Woman. Wife. Mother.
In the morning of the world, God looked at Adam—the man he’d just made, sinless, greater than Gilgamesh, Achilles, Solomon, Alexander, Caesar, or Alfred—and said, “Not good.” This near-perfect creation, fashioned after the likeness of God himself, was bad news.
Adam was alone.
So God broke Adam. He split him in two, separating him from himself, and with that rib he made Eve—Woman. Wife. Mother. Then he put Adam back together—“and the two became one flesh.” The alone-Adam, the broken-Adam, the incomplete-Adam, was now Whole, and the first song in Scripture records his jubilation:
This now is bone of my bone And flesh of my flesh: She shall be called Woman Because she was taken out of man.
A great mystery. An Adam without an Eve was a non-Adam. A non-Man. A not-Good. God broke the not-good, introduced Woman, and there was rest.
Woman: life-giver. Eve gave life to her Adam, she gave life to her sons, and she transferred that deep magic to all women since. Wives give life to their husbands, and mothers give life to their children. Woman is the garden that nourishes the seed, the gardener that tends the tree, and the harvester that rejoices in the ripened fruit. But like the ultimate Gardener and Life-giver, she gives herself up. She gives her body to her husband and children—making love, making babies, making food, making dirty clothes clean, making plans, making beds, making children sleep (while she doesn’t), making toddlers tinkle, making stories, making soccer stars, making college grads, making godly children, making a strong husband—making it all out of her own body.
A wife and mother dies a lot. Every day. And her deaths bring her family life.