To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
To Adam 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 3:14-19 TNIV)
How many curses do you see there? Look again! How many curses do you see? Count carefully, because the results have huge ramifications for your theology of God.
OK, how many of you counted 3 or 4? Let's see those hands? That's what I thought, most of you. And so, you have a view that God cursed the woman and the man. And, consequently, you think God is mad at you and hates you. Admit it. God is an ogre looking over your shoulder, ready to bash you over the head at the least provocation.
But, how many times does the word "curse" actually appear? Twice. Yes, twice: once about the serpent and once about the ground.
Is the woman cursed?
Is the man cursed?
Does God hate us?
Is God mad at us?
If he hated us, then why does scripture tell us that he loves us? Why would he come in the form of humanity? As Michael Card said it so well, "His love would have held him there." The nails weren't necessary.
Isn't that freeing? God LOVES you. Go and rejoice in his love. Respond to his love in return. Love God and you will love life—no matter what the circumstances. Ask Valentine as he lost his head over his love for Christ...