Increased Labor Pains and the Other Half of the Curse

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The fall of humanity into sin didn’t happen without repercussion. Both Adam and Eve disobeyed, and both were punished. To the woman he [God] said: “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain will you give birth to children.” (Genesis 3:16).

Women were cursed with painful childbirth. Sometimes, we joke about our predicament. “Thanks a lot, Eve!” But we still accept that childbirth pain is a normal part of life (and hey, at least there’s the option of pain medication).

But the curse isn’t limited to X number of hours in the delivery room. Unfortunately, there’s more. Genesis chapter 3 verse 16 ends like this: “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” There we have it. Women’s curse is twofold: we will experience painful childbirth, and our desire will be for our husbands. But what does that second part mean, exactly?

It wasn’t until I was married that I became jealous for my husband. Ladies, this is probably one of the most vulnerable and difficult truths that I am about to admit. But once my husband and I entered into our marriage covenant, I entered into a new world of desire for my husband.

I desired to make sure that loved me, and me only.

I desired that he gave me perfect and unyielding affection, preferably based off of my “fine homemaking skills” and “well-groomed appearance.”

I desired that my worth would be constantly validated by him.

You see, that’s it. That’s the curse: that we women fail to find our meaning, identity, and security in our Creator and Father, but desire to find it in our imperfect and duly cursed husbands. And this is not at all a slam on husbands, but on the black hole of sin that tends to drag us down with it. We are cursed.

I tried to explain this concept to my husband. His response: “well, that just sounds like an excuse.”

At first I was a bit thrown off by his reply. An excuse? I thought. How is it my fault that I’ve been cursed with this? But that wasn’t my husband’s point. What he meant was, “what are you going to do about that?” Hmmm, good point.

Ladies, we all know that we can constantly work to improve our prayer life, devotional life, and overall spiritual life. We can ask that God would direct our hearts to serve him and find our worth in him. We can do our best to be stronger, more confident wives, loving to our husbands and nurturing to our families. We can fight negative thoughts and fill our minds with good things. We can do all this, and we should do this.

Unfortunately, it still won’t be enough. We will never, on our own, rid ourselves of this cursed condition. Mercifully for us, God had the antidote all planned out even before Eve took the first (cursed) bite. Freedom from sin, from death, and from the temptations and evil of the devil is won for us by God’s own Son, Jesus. Through him, we are curse-free: women made in the image of God who will one day be restored with perfect bodies and who will live in an eternal, happy, perfect home. (I can’t wait)!

Until that glorious and greatly anticipated day, we will continue to grunt through child labor and pity ourselves every time we don’t feel appreciated by our husbands. But we will also continue to be forgiven, loved, and blessed by our Creator who has already unlocked the cure.

Cursed? Yes. Redeemed? You bet! As redeemed wives, we can serve in humility, love unconditionally, and cherish joyfully in the knowledge that we are ultimately bound to Christ.


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