When I started this “Wild Kids, Wild God – 31 Days looking into God’s Heart” series, I had no idea how deep I’d go.
In recent posts of this series I started noting:
I use ‘He’ and ‘His’ as pronouns for God, but fully recognize God with both Male and Female ‘identity’–for lack of a better word–, as evidenced by the human race and through the Bible…” Post coming soon!
This is that post, and the topic is dear to my heart. It may disturb, but can also encourage, and my desire has been, as best as I can, to put God’s Heart ‘out there,’ crazy as It may be.
So let me “come out” about this.
First of all, God can handle this. God can handle any name we call Him, from our mouth or mind. He won’t be offended or strike us down, and any name or understanding that was offensive, well, Jesus sorted that out. Phew!
So where do we start? Part of this sensitivity with God’s Titles comes from a heart deeply broken for those who’ve been abused by earthly fathers and father-figures. I’ll never forget the time a woman confided to me,
“I have such a hard time accepting God as ‘Father’ because mine raped me…”
I’ve heard worse stories and sadly mothers have been abusers too. But you rarely hear people saying ‘God the Mother.’
Add to this a tender heart for the persecution, humiliation, abuse, non-acceptance, “conditional love,” and flat-out killing of people in the #LGBTQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning Asexual/Ally) community, solely because of a part of their identity (meanwhile we are so much more than our love/relationship prefs). This grieves me deeply (and I’d say enrages but have to leave that to God… not to mention my own heart was blind its own prejudices here– Sometimes we need a Divine jumpstart…).
I thought I was nearing God’s Heart on the matter until I read an open letter to a Transgender teen from a Christian Children’s minister. Let that letter rock your world!
Is there any biblical basis for these things?
“God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male And female He created them.” -Genesis 1:27
Did anyone notice that God needed two genders to express “Himself”?
Take one look at mankind together with some tender scriptures where God likens Himself to a mother, and realize there is more to God than the common understanding of “Father.” (I’ll cover some of the motherhood scriptures in Part 2 of this post).
God as a Parent was a groundbreaking revelation because God was easily seen as an impersonal Deity demanding worship and fear. But Jesus showed a Personal God deeply in love with and involved in our lives. The Real Parent. And when we might be satisfied to know and revere God as “Father,” Jesus cried out “Abba” (Daddy) when he was in the garden of Gethsemane about to go to the cross (Mark 14:36). We too are encouraged to go deep in our relationship with God. Don’t hold back–“He” can handle it. (see e.g. Galatians 4:6).
A person of the Jehovah’s Witnesses told me once “Jehovah” is the correct Name for God. His wife stood by as he spoke so I asked: ‘Do you call your wife, Wife? Do you use her first name, or maybe say ‘honey,’ or ‘sweetie’?
The man didn’t really respond, but I consider
the closer we are to someone, the more tender our names for them may become, and the less important ‘names’ are anyway…
Do you think God wants to force someone to call Him a name that was used by an abuser and/or can hurt deep? Hmmm. Could someone cast ‘religion’ aside and be sensitive when using a title for God? Sure! It never hurts to Love, for God is Love (1 John 4:8). I believe He cares more about His Children than titles or self-promotion. Just look at Jesus’ supernatural display of gentleness and humility.
All things considered, I was truly grateful to realize the name “God” in itself, is a gender-neutral Title.
And while God has many Names, all of which give a glimpse of His Character and Nature (e.g. Jehovah Tsidkenu-the Lord My Righteousness, El Roi-the God Who Sees, Jehovah Jireh-the Lord my Provider…) many names have no “gender,” including “I Am”, the name told to Moses.
I read once, “whatever you need, God says: “I Am.” It’s a beautiful infinitive whereby we glimpse our own divine heritage: we are “human BEings.”
In Part 2 I’ll unpack more on the motherhood of God (and you can already read something about that here: Pearl and Mother of Pearl-God’s Handiwork), but if you take away anything from this post, let it be this: God is Love. (1 John 4:8).
If your life experiences don’t match against #1Cor13, it may have been man, not God.
Want to read more about the tenderness of God? See Pearl and Mother of Pearl, a God’s Heart Glimpse.