To the woman he said,
"I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
with pain you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you."
To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,'
"Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you…"
The curse for Eve and all her daughters cannot be limited only to babies and marriage, for if that were true then every single woman, and every woman without children, gets to escape this curse. Not so. The meaning is deeper and the implications are for every daughter of Eve. Woman is cursed with loneliness (relational heartache), with the urge to control (especially her man), and with the dominance of men (which is not how things were meant to be, and we are not saying it is a good thing—it is the fruit of the fall and a sad fact of history).
Isn't it true? Aren't your deepest worries and heartaches relational—aren't they connected to someone? Even when things are good, is your vast capacity for intimacy ever filled in a lasting way? There is an emptiness in us that we continually try to feed. And can't you see how much you need to have things under your control—whether it's a project or a ministry or a marriage? Are you comfortable trusting your well-being to someone else? And haven't you felt "this is a man's world?" felt your vulnerability as a woman to be a liability? Most women hate their vulnerability. We are not inviting—we are guarded. Most of our energy is spent trying to hide our true selves, and control our worlds to have some sense of security.
When a woman falls from grace, what is most deeply marred is her tender vulnerability, beauty that invites to life. She becomes a dominating, controlling woman—or a desolate, needy, mousy woman. Or some odd combination of both, depending on her circumstances.