If I’m being completely honest, I was a little nervous to pick this book up. ‘Mother God.’ Femenist Theology is a frame-work few in conservative circles dare touch, much less approach with children.
However, Genesis 1:27 states:
God created humanity in his image. Both man AND woman. In addition, the Bible features feminine imagery of God including a mother bear (Hoses 13:8), a mother hen (Psalm 91:1-4), and a nursing mother (Isaiah 66:13). In addition, the Wisdom of God is personified as a woman throughout the book of proverbs. And the words used for Holy Spirit in the original Hebrew and Greek are feminine.
All of this is not to say that God is a woman. Indeed, God cannot be bound to such binary structures. Instead God is spirit, and far beyond our wildest imaginations (John 4:24, Galations 3:28).
Instead, this is simply an admission that maybe it is worth considering a look at the where feminity reflects the divine.
In the words of Rev. Dr. Elizabeth F. Caldwell, professor emerita at McCormick Theological Seminary, “Our children need to grow up with many images of God so their faith is expansive and inclusive.”
Mother God is a tool parents can use to expand their theological framework. It dives into the feminine imagery of God offered in scripture to give a more wholistic view of who God is and how he loves us.
What I Love
I love that this book offers a Biblical-based perspective that varies from the norm. After reading the book, I can say that every page is steeped in Biblical imagery from scripture. However, with modern depictions of motherhood, so littles can identify the ways God is reflected in womanhood in their everyday. My only wish is that scripture references would have been provided for the scriptures mentioned. Having grown-up in the church, and been to Bible school, I was familiar with most the verses being used. However, I don’t think that should have to be a precursor for really diving into these passages. It would have been nice to have the scriptures been drawn upon referenced in the book. However, thankfully in the age of Google anyone unfamiliar should be able to search for the the scripture and find what is being referenced.
What My Kids Loved
This booked sparked so much discussion with my 6 year-old. First of all, she loved that one of the mothers illustrated was sporting a Skrillex haircut, because that is indeed what my 6 year-old wears. She also shared she thought only men were created in God’s image. They sing a classic Sunday School song in our children’s service that says ‘in the image of God, God created man.’ So what more could she assume than that men are the sole bearers of God’s image. This was also a good reminder to me that it’s important to frequently revisit these conversations. Though we have talked frequently that both men AND women are created in God’s image, it’s important to revisit and clarify as our littles grow.
Mother God helped open up that conversation. And it blew open her mind to understand that she is also created in God’s image.
Who is this book for
If you don’t feel like this book is a good fit for your family, that is ok. I’ll catch you at the next book review.
This is a welcome read for families wanting to introduce their littles to femenist theology. This, I believe, could also be a very healing read for those who have a complicated relationship with their father (or father figures), or have experienced abuse at the hand of a father figure. It is ok look at the passages through a different lens.
Apart of me also wonders if this may be what the Church needs right now. In light of various scandals that have been unveiled within the Evangelical church, and many feeling the need to reevaluate their faith…could a reexamination of the scriptures be a need in our churches? Not to rewrite scripture, but to better understand what is already written. My prayer is that in doing so our faith communities may find healing.