Gender Curses Through the Fall of Man

“To the man He said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you: -you must not eat of it-, cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.’” -Genesis 3: 17-19

“To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly increase your pain in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’”-Genesis 3: 16

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” –Romans 8: 1-2

By studying these and other Scriptures we see how the Fall of man unbalanced and perverted gender identity and mutual relationship. Because the first man and woman disobeyed God’s direction, the very nature of humankind was altered. As a result, until Christ’s resurrection all people were destined to be ruled by the world’s law of sin and death (Romans 8: 1-4).

After the Fall, the male curse entailed an overriding need to look to the work of his hands for security and validation. His bases for living became material success and power instead of love in closeness with Christ and other people. From then on the natural tendency of man’s heart was to be crusted over with restless activity, the striving for significance through what he does rather than who he is. All this hard work is made more difficult by the fact that now the Earth is the purview of the spoiler, Satan.

In essence, the male after the Fall finds himself disconnected from “feminine” heart knowledge, living in a strictly rational and logical paradigm, which can lead to relativism and denial of the true God. His desensitized heart and clouded reasoning are described in Ephesians 4: 17-18—“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.”

For woman, the curse of the Fall can have a disastrous and all-pervasive effect both on her relationships and her ability to achieve in her own right. Rather than being honored and regarded equally with men for her distinctive gifts and talents, females throughout history in many cultures have been granted chattel status, dominated by ruling males.

Woman’s unredeemed self-centered male counterpart has denigrated the vital aspects of God’s image she carries. In numerous ways, she has been reduced to silence and subjugation, causing a profound loss to all humanity. As man pushes forward, the feminine voice for relational priority is squelched.

Women are by nature primarily responders rather than initiators, and because of the curse woman tends to look first toward man rather than God for guidance and direction. Man becomes the object of her idolatry, so she gives her significant other far too much power to define her life. Instead of resting secure in her intimate relationship with the Lord, she wants control over her mate as the means to influence her environment. Since her husband is the focus, woman tends to lean on him for her identity, driven to please him rather than God. By doing this she inevitably suppresses her fullness in Christ, and fails to become all God designed her to be.

As a result of the Fall, woman disconnected from her “masculine” side loses abilities like leading, persevering, creating projects, and initiating action. Physically the curse is manifested by the woman’s prolonged pain in fulfilling her most miraculous function, that of giving birth to new life.