Submission and Rebellion
Translations differ on how precisely to render Genesis 3:16 — some render it "… against … but …" (cf. Genesis 4:8) and some render it "… for … and …"; both are justifiable and, in fact, both are correct, for the desires of woman are both for (to be ruled by) and against (to rule over) her husband. Woman was made for man, not man for woman, and man is the head of woman. It is in the nature of woman to submit to her husband, but it is in her fallen nature to rebel against him. The Fall did not destroy human nature; rather, it corrupted it; therefore, woman still retains the good and proper tendency and the desire to submit, but she also has the wicked and improper desire to lead or to rule.
When a woman obeys her husband, when she keeps a home, when she births and raises children, she is rightly submitting to her husband, which is obedience to God. When a woman disobeys her husband, when she desires to work outside the home, when she withholds sex or does not want children, she is wrongfully rebelling against her husband, which is disobedience to God. The desire of woman to disobey, to rebel, to lead, to rule is sinful, and it is her cross to bear, the part of the Curse that falls on woman (although man also must endure this part of the curse, unlike pain in childbirth, which falls upon woman alone).
The twentieth century is a tale of women embracing their wicked desires — and men doing virtually nothing to stop them. The twenty-first century is certainly not shaping up to be better. When a girl expresses the desire to attend university instead of marrying a husband and raising his children, she is expressing a wicked desire, and it is her father's duty to rebuke her, and to punish her if necessary. When a girl expresses the desire to teach men, she is expressing a wicked desire, and it is the duty of her father or her husband to rebuke or to punish her. When a girl expresses a desire to involve herself in politics and to exercise authority over others — to rule — instead of quietly submitting to her head, she is expressing a wicked desire, and it is the duty of her husband to rebuke or to punish her. When fathers and husbands fail to rebuke the women over whom God has placed them as head, then it is the duty of the faithful prince to punish — up to and including capital punishment when and where necessary — such women and their heads (should they be found blameworthy).
Today, women are found in university lecture halls — even as lecturers —, in board rooms, on city councils, and in the halls of government. This is not, as many would contend, 'progress'; this is wickedness and high-handed sin. Woman is to be in quiet subjection; she is to submit; anything else is rebellion against God. And God will be neither taunted nor mocked.
We need look no further than the birth rates in those countries where women are 'liberated' to see what God thinks of our actions. There are dozens of other indicators (e.g., suicide rates, antidepressant use, and 'immigration' numbers) that tell the same story, but it would be difficult to find clearer disapproval than extinction, which every nation that has 'liberated' its women is now facing. There is no future without children and there are no children without the submission of woman; children are a blessing from God, and God will not long bless those who are in open rebellion. To embrace the Curse and the desire to sin is to reject God — this is precisely what 'modern' 'liberal' societies have done.
It will take an immense effort to undo the harm wrought by generations of rebellious women and faithless, spineless men, but the task is ours and we must not shrink from the fight or be derelict in our duty. It falls first to fathers to properly instruct their daughters, for God has given to fathers headship and all that comes with it — rights, privileges, and duties. It falls next to pastors and other teachers to teach rightly regarding men, women, headship, authority, and all related matters, for they will receive the stricter Judgement. It falls last to faithful princes to punish those who will not do their duty — whether that is fathers or husbands who will not rule, teachers who will not instruct rightly, or women and children who will not submit and obey.
Whoever will not be influenced by this and inclined to godliness we hand over to the hangman and to the skeleton-man. Therefore let every one who allows himself to be advised remember that God is not making sport, and know that it is God who speaks with you and demands obedience. If you obey Him, you are His dear child; but if you despise to do it, then take shame, misery, and grief for your reward.
— the Large Catechism, Part I, ¶ 149
Lord, have mercy.