adam failed…she was cursed to WANT to rule now having had a “taste” of it (sorry for the pun LOL).

So God is truly creative.

What is worse than enduring pain yourself or being punished yourself? Having to witness someone you love go through pain and punishment BECAUSE of something you did or didn’t do!

God didn’t stop there either.

God had provided for all their needs in the garden.  Adam and Eve didn’t have to toil and suffer and (gasp!) work for their food.  God provided it. Did God curse Adam? Nope. He cursed the woman Adam loved. And God cursed the earth itself. Both of these things “affect” Adam.  But the curses were not “on” Adam himself. Boy that has to hurt!

Men (yes generalizing here) are strong.  They’d rather take a punch than watch someone they love get hurt right?  Well, strike that down.  Now Adam must watch Eve (men must watch women) go through unimaginable pain in childbirth as a result (each time) of their own actions.  Ouch!

Now men have to work and sweat and toil all the days of their lives to provide food for their families.  Nothing’s easy anymore huh?  Not only that, but Adam’s wife, once peaceful with her role, now harbors some rebellion toward him and his rule.  Now it’s all, “When mama ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy”.

Sorry Adam, you screwed up royally by not stepping up and leading when you should have. Now ALL men are paying for it! Just like ALL women are paying for it.

So now we know what happened.  And we have a pretty good idea of how and why it all happened.

 And for most of history, couples have shared jointly in the curses, each shouldering their share of the Fall.
But not so in today’s world. The world is out of balance today and so are the curses.
So, we know from Eve, the rebellious nature of women toward their hubby’s rule over them.  People like to blame “Women Libbers” and “Feminism” for the downfall of society but this is nothing new.  It’s been around forever…since Eve in fact.
What hasn’t been around forever was a government and a court system willing to interfere in the relationship between a man and women.  THAT is new.
Men have forever gone back and forth with being the leader in the home…since Adam in fact.  The struggle is part of the curse.  This is not new.
What hasn’t been around forever was the ability and willingness of the man to just walk away from his responsibilities without major consequences.  What I mean by this is for the first time in history, men discovered they could just take care of things with money and they don’t have to physically be present.
As our country moves farther and farther away from self sustainability, meaning each individual is unable to provide for themselves the basics by the sweat of their brow…men are able to just walk away because food, housing, clothing, water, etc. these can all be bought and provided by others.

How the curses from the fall manifest on people today.

Single Moms:
A single woman with children today is shouldering the bulk of all the curses from the Fall.  If the father of her children pays support, then the curse to provide is lessened somewhat.  However, many single mom’s don’t receive a penny of support.
The single mom suffered her own curse of pain during childbirth.  Yes, even with epidurals and such there is still pain!  Some women have it easier than others.  The single mom still has the curse of a rebellious heart to the rule of her husband (when she had a husband or boyfriend if not married).
But the single mom’s curse doesn’t stop there now.  She doesn’t have a husband to shoulder his share of the curse.  So she now has to sweat and to work to make money in a world that is cursed too.
She is no longer a helper to man.
Single Dads: 
Single dads still have to provide for their family by their own sweat.  They have to work to make money.  If the kids live with him 1/2 the time or all of the time, then he is shouldering as much responsibility to them as he can.  His curse is still there on the earth.  If he was around when the children were born then he witnessed the pain his wife (or girlfriend) went through.
The single dad doesn’t inherit the woman’s curse though.
The single dad doesn’t have a helper anymore.
Married Couples:
Married couples have the best chance at balancing the burdens of the curses.  However, in todays world, many couples must both work to provide for their families.  The wives work and come home and also take care of the home in many instances without help from the husband.  The husband still works to provide.
Many times, the wife makes more money than the husband and the roles are completely reversed in the home.  To be politically correct, men are bending over backwards to have “co-leadership” homes with the focus on total equality rather than be the leader.
Anyway you look at it…women’s curse is to rebel against the rule of man.  Men’s nature is to shirk his leadership role when he can.
If Adam had taken the lead in the garden, we would still be in the garden today.  But he didn’t, just like men aren’t stepping in to leadership roles today.  They are stepping back and letting women fill their shoes.

Now before anyone starts rambling off excuses about how the government passed all these laws and such…blah blah blah.  You’re right.  There are laws now to insure equal treatment of women and men.  In our society, especially now with so many singles having to provide for themselves, this is needed.  Otherwise the streets would be full of begging women and homeless children…oh some area’s the streets are full…

 That doesn’t change the fact that men need to lead.  Men need to quit running away from responsibility.  Example:  Guy and girl get together and she gets pregnant.  Guy can bury his head in the sand and walk away.  Girl is left to deal with the situation alone.  They both sinned but only 1 shoulders the burden.  Having some money taken out of your paycheck isn’t taking responsibility.
Our society is so used to pointing fingers and blaming one or the other.  Who cares about blame when both have made the wrong choices?  But instead of men leading the way with a single RIGHT choice, they leave.
Substitute him and her wherever you want…because we see him leaving and we see HER leaving later on.  It’s acceptable to “move on” and forget responsibilities if you’ve been offended or emotionally hurt or for any other reason or NO reason under the sun.
I’m a single mom.  I screwed up too.  The choices I made in men and with men were the wrong ones every time.  I don’t hate men because I screwed up.  I don’t hate men at all.  I hate the fact that not one man in my past ever tried to lead me into “right” behavior.  But as non-believers (me included) what did I expect right?
Life doesn’t come with a rule book and the only rule book I have now is the Bible and I didn’t understand it until a couple years ago.  Excuse?  Yep…all the way!  (laughs)  But it’s mine!  I can’t go back and make things right or cry out Do over!   I have two wonderful sons that God blessed me with even when I was lost in my sins.  What I can do is repent and live my life with my eyes on Jesus.  He is the One I can trust to lead me true.
We all have excuses for why we are the way we are, why our situation is the way it is …why our society is the way it is.  At least the Bible explains our natures and gives insights as to why our society is so screwed up now.
For those married believers who are trying their best to balance the burden of the curses…I salute you!  I will pray for you also.  You are accomplishing something that has always eluded me…you are living as one…2 halves of a whole…as you were meant to live.  It can’t be easy but keep your eyes on Jesus.
For you single parents and singles out there like me…hold tight to Jesus Christ!  Everything according to His will and not our own.  Wait for things to come in His time, don’t try and force anything.  Be happy and true to your Savior.  If you are meant to have a partner in this life, be patient and wait for Jesus to bless you.
I can’t remember where I saw this, but it went something like this for looking for your future partner…Run as fast as you can to Jesus and then when you are running your fastest…look over.  If there is someone who can keep up with you, you’ve found your partner.  I thought that was the cutest saying!

2 thoughts on “Genesis 3:16-19

  1. ladygardeenya

    Tawni, you nailed this one. I know how you agonized over your notes on this and I think you summarized it very well. I do know that others will look harder to see it in a new way because of this blog. I think your last line is awesome. It says a ton.

    Liked by 1 person


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