Genesis 3:16 – To the woman He said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful abor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
“Darn it Eve! I hope that fruit was good. I hope it was worth it!” I find myself grumbling these bitter words at an invisible woman almost faithfully at the end of every month. I’m sure every woman can attest to, and every man is baffled by, the dreaded monthly visit from who some call “Aunt Flow” (sorry brothers, this article just isn’t for you). Though menstration is a very painful, inconveniant, and seemingly pointless process it is vital to a woman’s ability to reproduce and bear children. And even though the process of bringing a child into the world is known to be even more painful (a pain that I have yet to experience for myself) every mother would tell you that holding their sweet little baby in their arms made it all worth it.
Altough this suffering was part of the punishment that God perscribed Eve and all of her daughters for her disobedience to His command to “…not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”(Genesis 2:16), I dont believe it to be the true curse that Eve has brought on us all.
“What is the true curse of Eve?” you ask. Well it is found in the latter part of Genesis 3:16 where God says, “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Yes, indeed. I would argue that the most painful consequences of the fall of Eve was not painful childbirth, but her God stricken desire for her husband! And now here we all are with that same piercing desire. My sisters, dont try to say that this is not true. There is no cramp, mood swing, or contraction that could ever measure up to the hurt you feel in your heart when that special guy dumps you, or when that brother you admire admires someone else. Or that restlessness you feel when you can’t seem to find out what you’re missing as all your friends get engaged and married. And as you notice how often the thoughts or feelings loom over your head you start to feel guilty, like something is wrong with you, like you’re broken, disfuctional, sinful even for wanting a man. Its talked about so much in church, on blogs (ironically I’m blogging about it now), amongst friends and spiritual advisors, and its often said that you should just be happy with “Jesus, and Jesus alone.” That you don’t “need no man and you just need to be content.” So you say to yourself, “I hear all that but I sure do still want one. Am I that unspiritual to still have this desire. What is wrong with me?” And my answer to your question is this, “There is NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!” Yea I said it! You are not broken or unspiritual for wanting a man. There is nothing wrong with desiring to be in love and have a relationship. Though the inability to shake your wanting is excruciating at times (so is labor) it is not wrong. What is wrong, however, is what many of us do with that desire.
In a previous article entitled “Waiting for Prince Charming: Awakening from the Slumber of Singlehood” I wrote about my struggle with being single and wanting a prince to come and sweep me off my feet and change my life. In that article I shared how through out my life, I’d gone looking to fulfill that desire in all the wrong relationships by investing my heart in guy after guy, only to find myself dissapointed. After the article was posted I was astonished and honestly extremely encouraged to see the booming response it recieved. I was not alone! There were women (and some men) that could not only relate to my struggle but could actually benefit from me sharing what I’d gone through and learned. And so the questions and responses came flooding into my inbox and it didn’t take me long to realize I needed to write this article as well. The most common response to learning we need to get our voids filled by God and not look to a man to fullfill us is that women seem to swing the pendulim to the other side and think/feel its evil to want to be in a relationship. A dear sister shared her heart with me after reading my article and part of her message to me read,
“While I was in the world I used success and men to make me feel good about myself….in my nature I am boy crazy and the deepest desire I have is to be deeply intimate with a man… fulfilled by by being happily married. I can’t seem to get rid of the desire and the intensity of that desire”
To an extent she had the right idea, she couldn’t idolize and get her self worth from being with a man anymore. Where she missed it is when she expressed “I can’t seem to get ride of the desire.” The poor thing, I could literally feel the agony of her defeat through the computer screen. If she or any of us sisters are trying to get rid of our desire for a man we are only setting ourselves up for failure. It would be just as impossible as trying to stop your menstration from coming or making child birth feel good. Its not going to happen! Why? Because God gave it to you for a reason and it is actually for good reason. Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” That is Satan’s tactick. To try to distract and kill your faith by making you think there is something wrong with you for wanting a husband. To call a God given desire evil when in reality it is good.
Why does God give us suffering and weakness? It teaches us to go to him. He gave it to Eve to restore her back to her rightful relationship with Him. Before the fall Eve had communion with God, a total reliance on Him. Nothing came in between them, not even her love for Adam. But it was the spirit of independence and self reliance that caused Eve to sin. So He wanted to show her what pain her reliance on man verses Him would bring her. Adam would fail her, time after time, and who would she have to look to for healing? God.
No relationship with a man can ever fulfill me in this life. If I enter into a relationship expecting him to, I will be heavily disappointed. He will have flaws, he will fail, he will annoy me etc. But not so with my perfect God. There just is no comparison. BUT, the fact is, we were designed to desire love, not just from God but from people. God even designed marriage for a specific reason. Ephesians 5:31-32 says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.”
God designed marriage to help us better understand the relationship between Christ and his bride, the Church. God created marraige as a way for us to physically experience the closest thing to the graceful, unconditional, and selfless love that Chirst has for us, though it is no substitution, its a great remidner (so I hear). So desiring to expreience something so amazing first hand is not wrong. You just have to learn how to have that heart’s desire in a healthy way, the way God designed you to. “Take delight in the Lord and He will give the desires of your heart” Psalm 37:4. Don’t obsess over the desire, just delight in the God who gave it to you and trust that He will give you exactly what you want in a mate. No substitutions, no settling. Until then just enjoy God and the life He has for you!
Practicals that have worked for me:
Go on dates with God. I go to my favorite breakfast spot and spend time reading my word and praying or I go to my favorite spot by the water and sing songs to God and pray out loud.
Give your heart fully to the ministry. I LOVE helping women change their lives with the word of God. Throw yourself into serving others and doing the work of God.
“Unfollow” brothers on Facebook or cut back on communication when you feel your interest in them is getting close to idolatrous.
Encourage brothers you AREN’T necessarily attracted to or have romantic interest in. Believe it or not, having close friendships with brothers you don’t have an interst in gives you a sense of pure companionship that meets your needs! It helps me to release my need to express my feelings for a brother in a totally pure and platonic way. Give them cards, make them food, send encouraging texts ever so often, but be careful not to send mixed signals or lead anyone on!
Continue to get open with your sisters and with God about your desire and don’t feel like its bad. The minute you feel something is bad you are tempted to obsess over it and fear it.
Though the desire for a husband was the curse of Eve, turning to God can truly make it a blessing and, one day, an answered prayer. Don’t miss out on an incredible opportunity to be close to God. Hope this helps!
Love, your sister in Christ,