Labour Pains a curse?

Ok a friend of mine is confused of this understanding. She is currently looking into the Catholic Church and this topic came up as we were chatting about Mother Mary.

She said she never considered child labour a punishment. I mean is it really, or should Genisis not be taken so literal as to think this? Because it goes on to say man should labour and toil in all his days. But we can also say that now applies to women. So now women have both punishments and men only have the labour and toil.

Can anyone give a better understanding of this. I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

What the text actually says is that labor pains would be greatly increased, which means there was already some pain associated with labor.

It’s referring to the fact that labor and birth would have been quicker and less painful before the fall of man. Of course, some women have very little pain or labor and others suffer a great deal no matter if they are good, bad, or indifferent, so it cannot be applied personally to anyone.

All it’s really telling us is that humankind lost something it was meant to have–perfection of body and mind. The fall corrupted our nature, darkened our intellect, and weakened our will. God is talking about consequences here more than about punishment.

And as to women having twice as much to do and to suffer, well that is a by product of our culture, not a factor of the “curse.” If women will try to do everything they will have all the difficulties of a man as well as of a woman. Not that women shouldn’t be a part of the work force or be professionals, but if we are, we have to accept the fact that we are either going to have to be able to “get a woman in” to help out and put our children in daycare (when they are little) or bear all the burdens of business, home, and children alone. That is why G. K. Chesterton advocated family businesses–because the husband and the wife could work together as well as care for their children, but we’ve let modern corporations take over our lives and we are stuck with it.

[quote=Della]What the text actually says is that labor pains would be greatly increased, which means there was already some pain associated with labor.

It’s referring to the fact that labor and birth would have been quicker and less painful before the fall of man. Of course, some women have very little pain or labor and others suffer a great deal no matter if they are good, bad, or indifferent, so it cannot be applied personally to anyone.

All it’s really telling us is that humankind lost something it was meant to have–perfection of body and mind. The fall corrupted our nature, darkened our intellect, and weakened our will. God is talking about consequences here more than about punishment.

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Thanks for your response Della. So then we are not to take the word Curse too literal correct? Also, if not, why all the discussion about Mother Mary and whether she experienced or never experienced child birth if the text doesnt really mean it in such a literal sense? Christ suffered physically and He never sinned. Then we can agree the same can apply to Mary right

In a way, they are a gift.

1 Timothy 2:15
But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

In this suffering we can imitate Jesus on the Cross giving birth to the Church. Men do not have this opportunity.

[quote=JMJ Theresa]In a way, they are a gift.

1 Timothy 2:15
But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

In this suffering we can imitate Jesus on the Cross giving birth to the Church. Men do not have this opportunity.
[/quote]

Ok but are you sure that is what that verse meant? That the salvation will be brought upon by continuing in faith, love, and holines with propriety through
the literal pains of child birth?

Also Della, I believe Genesis says God will increase her sorrows but doesnt really say increase her sorrows in childbirth.

Yes, I believe that labor pains are a part of child bearing for most women. Unless, you adopt, I guess. True it is only the beginning–you have to follow it up with all that toil. :wink:

[quote=Des]Also Della, I believe Genesis says God will increase her sorrows but doesnt really say increase her sorrows in childbirth.
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From the RSV-CE translation of Genesis 3:16:

To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

And from the Youngs Literal Translation:

Unto the woman He said, `Multiplying I multiply thy sorrow and thy conception, in sorrow dost thou bear children, and toward thy husband [is] thy desire, and he doth rule over thee.’

[quote=Della]What the text actually says is that labor pains would be greatly increased, which means there was already some pain associated with labor.

It’s referring to the fact that labor and birth would have been quicker and less painful before the fall of man. Of course, some women have very little pain or labor and others suffer a great deal no matter if they are good, bad, or indifferent, so it cannot be applied personally to anyone.

All it’s really telling us is that humankind lost something it was meant to have–perfection of body and mind. The fall corrupted our nature, darkened our intellect, and weakened our will. God is talking about consequences here more than about punishment.

And as to women having twice as much to do and to suffer, well that is a by product of our culture, not a factor of the “curse.” If women will try to do everything they will have all the difficulties of a man as well as of a woman. Not that women shouldn’t be a part of the work force or be professionals, but if we are, we have to accept the fact that we are either going to have to be able to “get a woman in” to help out and put our children in daycare (when they are little) or bear all the burdens of business, home, and children alone. That is why G. K. Chesterton advocated family businesses–because the husband and the wife could work together as well as care for their children, but we’ve let modern corporations take over our lives and we are stuck with it.
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In most third world countries the women do all of the farming and manual labor plus they raise the children. In addition if they live in non-Christian countries they are treated like chattel. It is only because we have a high tech society in America that gives women the option of working outside of the home. So I have to agree with the notion that women have more curses placed upon them. Also, if Eve had never partook of the forbidden fruit but only Adam did she still would have been cursed by God since Adam was the head of the human race?

[quote=Des]Thanks for your response Della. So then we are not to take the word Curse too literal correct? Also, if not, why all the discussion about Mother Mary and whether she experienced or never experienced child birth if the text doesnt really mean it in such a literal sense? Christ suffered physically and He never sinned. Then we can agree the same can apply to Mary right
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The reason it is piously believed (although it is not a doctrine or dogma of the Church) that Mary experienced no pain is because she is the Second Eve who brought the Second Adam, Jesus, into the world. Christ established a new creation–a new order of man by his redemptive sacrifice on the cross. So, it is assumed that Mary, being the first fruit of the redemption, and by reason of her being the Mother of God, was spared from the pains of child birth, which was the result of the fall.

Originally Posted by JMJ Theresa
In a way, they are a gift.

1 Timothy 2:15
But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

In this suffering we can imitate Jesus on the Cross giving birth to the Church. Men do not have this opportunity.

Ok but are you sure that is what that verse meant? That the salvation will be brought upon by continuing in faith, love, and holines with propriety through the literal pains of child birth?

It means that by enduring such things, women work out their salvation in a way men cannot. Men have other sufferings to endure in this world, you see. All suffering helps us to salvation because it throws us upon God and the love and care of others instead of relying on ourselves alone, which teaches us to trust God and allow others to minister to us, as we minister to them.

[quote=Alfie]In most third world countries the women do all of the farming and manual labor plus they raise the children. In addition if they live in non-Christian countries they are treated like chattel. It is only because we have a high tech society in America that gives women the option of working outside of the home. So I have to agree with the notion that women have more curses placed upon them.
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Some of that suffering we’ve brought on ourselves, but as to women being nothing but chattel in other countries, I think that is saying a bit too much. Such societies regard women as above such things as debating issues of the day or working apart from their families. It’s a different perspective from our modern industrial one in the West, which in many ways have made slaves out of women in ways the women you describe will never be.

Also, if Eve had never partook of the forbidden fruit but only Adam did she still would have been cursed by God since Adam was the head of the human race?

We cannot know exactly what God’s decision would have been, but I believe she wouldn’t have been punished for the sins of her husband–that wouldn’t have been fair.

God may have sent Christ immediately to recitify the situation in some way we cannot fathom.

When families suffer from the sins of a husband or wife or both, it is a consequence of their bad actions, decisions, and words, not a “punishment” by God.

[quote=Della]The reason it is piously believed (although it is not a doctrine or dogma of the Church) that Mary experienced no pain is because she is the Second Eve who brought the Second Adam, Jesus, into the world. Christ established a new creation–a new order of man by his redemptive sacrifice on the cross. So, it is assumed that Mary, being the first fruit of the redemption, and by reason of her being the Mother of God, was spared from the pains of child birth, which was the result of the fall.
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Hmm ok. It’s just that everytime I see the question asked about Mary and birth pains is because of that verse in Genesis. Do you have any links to say that it was assumed She had no pain because of Her being the Mother of God and the First Fruit of the redempemption?

Also, good answer to my question reguarding your first response. :thumbsup:

Isaiah 66

7 "Before she goes into labor,
she gives birth;
before the pains come upon her,
she delivers a son.

8 Who has ever heard of such a thing?
Who has ever seen such things?
Can a country be born in a day
or a nation be brought forth in a moment?
Yet no sooner is Zion in labor
than she gives birth to her children.

9 Do I bring to the moment of birth
and not give delivery?" says the LORD.
“Do I close up the womb
when I bring to delivery?” says your God.

10 "Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her,
all you who love her;
rejoice greatly with her,
all you who mourn over her.

11 For you will nurse and be satisfied
at her comforting breasts;
you will drink deeply
and delight in her overflowing abundance."

12 For this is what the LORD says:
"I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;
you will nurse and be carried on her arm
and dandled on her knees.

[quote=Des]Hmm ok. It’s just that everytime I see the question asked about Mary and birth pains is because of that verse in Genesis. Do you have any links to say that it was assumed She had no pain because of Her being the Mother of God and the First Fruit of the redempemption?

Also, good answer to my question reguarding your first response. :thumbsup:
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St. Thomas Aquinas comes close to what I wrote here:

The pains of childbirth in the woman follow from the mingling of the sexes. Wherefore (Genesis 3:16) after the words, “in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children,” the following are added: “and thou shalt be under thy husband’s power.” But, as Augustine says (Serm. de Assumpt. B. Virg., [Supposititious), from this sentence we must exclude the Virgin-Mother of God; who, “because she conceived Christ without the defilement of sin, and without the stain of sexual mingling, therefore did she bring Him forth without pain, without violation of her virginal integrity, without detriment to the purity of her maidenhood.” Christ, indeed, suffered death, but through His own spontaneous desire, in order to atone for us, not as a necessary result of that sentence, for He was not a debtor unto death.

In reference to the Second Birth by one of the Church Fathers the idea also has expression and is applicable to Mary’s lack of birth pangs because it brought a new “high” birth into the world, who was Christ himself:

This Birth is too high for such pangs as these; it hath nothing in common with you; it is indeed called ‘birth,’ but in name only has it aught in common, in reality it is different. Remove thyself from that which is common and familiar; a different kind of childbirth bring I into the world; in another manner will I have men to be generated: I have come to bring a new manner of Creation. I formed (man) of earth and water; but that which was formed was unprofitable, the vessel was wrenched awry; I will no more form them of earth and water, but ‘of water’ and ‘of the Spirit.’"

And we have Lazer’s quote of Is. 66:7, which may be read as a prophecy regarding Mary giving birth to the Redeemer.
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[quote=Alfie]In most third world countries the women do all of the farming and manual labor plus they raise the children. In addition if they live in non-Christian countries they are treated like chattel. It is only because we have a high tech society in America that gives women the option of working outside of the home. So I have to agree with the notion that women have more curses placed upon them. Also, if Eve had never partook of the forbidden fruit but only Adam did she still would have been cursed by God since Adam was the head of the human race?
[/quote]

In such countries it is not simply women who suffer but anyone who is not in a position of power. I don’t see women as being more cursed then anyone else. Our curse seemed to have been increased pain in childbirth and our husband’s ruling over us, but men likewise had a curse placed on them. The earth too was cursed. Woman alone wasn’t being punished.

I am not certain if this is correct but it sounds as if Eve and Adam had an equal relationship in the garden. If this is so then if Adam ate the fruit, he alone would have been punished.

[quote=deb1]In such countries it is not simply women who suffer but anyone who is not in a position of power. I don’t see women as being more cursed then anyone else. Our curse seemed to have been increased pain in childbirth and our husband’s ruling over us, but men likewise had a curse placed on them. The earth too was cursed. Woman alone wasn’t being punished.

I am not certain if this is correct but it sounds as if Eve and Adam had an equal relationship in the garden. If this is so then if Adam ate the fruit, he alone would have been punished.
[/quote]

Than why do all of us have to be cursed because of Adam’s sin? None of us were in the Garden of Eden when Adam sinned. None of us ate of the fruit. The Bible says that through one man sin entered the world.

[quote=Alfie]Than why do all of us have to be cursed because of Adam’s sin? None of us were in the Garden of Eden when Adam sinned. None of us ate of the fruit. The Bible says that through one man sin entered the world.
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When Adam and Eve sinned 3 things happened to them that made them prone to sin (and us, their descendants as well, for the children can hardly have what their parents don’t have). Our nature was corrupted so that we desire things that are not good for us, our intellect was weakened, so we cannot reason as God does–in complete holiness and disinterested in personal wants, and our will was weakened so we do the things we know we shouldn’t do and don’t do the things we know we should. This is what is meant by the “stain of original sin.” It’s not our personal sins or Adam and Eve’s sins we are born with but the “stain” of being born wounded and in need of a Redeemer. What Adam and Eve lost we cannot receive them merely by being born. We must be born again in baptism through Christ.

I had two beautiful children one year after each other - and I can hardly remember the pain.

Of course, I was told I couldn’t have children, so the experience was most probably a different kind of pain - than someone who wasn’t burdened by infertility.

God is Good — I offered the pain up the whole time - but it was so worth it. Today our girls are 13 and 12 and they have been a blessing every day they have been with us.

NO PAIN — NO GAIN

[quote=Della]When Adam and Eve sinned 3 things happened to them that made them prone to sin (and us, their descendants as well, for the children can hardly have what their parents don’t have). Our nature was corrupted so that we desire things that are not good for us, our intellect was weakened, so we cannot reason as God does–in complete holiness and disinterested in personal wants, and our will was weakened so we do the things we know we shouldn’t do and don’t do the things we know we should. This is what is meant by the “stain of original sin.” It’s not our personal sins or Adam and Eve’s sins we are born with but the “stain” of being born wounded and in need of a Redeemer. What Adam and Eve lost we cannot receive them merely by being born. We must be born again in baptism through Christ.
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Della you explained that very well.:thumbsup:

[quote=Alfie]Than why do all of us have to be cursed because of Adam’s sin? None of us were in the Garden of Eden when Adam sinned. None of us ate of the fruit.
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But you have already eaten !

I mean, you’ve already sinned, right?

Then* that’s it*: you’re not subject of the general punishment for no reason.

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