If we are Free from Patriarchy, Why not from Pain in Childbirth?

painUs egalitarians argue with great conviction that patriarchy was a consequence of “the fall” of Adam and Eve and that Jesus Christ went to the Cross to set us free from all curses related to human sin and death.

Genesis 3:16 states, “To the woman he said, “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.”

Later in Galatians 3:13, the Apostle Paul writes, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

This leads us to an obvious question: If Jesus did in fact remove the curse of patriarchy over God’s children, why did He not remove the curse of pain in childbirth? 

But here is the thing, Jesus breaking the curse of sin & sickness (which includes patriarchy, pain in childbirth, work being difficult instead of enjoyable, tension between animals and humans, pollution of the earth, and every sort of human depravity and illness that exists) in the spiritual realm, does not mean we feel or experience all the effects of freedom in the physical world.

Here on earth, people’s bodies still die, we still feel pain in childbirth, work is still difficult, humans and lions still don’t play nice, people still destroy and pollute the earth, Christians still get cancer, and patriarchy still plagues every culture known to man.

This is why Romans 8: 18-25 says,

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.  Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope,  the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.  For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently). 

Within our physical reality, Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross has yet to completely release us from the curse; but spiritually, all of God’s children are totally free from the chains of the curse.

When I was in Bible school as Southwestern Assemblies of God University, one of my very charismatic professors would preach in his best Pentecostal voice: “We are sanctified and being sanctified from glory to glory.”

I would say this:

We are free from patriarchy & pain in childbirth and we are being freed from patriarchy and pain in childbirth. As children of God, we are to partner with Jesus and continuously walk away from the curses placed on mankind. Most of the time it will feel like swimming against the tide and it will take great faith in the “spiritual” to fight against the reality.

But there is hope.

In Heaven, there will be no more death, pain, sin, suffering, or patriarchy. Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, we are completely redeemed in the spirit and we are being redeemed in the physical. Will you partner with God in redemption of God’s daughters or will you accept the reality of patriarchy as the way God designed it to be?

If we accept that patriarchy was and is God’s original plan, then we must accept that God’s original plan was and is to see His daughter’s suffer immensely through giving birth. I don’t know any godly fathers who would desire that their daughters suffer.

The biblical truth is that we are totally free from patriarchy in the spirit, but we have a ways to go in the natural. The more who Christians see this theological truth and join the fight against men ruling over women, the closer we will get to the way it will be in Heaven and the way it was supposed to be on earth prior to “the fall” of mankind.

May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. -Matthew 6:10 

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  • Let me encourage you to read “The Redemption of Love,” by Carrie Miles (available on Amazon), or to download her Bible study guide, “New Man, New Woman, New Life,” used in our ministry in places like Africa and India – or the Western edition, “Face to Face,” both available on our ministry’s web site (under the link, “Articles and Guides”). As a social scientist, she examines the impact of scarcity – resulting from the curse on the ground – on both men and women, as well as on our relationships, and argues persuasively that the King James’ translation of Gen. 3:16 is really much more accurate: “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children. . .” This especially makes sense in the light of the fact that only the serpent and the ground are cursed! Although the curse on the ground is not mentioned until the next verse, the “painful toil” of both men and women comes from the same source.

    What is actually multiplied is woman’s grief in bringing children into the world (emotional pain – which is how the word is used elsewhere in Genesis – think of children being valued as resources rather than individuals, of the strife between one’s children as seen in Gen. 4, and the high childhood mortality in the fallen world) as well as the number of conceptions/pregnancies (in subsistence economies children become a family’s most important resource for survival, resulting in a woman’s most important role becoming that of bearing children). Of particular significance is the way in which scarcity polarizes the imbalance of power between men and women, and limits women’s activities to what they can do while pregnant or raising children. Carrie then uses this insight as a starting place to better understand and appreciate not only what Jesus says to and about women – but what He says to men as well.

    When you leave the West – where the industrial revolution has (for most people) mitigated the impact of the scarcity of the cursed ground – you find this approach really resonating with people, as they still live with the obvious impacts of scarcity (and where the fact that God did not curse women is especially liberating – in a culture where curses are taken with all seriousness). Carrie was first invited to bring this teaching to east Africa (where I’ve also been three times to facilitate our seminars) and she has since been invited to India.

    This message needs to spread in our culture as well. From the vantage point Carrie Miles establishes, it can be seen that so many of the characteristics of masculinity and femininity valued by complementarians can be traced back to the scarcity resulting from the cursed ground, and the liberating words of Jesus (and Paul) come into much clearer focus.

    Wayne A. Pelly
    Empower International Ministries

  • Hey Jory girlfriend! It’s so interesting that you write about this today because I was just talking about this with my husband. I notice that the Bible says that the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. This tells me that there is a sequence in which creation’s and humanity’s enemies are being destroyed. God is in the process of redeeming His original intent. Humans since the fall have worked against the effects of the fall themselves. We fight to alleviate the rigorous toil of agriculture; we fight for relief against the elements; we fight against disease and death. WHY would we as humanity fight in FAVOR of the curse of the woman’s plight??? It is indeed a curse a poisoning of the mind that has taken place worldwide. Thanks be to God who is setting so many free from this tragic result of the curse!!!

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