The curses that man and woman received after their disobedience flowed from their original purpose when they were created. Man was created to take dominion over all creation–plants and animals. Woman was created to “complement” (Gen. 2) man.
The woman’s curse was relational.
- Pain in childbirth
- A conflict in marriage whereby she experiences desire and pleasure with her husband, but at the same time there is now a leadership role and authority whereby the husband is expected to be accountable for his wife. We find out later, that according to the apostle Paul, this is because the woman was deceived and incidentally deceived her husband, whereby causing herself to be under his “rule”(Gen. 3:16). Here is how Paul explains a woman’s role in the new church: 1 Timothy 2:11-14 “A woman should learn in silence with full submission. I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to be silent. For Adam was created first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed. But she will be saved through childbearing, if she continues in faith, love, and holiness, with good judgment.” In these verses we see reference to the curse, both in childbearing and in man “ruling” over his wife. This curse is noticeably awful in certain circles where women are mistreated and treated as less than human. However, in Christianity, there is a proper orientation towards the woman and she is cherished once again as his “complement”, though the effects of the curse still remain until the final return of Jesus and the authority of the man persists in the house.
The man’s curse was occupational.
- As the woman would experience labor pains, the man was cursed with painful labor. He was taken out of a garden that instinctively yielded wonderful fruits and vegetation and was placed outside into a land that would require his own efforts to bring forth food. Obviously, man is not the caliber of gardener that God is and therefore man would always strive to produce for himself and his family and constantly be working in difficulty.