A Glimpse into the Mothering Heart of God

Photo by Sai De Silva

Photo by Sai De Silva

The other day, I watched a little video that talked about the characteristics of a mother. I sat there and felt my heart turn over as the male reporter—someone’s son—explained what a mother means.

One of his key points was that a mother is like a ferocious lioness. She will do anything to keep her cub safe.

That is so true. I cannot fully express what I feel for my three children, and I didn’t understand this kind of love until I became a mother myself.

The Mothering Heart of God

All of us have heard about God’s fathering heart, but it sometimes comes as a surprise when people talk about His mothering heart.

God is the epitome of each and every one of the following characteristics, which are often used to describe mothers: love, courage, patience, gentleness, kindness, nurturing, selflessness, forgiveness, compassion, protectiveness, trustworthiness, honesty, wisdom, humility, strategy, perseverance, generosity, and the willingness to lay down one’s life for one’s child.

Mothers really tap into this tender nature of God. He created man and woman in His own image: “Male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). As a spiritual being, the Lord possesses all the positive attributes He instilled within men and women.

Scripture actually compares God to a mother hen:

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. (Luke 13:34)

God wants to pull His children close and protect them under His wings and feathers, which are metaphors for His care and kindness. What a gentle picture of Almighty God—drawing us close to Himself so we know we are loved and protected.

God has the heart of a perfect mother, which constantly longs to hold us and take care of us. As women, we possess these amazing characteristics only because of the way we were created—we were made in His image.

What If You Feel Like You Don’t Measure Up?

Does that list of divine characteristics sound overwhelming to you? Do you read it and say to yourself, “There’s no way I could be that good—I’ve made too many mistakes”?

If you read that list and it seems more depressing than encouraging, it might be that you need to go spend time with Jesus and figure out what He thinks about you.

It’s very easy for women—married or single, mothers or not—to begin to think poorly of themselves. We often feel like we don’t measure up. We see pictures of “Super Mom” on social media and feel like there’s no way we could fit into that same category.

But honestly that just isn’t true. All of us are learning and growing, and God made you to be exactly who you are. And He loves who you are.

If you’ve weighed yourself on the scales of performance and found what you believe to be a lack inside you, there’s something important you need to understand. The mother’s fierce, protective, loving heart is natural to her when she does two things:

  1. When she puts God first in her life

  2. When she chooses to live unselfishly

That list of special attributes isn’t beyond your reach—it’s already inside you because you love Jesus and He made you to look like Him.

What If Mother’s Day Is a Time of Mourning for You?

God blessed me with an amazing mom I love with all my heart. She started praying for my husband long before I met Leon and pointed me toward Jesus in a very personal way. She is my biggest prayer warrior; she prayed for every test I took in school, and she still prays for her children and grandchildren every day. She is one of the key reasons I am who I am.

But I know that not everyone reading this article has had the same experience.

If your mom went to be with the Lord, or for some reason you don’t or can’t have a relationship with your mother, I encourage you to do two things this Mother’s Day:

  1. Honor a spiritual mother instead—a woman who has loved you and lifted you up in hard times.

  2. Spend time with God and rest under the loving covering of His wings. Ask the Lord what He wants you to know and what He wants to show you. Expect Him to draw you close to His heart, to pull you under the umbrella of all His mothering characteristics.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:18)

Ideas for How You Can Celebrate Your Mom

Here are a few ways you can celebrate your mom (or perhaps a spiritual mother) this week:

  • Write her a card or letter telling her how wonderfully God made her.

  • Thank her for what she has done and still does for you.

  • Tell her how much you love and appreciate her.

  • Bless your mother face to face. Your words mean a lot to her, and when you bless her out loud, it can be transformational.

  • Find out what her love language is. If it’s quality time, spend time with her doing something she likes. If it’s gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service, or physical touch, take the time to plan something that will touch her heart.

  • Celebrate her regularly, not just on Mother’s Day.

God gave you a great gift in your mother, and you worship Him as you choose to honor the gift He gave you.


Interested in reading more? Here are a few other articles on related topics:

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