Mankind's Punishment
Mankind certainly had punishment coming for disregarding the commandment of God (cf. Gen. 3:6). It is comforting to note, however, that God mentions ultimate victory over the devil (in 3:15) before He elaborates on their punishment. God is full of love even when He disciplines!

After cursing the serpent, God then directed His attention to mankind:

"To the woman He said: 'I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.' Then to Adam He said, 'Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, "You shall not eat of it"; Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return'" (Gen. 3:16-19).

The entrance of sin into the world changed several things radically. God promised woman that her sorrow and conception would be multiplied. Due to the new reality of physical death, more conceptions would be required now to "fill the earth" (1:28). Plus, it would be a lot more painful now to bear children than it would have been prior to eating the forbidden fruit. Women who have experienced natural childbirth can fully relate to the tremendous pain associated with the birthing process. Regarding man, God cursed the ground, and promised him a much harder time now working with the soil. Weeds would grow without cultivation. He would survive by the sweat of his brow and eat herbs and bread until he died. His physical body would then return to the dust from which it came--physical death had become a reality. The end of 3:16 is difficult to understand. In what way would woman's desire be for her husband? Is this talking about intimacy or the desire to rule over him (cf. similar language of 4:7)? If the latter is correct, it speaks to the struggle of leadership sometimes present between husband and wife. God has decreed that man should lead his wife, but this is often not the case. Some men are reluctant to lead as they should and some women refuse to submit as they should. In Adam's case, part of his problem here was following his wife's lead into sin! He should have stood strong and led her away from temptation and, if she refused, he should have avoided sin himself.

"And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Also for Adam and his wife, the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. Then the LORD God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever'--therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life" (Gen. 3:20-24).

Finally, the woman is given a formal name--Eve (which means "life"). Since Eve is the mother of all humans (except Adam), all humanity can be traced back to this couple. Thus, all humans are related; we just don't know how most folks are related to us! This also provides the answer to where Cain would acquire a wife in Genesis 4 (i.e., either a sister or niece). God provided sufficient clothing to cover their nakedness. Tunics would cover the shoulders down to the knees. This gives us an indication of what God Himself considers to be modest. Since God made tunics of skin, the slaying of an animal or animals is implied here. There may also have been some teaching done here regarding animal sacrifices for sin, though there is no explicit record here. If they weren't taught here, they would be taught very soon (e.g., 4:4).

It would not have been wise to allow man to live forever on Earth in his sinful state. So, God no longer allows mankind access to the tree of life. Man is kicked out of the garden of Eden, and God sends angels to guard the tree of life. God's punishment here shows His mercy, justice, and compassion. This is how parents should discipline today.