The relations between man and female form a mediatory triad. Like the creation of the heavens, the first remark about man’s creation (as male and female) is that they are both made in the image of God, sharing equally that image:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Ge 1:27)
Like the creation of the seas is second, with its principle of multitude, so too the next thing noted about male and female, albeit not as explicitly, is that they were to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue it, and have dominion over the creatures in all three spheres. Just as the seas are the third part of the heavens-earth-seas triad, although created second, so too is the dominion mandate, grounded on procreation by the sexes, the third part of the triad, emphasizing fulfillment and multitude–that which is oriented outward.
“And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”” (Ge 1:28)
Just as the creation of the earth is third and yet the second “floor” of the three-story house, joining them together and mediating between them, so too the third time in the Genesis account that male and female are mentioned, woman is brought to man once he has not found a suitable helper among the animals.
“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” (Ge 2:18–25)
The point here is not merely companionship, though of course their likeness (each substantively made in the image of God) makes her fit for companionship and love. The point is that with the dominion mandate already stated, how shall man bring this about? The complementarity of male and female sexually (in the largest sense I mean–not merely the unitive-erotic act) is what mediates and joins their unity in the image of God to their purpose in procreation to extend God’s kingdom.
- Male and female in the image of God (Gen 1:27)
- Male and female distinction and complementarity (Gen 2:18-25)
- Male and female multiply the kingdom (Gen 1:28)
Notice how closely this mirrors the Trinity.
- Father, emphasizing singularity-unity
- Son, emphasizing distinction
- Holy Spirit, emphasizing togetherness-unity
Now, the parallel is not absolute. The Son proceeds (logically) before the Holy Sprit. One of the marks of these mediatory triads in creation is not present ad intra. Nevertheless, I believe that archetypically, the Son does mediate between Father and Holy Spirit in that the Holy Spirit is breathed out by the Father through the Son. It is then within the eternal covenant, as God looks outward toward the yet-uncreated cosmos, that the Son becomes more fully the mediatorial-triad archetype. Among the Trinitarian persons, he is the last on the scene, but becomes the mediator between all the purposes of God in creation (HS) and God Himself (F) as well as more specifically, of course, becoming the mediator between God and man, man being the preeminent aspect of the creation– and just maybe, himself the mediator of creation (triad: angels, man, beasts/world).