by Michael Maciel
There’s a better way to approach this question. God is only gendered in a mythic sense, not literally. Mythic truths are never meant to be taken literally because they have their own epistemological domain, one that is fundamentally different from empirical truth.
As students of Christian Mysticism, we know that God is One, but we do not think that God is monolithic.
When we speak of God in gendered terms, it’s the masculine and feminine aspects of Deity with which we are attempting to form a connection. We’re not trying to say that God is a man or God is a woman. That is in a completely different conceptual universe.
But God lives in us and is the source of all of our spiritual energy. We live and move and have our being within God, and God lives and moves and expresses God’s being within all of us, individually and collectively.
God’s energy has many aspects, of which masculine and feminine are merely two. But it’s easier for us to connect with these two energies specifically because we know what fatherly and motherly energies are like. Both are grounded in love, but both have distinctly different aspects. They are both equal, but they are not the same. We appeal to one for certain needs and to the other for other needs.
When we approach God’s masculine aspect, as in “Our Father,” we come with the expectation of a perfect father’s love, which is characterized by encouragement, strength of will, concentrated focus, and decisiveness of mind.
And when we approach God’s feminine aspect, as in “Holy Mother God,” we come with the expectation of a perfect mother’s love, which is characterized by self-sacrificing attention, a gathering in to heal and protect, and the assurance that we are loved.
We ourselves can manifest either aspect, regardless of our biological sex. Although, our body, along with its functions, reflects in physical form the divine aspect for which it is a living symbol.
If we try to deny either of these two aspects, insisting instead on a genderless or androgynous god, then one aspect will dominate our psyche and attempt to conceal and suppress the other. We are then stuck with an aspect that, in the absence of its counterpart, becomes unbalanced and destructive. This is true both psychologically and spiritually.
So, it’s not about who gets top billing. It’s about what we want to accomplish with the energy that God provides us. The energy itself is one energy, but it expresses in many marvelous ways, two of which are Father-energy and Mother-energy.
God creates in and through us by our creative activity, which is powered by divine energy. The energy isn’t ours. There is only one energy and it is God’s and God’s alone. But God gave it to us to use.
That’s the reason God created us, so that God could experience God’s own creation, to touch the world with our hands, to see the world through our eyes, and to speak the creation into being with God’s own Word of Power.
When we understand these two divine aspects—the Masculine and Feminine—then we’ll understand the Laws of Creation.