Why Mothers matter
by Trudy Beyak
“Dear Lord, who am I?” That is the question countless girls, teenagers and grown women struggle to answer every morning as they face the mirror. How will they answer it? In fact, there is in Scripture a profound spiritual answer. With Google reporting more than a billion hits on the “nature of God” – the question is certainly news-worthy.
For more than 5,000 years, biblical scholars focused on the fatherly qualities of God, but did they happen to miss the maternal side?
What is it about this issue that triggers controversy?
I felt compelled to learn more about the heart of God.
Let me begin by saying I am pro-men and pro-women! I feel comfortable praying to God as my kind heavenly Father. But I started wondering if something might be missing in our Christian teachings when I discovered ancient texts in the Bible that electrified me!
Well, one question led to another. With pen and notebook in hand, I spent five years studying the Bible and I pursued a global investigation by travelling to the Middle East, where Jesus taught and healed people. In the end, I interviewed 50 leaders of faith, from Baptists and Catholics, to Pentecostals and Evangelicals from the USA to Germany and Indonesia.
It is true that God identifies himself as our kind heavenly Father, but God’s compassion is also illustrated in the metaphor of a devoted mother who is comforting her child [Isaiah 49:13-16, 66:13]. God’s love is even compared to a doting midwife. That’s interesting isn’t it?
I met Dr. Daniel Ayuch, a New Testament scholar at an Orthodox monastery high on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in the Middle East. I half expected him to either laugh at me or downplay my questions. But his teachings actually transformed my life!
He said the Scriptures clearly teach that the Creator is a God of justice and a God of mercy. The root of the word “mercy” is “racham,” which means “womb-like” in the original Hebrew and Arabic languages. This is an amazing fact. The mercy of God – is maternal, womb-like, and sheltering like a mother protects and nourishes a child.
That was an amazing “aha” moment for me.
In fact, the Bible reveals that God’s deepest desire is to create new life, protect us from harm and help us to be experience love and be successful as we grow to maturity. This is the voice of God speaking:
Listen to me …You who have been borne by me from birth and have been carried from the womb. Even to your old age, I will be the same, and even to your graying years, I will bear you. I have done it, and I will carry you; and I will bear you and I will deliver you. [Isaiah 46: 3, 4, NASB]
What can be a more comforting metaphor than God comparing himself to a faithful doting mother who carries you from birth until the end of your life? Leaders of faith in the 21st century are starting to recover this ancient truth so relevant for today. As Ruth Graham says: “When God created men and women to be like Him, women are half the picture.” And, Fio Mascarenhas, the chairman of the Catholic Bible Institute in India, also notes: “God’s love is tender, like the beauty and tenderness of a mother’s love.”
Every man and woman, and boy and girl, is made in the image of God – Imago Dei. How does this roll out in life? Simple! Each human being is endowed with unique gifts corresponding to the love, compassion, strength, wisdom and mercy of the “parenting personality” of God. I see a paradigm shift, a global awakening happening. In a world reeling from one crisis to another it is encouraging to know, that God not only loves us as our kind heavenly Father, but, on a deep spiritual level as a mother comforts a child, bringing us love, hope and healing!
Trudy Beyak worked as an award-winning journalist of 20 years and is now a non-fiction inspirational author. Her book is called: The Mother Heart of God, Unveiling the Mystery of the Father’s Maternal Love, published by FaithWords, Hachette Book Group.
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