Why did God pronounce that women would suffer pain in childbirth? 

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The pain in childbirth

After the fall, the Lord declared to Eve, “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” (Genesis 3:16). The pain in childbirth was to be intense that in Scripture it is symbolic of a severe anguish of body and mind (Micah 4:9, 10; 1 Thessalonians 5:3; John 16:21; Revelation 12:2). 

In addition, the Lord declared to Eve that her pain will be accompanied by the following: “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Genesis 3:16). This will be so because the woman had broken her divinely appointed relationship with the man. For instead of being a help “meet” for him, she had become his seducer.  

The place of women in Bible 

Because of sin, the woman’s rank of equality with man was lost. Man was to “rule over” her as lord and master. And this has been the case clearly for among most non-Christian nations, women have been subjected throughout the ages to humiliation and slavery.  

In the ancient world, women were commonly considered as assets, and thus much inferior to men. Pagan philosophers sometimes debated whether a woman even had a soul. In some pagan cultures, a father or husband had authority over the women of his household to the point of ordering their death.   

However, among the Hebrews the condition of women was one of subordination but not of oppression or slavery. Christianity has placed woman on the same platform as man in receiving the benefits of salvation and redemption.  Paul wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).  

Although the husband is to be head of the household, Christian principles will lead a man and his wife into an experience of true partnership, where each is so dedicated to the happiness and well-being of the other that it never occurs to either to “rule” over the other. The Lord commands, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them” (Colossians 3:18, 19).  

Thus, subordination does not in any way imply inferiority. The submission of the wife is of the type that can be offered only between equals, not a demanding obedience, but a free submission because the man was ordained by his Maker to be head (Genesis 3:16). 

God’s promise 

With the curse of sin on Eve and her descendants, there was a promise of hope and salvation. The Lord stated, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15). The war that started between Christ and Satan in heaven (Revelation 12:7–9), was continued on earth, where Christ again defeated him (Hebrews 2:14), and will terminate finally with Satan’s destruction at the end of the millennium (Revelation 20:10).

Christ himself was the One that would carry Adam and Eve’s penalty of sin. Sadly, Christ did not emerge from this battle untouched. The nail marks in His hands and feet and the scar in His side will be eternal reminders of the infinite price He had paid to redeem humans and give them eternal life (John 20:25; Zechariah 13:6). 

 In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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