What does God say to Eve...

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(TB: Here's a good simple explanation of God's curse of Eve and her daughters given by our college minister, Alex McNeilly.)

I had a helpful conversation with a sweet young Christian woman last week regarding God's curse on Eve in Genesis 3. She pointed out that God says to Eve, "your husband…will rule over you," and then said, "See! It's part of the curse!"

First of all, we know from Scripture that man's authority over woman is not part of the Fall because we have other parts of Scripture which clearly mandate father-rule (1 Pet. 3, Eph. 5, etc.), even before the Fall (1 Tim. 2, Gen. 2, etc.). So why does God say, "he will rule over you," as part of the woman's curse?

Well, since we know the Creation Order of husband and wife existed pre-Fall, let's imagine what Adam and Eve's relationship would have been like without sin...

Adam was a good husband. He made right decisions, he cared perfectly for the body and soul of his wife, he received her help cheerfully, he provided for her, and he lived in perfect unity with her. Similarly, we can assume that Eve loved her duties as a wife, that she helped her husband with perfect deference and joy, obeyed his directions, and lived in perfect harmony with him. What a wonderful thought!

But then sin entered the picture. Eve no longer desired to submit to her husband, but desired to rule over him. Furthermore, Adam was no longer a loving, godly husband. He neglected his wife, spurned her, failed to provide for her, and began to look out for his own interests above hers. No wonder she wanted to rule over him!

And here comes the real kicker. God informs Eve that the authority relationship between her and her husband STILL exists, in spite of everything else that has changed; "he will rule over you." In other words, her sin and Adam's sin do not entitle her to usurp Adam's authority. No, God's Creation Order still stands. The change is the presence of sin. Sin and selfish desires now bring enmity between the wife and her husband. That is the curse. While they previously lived in perfect obedience to God and enjoyed their stations in life, they now live in rebellion against God and hate the duties He's given to each one of them.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!