Reading: Genesis 3:16
The sin of Eve is reflected in the punishment declared in verse 16. In the original Hebrew there is a play on the words tree and sorrow; she had eaten of the tree and she found multiplied sorrow. She broke the law of God by a desire for sensual pleasure; now she is going to suffer sensual pain. The pain is related specifically to childbirth, but the phrase “and thy conception” indicates that the entire female physiology is affected.
Pregnancy and childbearing were part of the first and perfect creation (Genesis 1:28). Now, however they are accompanied by pain. Again, as in all of God dealings with humanity, this is undergirded with grace. It would serve to remind the woman that she is perpetuating a sinful race; her children are conceived in sin. Women, this is a perpetual reminder that your children need to be brought into the family of God, back into covenant with God.
This in the providence of God is a noble and demanding responsibility, the ideal of womanhood. The child who has been born in sin must be trained and taught in the same divine grace that the woman herself has received from God. Paul says that this ideal of Christian womanhood is such an important accompanying circumstance of her salvation that by the “training” of her children she will be saved (1 Timothy 2:15). Her salvation will be evident in her domestic influence.
Mother, your greatest virtue and highest goal is the enriching of your children with the grace of God you have experienced. Surround them with the love and affection of Christ who alone can bring them back into communion with God. Look to your husband and expect from him leadership and guidance.
Men have the authority in the home, but women have the influence; the mother, more than the father, is the one who molds and shapes those little ones from day one.” John MacArthur (Grace to You Letter; September 1993)