BBC: Genesis 3:16
To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” - Genesis 3:16
There are a few practical things that are to be derived from this passage. First, the woman's pain in childbirth was to multiply. This is not to say that pain was suddenly come into the world. Instead the amount and increase of pain was increased. Now while the natural meaning of the word "pain" is acceptable. The more complete understanding of sorrow and struggle is also true. One is left to wonder how the death of children and the falling away of children come to play in this curse.
Lest on become discouraged, Isaiah the prophet foretold the day when this sorrow would no longer pang the woman (Isa 65:23). It is my belief that Isaiah saw the reversal of the curse for the woman in the man of Christ Jesus. Thought not fully inaugurated, the blessings of Jesus Christ are to slowly work themselves out in blessing for the women of the church.
The second important application is the desire for one's husband. This phrase is actually duplicated in the encounter between Cain and Abel (Gen 4:7). The woman's desire "for her husband" is complimented by him ruling. The two ideas are not against each other.
*The Bible Blogging Commentary is a slow and simple treading of the Scriptures. No quotes from other theologians and no explicit Greek/Hebrew lessons.*