So I woke up with Genesis 3:16 on my mind…my first reflection assignment, I guess. This is what it says.
To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” (NASB)
Look at the last line of this verse. You will desire your husband. Your husband will rule over you.
I’m not married yet, so I’m not speaking from firsthand experience… just a review of the verse.
The summation of several versions is that my husband is the target of my desire. He is the object of my desire. I direct my desire toward him. A couple of versions (NET and NLT) say that the woman will want to control her husband. While that may be true for some, it’s a bit extreme for me (at least I hope it’s never said of me). I think it is better stated that a woman will want her way when it comes to being with her husband.
Then look at the last half of the last line. This is prophecy. You and I will desire. He will rule. The same two versions mentioned above (NET and NLT) mention this as contrast (“but he will rule”) while the majority mention as connection (“and he will rule”).
The contrast could be more accurate. At the least, it was my frame of mind when I prayed.
“Father, where is the happy medium? Is it possible for me to get what I desire and for him to rule, and both be done in peace?”
I asked this because this verse suggested to me that the rule can punish the woman for desire…and that does not seem fair. I’m still waiting on that answer.
At best, with a cursory reading of this verse, we will do what we do…and so will our husbands. And that (deep breath), is a promise.
It just is what it is. Lord, help us at the appointed seasons to remember this is core to the arrangement and not to willfully inflict punishment on each other. Let these great men you send to find us remember that albeit an inconvenience sometimes, our desire is for them…we are for them. And then let us be aware of their authority, given by You, over us.
(No wonder the wedding ceremony remarks by the preacher say a couple enters marriage soberly and with counsel…)
Selah, and love to all.