Posted by: Sharon Hatfield | June 9, 2010

Controlling Our Desires & Freeing Our Husbands

Are there difficult things for you to understand in the Bible sometimes? I know I have trouble with understanding certain phrases or ideas myself. Ever have an “ah-ha” moment about something you’ve been struggling with understanding? I had one of those recently.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the creation account read or studied in my lifetime. It must be in the hundreds if I had to guess.  One of the things I’ve never understood is Genesis 3:16, the curse of the woman. Here’s what I have always read:

“To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” NIV

A group of friends and I are reading through the bible in a year together. I was gifted with a New Living Translation Chronological Bible. I LOVE it! I would recommend this version to anyone who wants to just read through the Bible. It is so compelling and a beautifully written truth. Alright, let me get back on track here. During our first reading and discussion time, I read Genesis 3:16 and the “ah-ha” moment happened. Here’s what I read:

“Then He said to the woman,

I will greatly sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain will you give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”

Does anyone else see the difference? Woman will desire to control her husband. Wow, the truth in THAT statement is astounding! Our husbands ruling over us, when we desire the opposite, is certainly a curse. It hurts when Mark doesn’t follow my way. I have been known to employ a whole arsenal of weapons to “motivate” him to do things my way. In the past, I have used pouting, emotional manipulation, physical isolation, confrontation, and even downright meanness. Mark used to fall into the trap and give me anything I wanted. He would move mountains to make me happy about a decision. Unfortunately, this theory of “I want my way or I’ll not be happy” really backfired on me. The more he gave in to my demands, the less I respected him as a man. He wasn’t “man enough” to stand up to me. I wanted to control him, and he let me…creating a huge wound in our relationship. I wanted to control him, but God has also placed a feminine desire within me to be loved and led.  We want our cake and to eat it too.  We want both jobs, but then are overwhelmed and frustrated with the pressure of doing too much.

God’s design is for our husbands to make decisions and for us to submit to their leadership. He is to “rule over” me. It hurts me when Mark tells me no when I want something. It’s painful when he leads me places I don’t want to be. He has made decisions that tear me away from close friends and relatives. He makes decisions that could lead to our financial ruin. He takes us into unknown, scary territory, and I am commanded to sit back and enjoy the ride. Well, not just sit back and enjoy but to also make it happen, because I am his helper. God is telling me I am to do things I don’t want to do and follow to places I don’t want to follow because my husband is in the leadership position. God needed someone to be “in charge” in the family. He needed leadership. Sometimes our role as women means doing things we don’t like. We do them as unto God. When we serve, obey and submit to man, we are doing it to God Himself. This is His desire for us because it glorifies Him, which is our purpose on this earth.

Doesn’t God know I’m smart enough to make good decisions? He created me perfect right? He created me equal with man didn’t He? Am I not good enough?

Let’s stick with the creation account to illustrate my point here. God created Adam. God gave Adam some instructions. God created Eve. God gave more instructions to the couple. They all lived together in fellowship and harmony in the garden. Satan entices Eve. Eve denies the instruction of her husband (from God) and eats of the fruit. Eve gives the fruit to her husband who eats also. (See also 1Timothy 2:13-15)

Who’s leading who here? Eve is smart enough to make good decisions…she just chooses not to. She was created perfect as God’s first human female creation. God created Eve in the image of Himself and gave instructions to them both in Gen.1:28 to be fruitful and multiply and govern the earth. Eve was MORE than good enough. Her only flaw was that she followed her own desires and took her husband with her.

Being in submission to our husband’s leadership is not about a lack of equality. It’s about control. Not you controlling him, but you controlling you. God’s ways are higher than our ways. We don’t need to understand WHY God created this role for us, but we must ACCEPT it and submit to God’s will. Our execution of His will is what glorifies Him. God knows what’s best, right?

God has given us a great task. We ladies need to learn self control. Can you refrain from nagging your husband because he doesn’t do what you want him to do? Are you able to help your husband with a task he sets for your family, even when you despise it? Can you do it cheerfully? Our curse is not about controlling our husbands. It’s about controlling our DESIRE to control and lead the family. I challenge you to release your husband to lead your home by controlling yourself.


  1. Really appreciate your thoughts here Sharon. Hope you and Mark are well.

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