by Matt Slick
"To the woman He said, 'I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you shall bring forth children; Yet your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you,'" (Genesis 3:16).
Why would God increase the pain of childbirth because of Eve's disobedience to Him? Some think it is an unfair penalty to make all women suffer for Eve's sin.
The answer lies in two things. First, we must understand that Eve was the means God commanded to fill the earth with people. Her union with Adam was supposed to produce children for the perfect world that God had created. But, Eve rebelled against God. Since sin brings pain and suffering, it was a natural consequence that she have pain and suffering in the very thing for which she was brought forth because she had rebelled against God.
Second, Adam was her "head." This is a Biblical concept where the male head of the family represents the family. We see this in Heb. 7:7-10 when Levi, the distant descendant of Abraham, is said to have paid tithes to Melchizedek while still in the loins of his Father Abraham even though Levi wasn't even alive at the time. In other words, Abraham represented his descendants because he was the "head" of his family and descendants.
Adam was the "head" of Eve. When Adam fell, he represented his descendants. They then inherited the sinful nature that Adam brought upon himself as well as the effects of sin upon both him and Eve. Hence, their descendants would suffer the effects of sin in their persons by being born of sinful parents. The pain of childbirth is simply the result of that sin.