Mom for a Moment: what about the feminine aspect of God?

I remember curling up on my bedroom floor, crying out to God that I just wanted Him to be my ‘mommy’ for a moment. I had been trying for years to become pregnant, and had just started my period again for the umpteenth time. It hurt. I wanted to have a baby so bad, and yet it just wasn’t happening. So, I cried and pleaded with God to comfort me like a mama would.

After five years of prayers, I finally became pregnant. It was an act of pure grace. It does not always happen that way for everyone. I have several friends who never became pregnant or had multiple miscarriages. They live with the fact that they’ll never bear children. My hearts hurts for those with unmet dreams.

Then there are those moms who have had children, but lost them from disease or accidents. They carry the love of those children inside them daily; the ache to see their child is raw. They have learned to live a “new normal,” one with a constant longing for the child they lost.

There are times when we simply want to curl up on the floor and bawl, wanting God to be our moms, to nurture and comfort us. This is normal. Yet, what we mostly hear about is the Father’s love for us and His Son Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I love that! But I find myself, at times, wondering about the feminine aspect of God. Male and female is made in the image of God. Genesis 1:27 states this: “So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” That implies God has some feminine qualities.

There are several verses in Scripture that allude to the feminine face of God. For instance, “Wisdom” in the Book of Proverbs is referred to as female: “for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” (Prov. 8:11.) In Deuteronomy 32:18 it says God “gave birth” to the people of Israel. In Job 38:8 it uses similar symbolic imagery of God birthing: “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb.” Again, in Isaiah 42:14, the birthing metaphor is used: “”For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant.” The disciple John also wrote often of how we must be “born of God.” (John 1:12.)  These verses show that God is the Maker and a symbolic mother, who formed Israel in the womb and birthed Israel with labor pains.

Also, God is imaged as a nursing mother in several verses: Is. 49:15: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” Other verses that symbolically view God as a nursing mom are: Psalm 131:2, and 1 Peter 2:2-3.

God is also viewed as a ‘nurturer,’ a typically feminine characteristic, in many of the Psalms, verses use the metaphor of guarding under God’s “wings” for refuge. Again, in Isaiah 46:3-4, it says: “who have been borne by me from your birth carried from the womb… even when you turn gray, I will carry you. I have made and I will bear, I will carry and will save.” Isaiah 66: 10-13 speaks of God as a comforting mother. Even the Gospels speak of God longing to “gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings (Luke 13: 34; Matt. 23:37).

Although the male pronoun is used in the Bible to refer to Him, this doesn’t mean God is purely male. God is both male and female, just like the people He created. So, the next time you feel the need to cry to God for comfort as I did, you can rest assured that God can do that. That brings me great comfort. I hope it does to you, too.