Michael Hidalgo, at Denver Community Church, posts about what he calls “femsculine” Christianity.
All people, regardless of gender, have an equal place at God’s table. This demands that everyone be given an equal voice. When we only hear from the voice of men or the voice of women we only see one side of God. This is why any claim that Christianity is either masculine or feminine falls short. Neither by itself paints a complete picture of God.
When we are able to hear from both men and women equally we gain a perspective of God that is far more complete. We can have confidence in this, for as it turns out, God is not only a masculine father, but also a feminine mother. This is something that I have found to be deeply comforting.
Several years ago my family and I were playing in a park. My son, who has a nut allergy, took a bite of a friend’s cookie and ingested a walnut. We gave him some medication immediately and within minutes he started to feel better.
For almost an hour my wife and him sat on a bench in the park. She held him, and he snuggled close to her. At one point I asked if he was feeling okay. My wife smiled and said with deep love and compassion, “He’s fine. Sometimes little boys just need their Mommy to hold them.” In that moment I saw, in my wife’s mothering, affectionate embrace of my son, a beautiful picture of God. It’s a picture that we see throughout Scripture.
God is frequently spoken of as a loving mother, and God speaks of nursing her children at her breast, and giving birth to her people. This is why St. Clement of Alexandria wrote, “In His ineffable essence God is Father; in His compassion to us He became Mother.” (These references can be found in Numbers 11, Isaiah 42, 46, 49, 66, Jeremiah 31 … to name a few).
When we allow ourselves to consider this side of God we gain a clearer and more beautiful picture of God. He is for all of us father and mother – masculine and feminine. When the voice of our sisters is heard, we have the can finally learn about the feminine side of God that has been silenced for too long. Through this, we will gain a more beautiful and complete picture of God.
As we learn more about God, we can live out a Christianity that is both uncompromisingly feminine and genuinely masculine. In the end, we will all find our differences and sameness, rooted in God.