The Feminine Side of God

The following article is from the January 2020 edition of the Pentecostal Life magazine. Many of the statements found in this article are not doctrinally correct and is here for that reason.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1 :26- 27)

From the beginning, the reflection of God has been mirrored in the male and female. It is easy to see God in the masculine image of father, son, king, bridegroom, warrior. There is, however, another side of God reflected in the feminine, or, as I like to think of it, God’s soft side.

The Bible is a book of vivid imagery. Word pictures are necessary to help us understand a God who is beyond our comprehension. Can you imagine an ant at the base of the Statue of Liberty trying to describe and understand that monument? Word pictures are needed for finite beings to begin to understand an infinite God.

“It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22).
“Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool” (Acts 7:49).
“Yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind” (Psalm 18:10).
“God thundereth marvellously with his voice” (Job 37:5).

See how words can paint pictures that almost capture how big, how majestic, how mighty He is? defines a metaphor as “a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance.” Many metaphors – the linking of unlike things – are used in the Scripture to describe God:

“For thou art my lamp, 0 LORD” (II Samuel 22:29).
“The LORD is my shepherd” (Psalm 23).
“I am that bread of life” (John 6:48).

It is in these word pictures that we find comfort to soothe us in our need. That same dictionary defines a simile as “a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared.” Similes are direct comparisons that use the words “like” or “as” to help our understanding and comprehension:

“Therefore I will be unto them as a lion” (Hosea 13:7).
“He is brought as a lamb” (Isaiah 53:7).
“He shall come down like rain” (Psalm 72:6).
“I will be as the dew unto Israel” (Hosea 14:5).

All of these word pictures describe an aspect of God, but neither one nor all can totally describe Him.

The compound names of God, such as Jehovah Jireh, meaning “the One who provides,” were given to men to reveal the character of God. In Genesis 17, God told Abraham that He was the “Almighty God.” This occurred after Abraham had been given all of the unimaginable promises and surely was wondering how all of this could be. “Almighty God” can be translated “the strong-breasted one,” which surely spoke to Abraham that his God was able to nurture, sustain, and comfort- imagery of the feminine, God’s soft side.

Fathers are wonderful. Mothers are a wonder! The feminine sensitivity, intuitiveness, understanding, and selflessness is unparalleled. It takes both the male and female to mirror the nature and character of God.

Sometimes I need to reflect on the Lord strong and mighty with a voice like thunder, but when I am scared, afraid, unsure, or hurting, I need the soft side of God. When David was struggling to mature, he referred to God as a nursing mother. Isaiah made several references to God as a mother comforting her child.

There are more word pictures.

”As an eagle stirreth up her nest” (Deuteronomy 32: 11 ).
“As a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings” (Matthew 23:37).

Whether I am trying to soar or pecking around in the barnyard of life, it is comforting to know God has a soft side.

Hosea described God as a mother bear robbed of her cubs (Hosea 13:8). As God’s child living in a dangerous world, l feel sate to know that as a mother bear will fight for her young, God will fight for me. A current worship song by artist Riley Clemmons contains the lyrics, “He will never stop fighting for me.”

Ecclesia, the Greek word we translate as “church,” is a feminine word. And why not? It is the church that births us, brings new life, loves us, nurtures us, protects us, teaches us, and provides a place where we can safely grow into maturity.

Second Kings 4 portrays that great woman of Shunem in a feminine way: caring, sensitive, and perceptive. With her husband’s help she built and furnished a restful room for the traveling prophet. The prophet’s heart must have been touched by her caring ways. Seeing she had no child, no doubt the prophet knew instinctively that she would cherish a child to love. So the promise was given and in time a son was born. When he had grown and was working in the field with his father, he was overcome with what must have been a heat stroke. “My head, my head!” he cried. The father’s response was simply, “Take him to his mother.” She held him until he died but was not ready to give up yet. She hurried to the prophet, who came to the house and the boy was restored to life.

In reading this story I think about the many who are suffering from the heat of the day in so many fields of our modern world. Life is tough. Get them back to “mother,” the church, the mother of us all. A true mother never stops loving or giving. In the hard realities of life, God has a soft side, the church, waiting to restore those in crisis from the heat of their day. As long as we are living, God will keep loving. The church becomes the arms of God to hold us in our distress.

Paul said that in the church there was neither male nor female. However, as a woman, 1 am a son of God; even though my husband is male, he will be in the bride of Christ. Still, as women, we need to remember that we reflect the character and nature of God in a very special way. So let us soften the sharp edges of our criticisms, extend comfort and love to all who need it, protect the weak, encourage the hurting, sustain the suffering, and teach for

maturity. Walk tall, woman, you are a picture of the bride of Christ, the church, the mother of us all. Wear the fragrance of love mixed with humility. Be strong yet dress your strength in velvet. You are half of God’s image in the earth.

Thetus Tenney