Devotionals Genesis


One understands that some men and women marry, love each other dearly, yet do not want a family. There are a host of reasons for this, from one partner not being able to participate in procreation for biological reasons to fear because of a dysfunctional family background, to the need to exist without any attachments to pursue entertainment, career or other reasons. We understand and respect people’s decisions. Rather not have children you don’t want than have children and as parents and children you are a forever burden to each other.

Yet God’s purpose in sexual intimacy, not exclusively yet fundamentally, is to procreate and grow the population for the planet. Today we live within an environment on earth where many countries are desperately poor with children starving to death and millions of families living in abject poverty. On the other side of the economic line are those who are so wealthy, there is never a concern where the next meal or payment for another car to the fleet or another luxury yacht’s payment will come from. Let’s call them the superrich. Between these two we find the poor, lower, middle and upper class and the wealthy. The desperately poor, poor and lower middle class seem to have many children whilst those somewhat better placed financially tend to guard the amount of children they have to be able to give them a better education and upbringing.

Add into this the fact that we are told the world is over populated. I wonder whether this is true or whether it is a statement to control population because certain countries and cities are particularly densely populated and poor, with some leaders extremely wealthy and some countries bent on pursuing a forceful control over other countries for economic purposes.

I am neither an economist, politician or strategist, so I cannot answer these questions. Perhaps I have read it wrong entirely! When we look at the Bible and our spiritual forefathers and mothers, we observe they enjoyed healthy intimacy. Birth control and contraceptives did not exist … and granted some were unable to have children without divine intervention such as Sarah in the Old Testament and Elizabeth in the New Testament, whilst many had from moderate numbers to many children. They certainly did their share in procreation and filling the planet with people.  Today we come to God’s punishment upon the woman. Note that He does not curse her … He punishes her for her participation in sin … in being the first sinner and seeking to proceed independently of her husband.

Ge 3:16 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.”

There are three parts to this verse …

1) Keeping alive the memory of the first mother’s sin. I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing. As one commentator said … “This does not mean that pain would have been normal in childbearing.” At the same time, this pain does not only mean pain in child bearing. The woman would find many different shapes of pain coming her way … child bearing, physical illness, emotional distress, spiritual trauma, relational dysfunction, death, etc. The word “pains” in the first clause and “pain” in the second clause are slightly different with the second implying “less” pain than the first. Coming from the same root, the basic meaning is “misery”. Whatever the source of pain especially that of child birth, it shall be a reminder of the first mother’s disobedience by eating of the forbidden fruit. Where she thought the fruit was tasty, the punishment was bitter. True, most women do not think of it this way … but that is how it is … a memory to our first mother’s sin.

2) A woman’s yearning for her man. Your desire will be for your husband. The word “desire” is better put as yearning. Although sexual desire is contextually correct, it includes other aspects too. Just as Genesis 2:18 tells us it is not good for man to be alone, so this verse tells us that part of the punishment for sin upon the woman is her “yearning” for her man. Although feminists may seek to rip this concept out of reality, they cannot because God put it upon woman as a punishment. Into this we also see that the “yearning” is powerfully strong on the sexual side. She knows full well she could fall pregnant through intimacy and will experience pain in giving birth to a child, yet she return to her man with “yearning”.

3) The Lordship of man … and he will rule over you. You need to get the picture here … the woman sought to act independently of the man, yet cannot do without him for there is this continual need of him. (The first two parts of the verse). Paul writing to Timothy brings this out in:

1 Tim 2:13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

One cannot escape what Scripture says … Eve was deceived. Eve sinned first. Eve drew her husband into sin. As part of her punishment, where she went in independence, she now shall be controlled. Her husband shall rule over her. An often missed reality when considering this term … he will rule over you … is what this actually means in Jesus Christ!

(1) The man shall be the woman’s earthly lord. The husband is the wife’s earthly lord.

(2) This lordship must not be confused with what we might see is certain Eastern or African or even European contexts. The wife is not a subject to be treated as a slave … sex on demand, housekeeping, bedroom duty, kitchen duty and child care and rearing.

(3) The concept of lordship (rule – control) needs to be understood in the context of …

(i) Leadership. Where Eve took the lead in the Garden, women need to understand that the husband if the head of the home.

(ii) Protection. The husband is to protect his wife from all harm. This include physical, sexual, emotional, relational and spiritual harm. He must lead her spiritually, for it is his duty is to present his wife to Christ one day!

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.

Think through “just as Christ” in verse 25, “to present her’ in verse 27, “holy and blameless’ at the end of verse 27 and “in this same way” in verse 28.

(iii) Provision. To achieve the goal of presenting his wife faultless to Christ, the husband needs to provide for his wife at every level. That is why, as Christ … loved the church and gave himself up for her … so must the husband love the wife and give himself up for her. This means dying to self to provide everything necessary for the wife, be it a home, clothing, food, love, intimacy, friendship, companionship, etc. The point being made is that the husband is to be the wife’s leader (head) through preventing her failure as Eve failed. She went her way where God requires the wife to live under the protection and care of her husband. For the follower of the Lord Jesus, we do not have secular options. The husband must be the wife’s head … providing, caring, protecting and preparing the wife for glory, whilst the wife must willingly submit to the husband’s leadership.

Our Father, today we pray for every Christian husband to be the head of his wife in the fullest Biblical sense. We further pray for all Christian wives to surrender willingly to their husband’s leadership. Amen.

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