Even in the 21st century West, marriage is still understood as a gesture of commitment that knows no equal. Not only do Bridget Jones and Friends suggest ideals of a relationship to which so many aspire, but we also see marriage celebrated on the pages of Hello and in the public ceremonies of royalty and celebrities. And yet the harsh realities of marriage can be so different from the model for which we long. Genesis 3:16 explains this contradiction. The pain of marriage is part and parcel of God's judgement on our rebellion against him. A proper understanding of this verse, within its context both in Genesis 2–4 and in the whole Bible will enable us to work towards marriages that serve God in a broken world in a way which brings glory to him.