I would consider God to be both male and female (and actually, given the combination, I find God genderless. It just seems very odd to refer to God as ‘It,’ so I’m left with male and female pronouns). And I’ve often found it curious why some would panic if God is referred to as ‘Mother’ or with feminine pronouns. First, if God created both male and female in His image, then wouldn’t God have to be both? Even in looking at the Garden of Eden: the name ‘Adam’ referred to humankind, not a male person in particular. Sexuality and gender didn’t really come into play until after Eve was pulled from Adam’s side. Then there was a distinction between man and woman. Up until that point, ‘adam’could be seen as androgynous.
I’ve seen the argument that God can be only male, because Jesus was God Incarnate and Jesus was male. Isn’t it more likely that Jesus was male because absolutely no one would listen to a female prophet? Jesus already had enough difficulties. But if that argument is true, then how could God have possibly created female to be in His/Her image? That, and if God could manage to be a Trinity, surely God could manage to be female even though Jesus is male.
What it ultimately comes down to is how am I, as a woman, supposed to relate to God is God is only male? How is God supposed to be seen in me? How am I supposed to see the female creation in an all-male God? How am I supposed to approach God without feeling second-rate?
I’ve seen posts elsewhere, and read many books which praise woman’s highest calling as being a mother. That’s what God meant for her to do: the most important job, as it pertains to raising the next generation. Okay. But if it’s that noble, and that much of an important duty, why are we so reluctant to assign the same qualities to God? Shouldn’t God also be a mother as well, as it pertains to the care of children? Since motherhood pertains to the care, compassion, kindness and self-sacrificing love? The standard family is father, mother and children. If God is only male, then it becomes Father and child. What part does the mother play? A father could take pride in his role, because of how it mirrors God. But how is the mother to take pride, or find a connection to God?
It doesn’t help that translations have obscured the feminine aspect. Take Deuteronomy 32:18. The Revised Standard Edition says, “You forgot the God who gave you birth.” The Jerusalem Bible translates it as “You forgot the God who fathered you.” However, the verb used is ‘hul,’ which means to twist. It was used elsewhere in terms of dance movements or in ‘writhing in labor,’ which puts a distinctive feminine aspect on that sentence. That verb is something I can relate to, as it gives me a means to approach God not only as a Father, but as a Mother as well. Then there’s the whole aspect of wisdom/Sophia and how that relates to the Logos. There’s the phrase El Shaddai, which could mean “the breasted one.” The root word for compassion/mercy in Hebrew is ‘rechem,’ which means womb. The term for the spirit of God is a feminine one, which is ‘ruah.’ It’s used to indicate the life of God or how the Divine acts
For men that do hold that God can only be male, and only be the Father, I’d like you to ask yourselves a question. Picturing yourself sitting through sermons for a day, or a month, or maybe even a year. The sermons constantly refer to God as ‘She’ or ‘the Mother God.’ Then ask yourself how included you’d feel, and how valued.