The mother-heart of God

Now, I’m not suggesting at this point that we go and re-translate our Bibles to include a more gender-neutral term, or try ‘She’ for a change, as I know some have done. I will leave such decisions to the experts in the original biblical language of Hebrew. I am suggesting, though, that we take time to reflect on how our God wants to love us like a perfect mother.

When we read Scripture, we see many characteristics of God that are often associated with mothers, and that can be very healing, and comforting. In the book of Isaiah, God refers to His love for His children as ‘a mother’s love’ (see scriptures further down). Jesus also spoke of motherhood in Luke when He compared the love and protection of a mother hen has for her chicks to the love and concern, He has for Jerusalem. 


‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.’ (Luke 13:34)

When a woman becomes a mother, her life becomes a demonstration of sacrificial love. Mothers often sacrifice their time, careers, bodies, identity, autonomy, sleep, energy…and so much more for their child/children.  God loved us, His children, so completely that He made the most wonderful, terrible sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ (John 3:16)




Moving towards God’s love

I have personally had many psychology sessions over the years, but there is one that stands out amongst them all in my memory because it had the greatest impact. My psychologist asked me to describe my ideal mother. After listing adjectives like nurturing, a great listener, loving, forgiving and accepting, affectionate and comforting, I pictured a mother cat with her kittens. We discussed how much my mother was or wasn’t these things, and where the gaps may have left wounds. This was a great place for the Lord to come in and fill in those gaps, as the perfect, loving parent. The loving, nurturing, protective, sacrificial, mothering nature of God is at the heart of our personal relationship with Him. 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’ (John 14:27).


Unified love

All mothers are not perfect, after all. I know as a mother myself how many times every day that I fail my own children out of my frailty, baggage and sensitivities. In a modern world where so much emphasis is being placed on gender fluidity and female emancipation/equality, now more than ever, we should remember that both the masculine and feminine characteristics of God do not operate independently, His love is unified. God’s love is extended to each of us uniquely and unconditionally. We don’t have to measure up to someone else’s expectations because God sees us for who we truly are. His love sets us free.


‘So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’ (Galatians 3: 26-28)

The Mother Heart of God in Scripture

Here are a few verses describing God’s love as like a mother’s:


‘As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.’ (Isaiah 66:13)


“Before she goes into labour, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labour than she gives birth to her children. Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the Lord. “Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God. “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her. For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts, you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance.” (Isaiah 66:7-11)


‘For this is what the Lord says: “I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem’ (Isaiah 66:12-13)



God’s love as a driving force for your life or ministry

Do you know God’s love so deeply that it drives you to love and serve others? Is it your sustaining energy-force that enables you to keep going in life and ministry? 


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