New Defender's Study Bible Notes
3:16 multiply thy sorrow. Had Eve not sinned, the experience of childbirth would have been easy and pleasant, like every other experience in the perfect world God had made. The Curse, however, fell in a peculiar way on Eve and her daughters, and the pain and sorrow of conception and birth would be greatly multiplied.
Nevertheless, the bearing of children, especially by a woman who loves God and seeks to obey Him, is a time of blessing and rejoicing even though accompanied by a time of suffering (John 16:21). In the experience of giving birth, every woman experiences by proxy, as it were, the privilege granted Mary when she became the mother of the promised Seed. Furthermore, she even becomes a type of Christ, who “shall see His seed...He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied” (Isaiah 53:10-11). The suffering is submerged in the rejoicing, and this in itself goes far toward mitigating the physical pain (note I Timothy 2:15).
3:16 rule over thee. She who had acted independently of her husband in her desire for the forbidden fruit must henceforth exercise her desires through her husband, and he would be ruler in the family. This prophecy has been fulfilled throughout history, in every time and nation.
To the woman who knows God, however, especially in the full light of Christianity, her role of submission to God and to her husband becomes her means of greatest fulfillment and happiness. The “rule” of a true Christian husband is not one of harshness and subjugation, but one of loving companionship and caring responsibility (Colossians 3:18-21; Ephesians 5:22-33; I Peter 3:1-7; etc.).