God is neither male nor female. Man nor woman. And yet, God is referred to in the English Christian faith as Father, He, Him, Male. There are three entities to YHWH, Father, son, and Holy Spirit. We know that Christ was a man, but YHWH in God’s completeness and in the singular role to Christ is Father – Male.
In the original Greek and Hebrew God’s name YHWH held both male and female understanding. It was read to incorporate all of God’s characteristics, both male and female. Humans are male and female, but YWHW is neither and at the same time both. But yet in our culture and translation, we have robbed our ability to understand YWHW entirely, completely, fully. Understanding YWHW as Father and Mother.
Yesterday I kept thinking about YHWH as Mother. So often we limit God to his male characteristics and then only refer to God as Him. Him as defender, protector, fighter, provider, and stronghold. When I read these words they automatically enlist an image of maleness. (Hint: all these words would also describe how I love my children as a mother. I would fight anyone who would dare try to hurt my children. But as Americans we don’t view these words as female, but male.)
I love that our YHWH is all of these things; however, God is so much more. YHWH is also tender in leading us back to him, patient to correct us, a teacher of his ways, full of compassion, love, and devotion. I believe some of YHWH’s greatest strength’s are ones that reflect a Mother.
When my children are sick, though their dad is very tender and full of compassion, they choose me. Let’s be honest, as a grown woman, I still want my mother when I’m sick. It’s a mother’s kiss that helps a child. A mother who faithfully lifts their child up in prayer. A mother that sacrifices so much of who she is for the betterment of her children.
Children and mother’s share a special bond. Though children carry part of their father with them, they are born from their mother. They are intimately connected and bonded for all of life. Isn’t that how it is our Lord? We breathe YHWH’s breath. We are a piece of YHWH here on earth because we were created by him/her. We are intimately connected to God and for all of our life here on in this place we are searching to be connected again. There is a space in our soul that can only be filled by God, much like our mother.
Yesterday when I was thinking about all that Mother’s are, it felt right to think about God that way. To reinstate that part of who God is back to my understanding of his/her character.
YHWH is my father and mother. I celebrated that yesterday and will continue to look to scripture to find my guidance on being a better mother from God herself.