Interpreting and applying scripture is an active process. When we read, and especially when we tell each other what passages mean, we are making choices about what we think the author is doing. Many of us cite Genesis 3:16 as a “prescription” for how things ought to be. It is also read, more correctly I think, as a “description” of what happens when humankind forsakes God’s way of doing things and rebels against his order.
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)
In this rebellion, we see men domineering over women like animals domineering over each other due to physical strength. While this is not God’s plan, it is the unfortunate reality of the curse .The opening chapters of Genesis are some of the most wonderful and mysterious texts in the Bible. Unfortunately, we sometimes use them as weapons against each other, or to make arguments they were not intended to make.
When have I been guilty of weaponizing the opening chapters of Genesis to advance my arguments?
Does my theology about men and women allow for other faithful readings of Genesis 3?
If Genesis 3:16 is a curse description and not a prescription for life, what would this mean?