Adam and Eve had sinned against the Lord by eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as the Lord had forbidden in Genesis 2:16-17, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” 

There were consequences to their action, so in Genesis, we see the Lord administering justice to the sinning pair and the serpent who had tempted Eve into eating the forbidden fruit.  The Lord dispenses justice in this order:

SERPENT – Genesis 3:14-15

EVE – Genesis 3:16

ADAM – Genesis 3:17-19

Let’s read Genesis 3:16 to see what the Lord said to Eve, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

First, we see that because of her sin, Eve (and all women who came after her) would now suffer pain during childbirth.  She would now have to suffer physical pain and distress of mind while delivering her children.  Eve had not borne children before the fall into sin, so we have nothing to compare to the feelings of childbirth before and after her sin, but the Lord’s words, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow…” shows that the pain of delivery will be much greater that it would have been before sin entered into the world. While most women will say that the pain they bear is worth it to bring a child into the world, still that pain is part of the judgment of God upon Eve…and all those who come after her.  The Lord had blessed Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28 by saying, “God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  Now, each time the blessing of childbirth is realized, there is a reminder that sin and rebellion is in the earth. 

Next, we see that because of the sin, Eve’s “desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” 

Because of Eve’s sin, her role in the home is one of subjection to the leadership of her husband.  Paul, the apostle gives us the mind of the Lord in 1 Corinthians 11:3, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”  The order established in Genesis 3:16 is still in effect today.  We read in Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”  Does this mean that women are seen as inferior to men?  Absolutely not! 

The Lord Jesus took the lowly place to obey His Father’s will when He came to the earth, but He certainly was not inferior to Him.  He said in John 8:29, “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I DO ALWAYS THOSE THINGS THAT PLEASE HIM.”  The Lord’s obedience took Him all the way to the cross as we read in Philippians 2:8, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became OBEDIENT UNTO DEATH, even the death of the cross.”  Yet, even in His role of being obedient to His Father, the Lord Jesus also claimed equality with His Father.  He boldly stated in John 10:30, “I and my Father are one.”  In person, in purpose, and in perfection, the Lord Jesus was equal with His Father!  The husband and wife are also equals. 

In the Christian home, the wife should obey her husband’s leadership.  I realize that is not a popular thing today, but in a home where the wife accepts her role and the man accepts his role, you will find some of the best, happiest, and most secure marriages!  While the wife is to obey, the husband is instructed to love his wife in a sacrificial way.  We read in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”  When the husband and wife are following the Lord together and accept the roles He has given us, He will bless those marriages greatly!  (CC)  (526.6)