I wish to return to a bit more down-to-earth reflection on Gloria’s pregnancy next time, but you’ll no doubt forgive me for allowing the theologian in me to think a bit this time. Christians believe that God is the Holy Trinity; we especially have our Greek and Russian Orthodox brothers and sisters to thank for their wonderful tradition of thinking hard on how God is Three in One, with an eye to the Three-ness. What does all this have to do with my daughter who is currently in my wife’s womb, you may wonder? The doctrine of the Trinity teaches that each Person (Father, Son, and Spirit) dwell in One Another perfectly–which is why we Christians can still rationally claim that They are One. Similarly, a baby dwells in her mother, my daughter in Gloria, during pregnancy. Now, we must be careful not to push the comparison too far as though a pregnant woman is a perfect or exact analogy for God the Trinity; she is not. Nevertheless, a pregnant woman, I argue, is perhaps the best analogy in all of creation for God the Trinity. Where else is there a consciousness dwelling within another consciousness? This is what the doctrine of the Trinity commends although never without its own proper mystery. Someone might object: but God the Trinity is three, not two. This is true, but we would be amiss is we didn’t recognize that the child, my daughter, carries me (the father) within her as well. There is no doubt that she does biologically, and given the regular fact that children share their parents personalities, we are not speculating to hold that she likewise carries my personality in her as well. Thus, there are three people represented in my daughter, herself, my wife, and me. I got this thought during my research for my dissertation, and there I discuss it in far greater detail than I want to here. The idea does not owe to me, to be sure, because I looked hard at Gen. 1:26-28 and 2:24. When God says He makes “man” in His image in 1:27, He clearly refers to both man and woman in this image.
It reads, from the English Standard Version: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Thus, it would be better to translate the Hebrew word “adam,” at the beginning of verse 27 as humanity rather than man: “So God created humanity in His own image, in the image of God he created humanity; male and female he created them” (trans. mine from the Hebrew, italics and bold mine). Some might think this is reading into the text, but a common literary feature of Hebrew prose, and especially poetry, is that it uses parallelism, which is why, if you’ve ever read the OT at length, you always get the feeling that the authors are repeating themselves. They are! Thus, the final phrase, “male and female He recreated them,” is a parallel restatement of “in the image of God He created humanity.” This final line gives the most specific and detailed information about what the image of God is. For our word smiths and lovers of definitions, take heart because all Hebrew lexicons (dictionaries) relay that the Hebrew word, adam, has at least three meanings: one refers to the human being named Adam, the second to just man in the typical individual male sense, and finally, the one I am arguing for here, it can refer to all humans generally.
What do we find in Gen. 2:24? Verses 22-23 arguably give us a more specific account of how woman was created, by being taken from the rib of Adam. Then, God says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (ESV). What we find is that God creates woman by taking a part of Adam that dwelt in him (part of him), his rib, and creating woman. Then, God says man and woman are to procreate (sex) by the phrase “shall become one flesh.” God chose humanity, both man and woman, to be His analogy (image; cf. Gen. 1:27). The sexual component to human generation is part and parcel to this image since in 2:24 it is the very first thing we find out about the male and female relationship (they shall become one flesh). It was therefore not happenstance that I saw a image of the Trinity in my wife’s pregnancy; the pointers were already there in the first Book of Scripture.
My wife’s pregnancy is fulfilling the purpose contained in Gen. 2:24, and, through it, modeling, in an imperfect way, God the Trinity. Woman was taken from within man; and a child is comes by man from woman. One person, my daughter, Lydia, dwells within my wife, Gloria, and that one person, Lydia, contains both me and my wife as well as beautiful uniqueness all her own. A child is, in a fascinating sense, three persons in one; God, on the Christian view is three Persons in One, the Holy Trinity.