The men of our life group are reading the Bible together. We logically started in Genesis and are reading a chapter a day and sharing our thoughts via a private Facebook page. When I read through Genesis 3, I was drawn into the consequences of original sin. Not that I hadn’t heard this before, but have you ever read something and finally God just speaks directly to you through His Word? I had that kind of a moment…
16 Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”
17 And to the man he said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains.
19 By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.”
Consequences for Women
You have probably heard the first part of verse 16, but it was the second part that really struck me. Yes, I think of the pain that Kelsey is going through daily during her pregnancy, but the second part of the verse affects her entire life. God gave women the desire to control their husbands, but men are called to be the spiritual head of the household. Talk about confusing, right? If Kelsey and I don’t understand this, it can cause a lot of friction in our relationship and divide us rather than bring us together.
By understanding that this is the consequence of being human and falling short of perfect, we can adjust and move on. It’s my duty to lead our family in the ways of the Lord. This is a big responsibility that I didn’t always accept. Early in our relationship I let Kelsey do that because I was not as mature in my faith. I didn’t become a Christian until a week before we started dating. I have really grown into the role, and at the same time Kelsey has done a fantastic job of supporting me along the way by humbly allowing me to take charge of the spiritual household. It has blessed our communication and marriage immensely.
Consequences for Men
Men didn’t get off the hook, either. The ground was cursed and we struggle our entire lives to work to provide for our family. Literally, here in Iowa, farmers struggle to produce food from the ground and fight the weeds talked about in verse 18, but all men battle an internal struggle to provide for their family. What we are doing? Is it enough? Should we be doing more? How? I struggle with this all the time. God wired this into men after the fall. We work and work and work to support our families and get ahead in life. And again and again, the serpent slithers into our life. Once we are content, he tells us we need more stuff: Go for the next big thing. You’ll be content when you have three cars, a boat and a second home.
Doubt it. That’s a lie he tells us.
For the record, I don’t blame women for the fall of the human race. I blame the serpent. He is the one out to get us in trouble. He would have continued his shenanigans until we stumbled. These verses give couples a good starting point in communicating with each other. Understanding the root cause of why we act the way we do helps to get past that in situations of conflict. We now quickly move past the point of Kelsey trying to control a situation for the sake of control and instead make logical decisions together. With the impending birth of our first child, we also know that God did intend for labor to be painful. We can’t avoid it; we can only try to learn the best ways to cope with it.
Have you ever looked at these verses in this way? Any other insight? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.