Why is God a He? and not a she?
The Bible has a lot to say about the nature of God. God is personal and emotional. In fact, in the phrase, "God created mankind in His image," it is generally accepted that the characteristics that distinguish us from other animals are those that reflect the nature of God. If the Bible were referring to only physical characteristics when it states that man was created in the image of God, it would not say many of the things it does about His nature. For example, the Bible states that both males and females are created in the image of God. Unless God were a hermaphrodite (having both male and female sexual organs), this phrase could not refer to purely physical characteristics. In addition, there are numerous other verses in the Bible that describe God as having non-human physical characteristics, such as feathers and wings. Should we think of God as being an overgrown chicken? Certainly not! God is so unlike humans that the Bible often paints word pictures to give us a glimpse of what God is like.
Question? Is God in heaven male?
When most people think of God, they think of Him in His glory in heaven. So, the question, "Is God male" usually refers to God as He exists in heaven. The Bible always refers to God using male pronouns. Does this mean that God is physically male? In other words, does God have male sexual organs? Surprisingly, the Bible does address this question indirectly, through a number of different statements about the nature of God and what He is like. Jesus said that God is "spirit." Although not defined extensively in the Bible, a spirit is an entity that has no physical body. After His resurrection, Jesus told His disciples that He had returned in bodily form, saying, "a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." If God is a spirit as the Bible says, and a spirit has no flesh or bones, then God cannot be male in physical form. God is not male, since He is not a physical, but a spiritual, being.
Question? Must we refer to God via masculine terms?
The question has nothing to do with what we would like to do, but instead with what God tells us to do. C.S. Lewis addressed this point in his book, God in the Dock:
Goddesses have, of course, been worshipped: many religions have had priestesses. But they are religions quite different in character from Christianity.... Since God is in fact not a biological being and has no sex, what can it matter whether we say He or She, Father or Mother, Son or Daughter?
Christians think that God Himself has taught us how to speak of Him. To say that it does not matter is to say either that all the masculine imagery is not inspired, is merely human in origin, or else that, though inspired, it is quite arbitrary and unessential. And this is surely intolerable. (1970, p. 237, emp. in orig.).
Scripture makes it clear: “O Jehovah, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.... Shall the potter be esteemed as clay; that the thing made should say of him that made it, ‘He made me not’; or the thing formed say of him that formed it, ‘He hath no understanding’?” (Isaiah 64:8; 29:16). Since when does the clay have the right to dictate to the potter or override his decisions? As a believer in God and His inspired Word, and yet as one speaking from an inherently masculine view point, Lewis went on to say:
We have no authority to take the living and semitive figures which God has painted on the canvas of our nature and shift them about as if they were mere geometrical figures.... It is painful, being a man, to have to assert the privilege which Christianity lays upon my own sex. I am crushingly aware how inadequate most of us are, in our actual and historical individualities, to fill the place prepared for us. But it is an old saying in the army that you salute the uniform not the wearer.... A given man may make a very bad husband; you cannot mend matters by trying to reverse the roles... (1970, pp. 237-238, emp. added).
if you put a gender on God, you only have an idol. Anything with a gender is made in our image. Anything you make in your or our image is an idol. We don't make God in our image - God made us in His image!
Additional notes about sexual identity in heaven:
The Bible indicates that things will be really different in heaven compared to earth. Many religions (e.g., Mormonism, Islam) make claims that heaven will be a place where males will have their choice of multiple female "companions." This tends to make those religions more appealing to human males, but makes no sense from a biblical perspective. The Bible says that once we die, there will be no marriage.
This is because we will be "married" to God Himself. Biblical marriage was designed as a system to produce and raise children as a family unit to encourage them by the family relationship as an example of our heavenly relationship to choose to be with God in heaven. Once in heaven, there is no need for reproduction. Jesus also indicated that the angels (who are spirits) do not marry either. Given these facts, it would seem very strange that God would exhibit any kind of sexual characteristics.
If you would like to discuss this topic further - or if you have questions:
Click the link to go to our discussion page. Either, feel free to create a new topic/question or to participate in an existing one: Why is God Male Discussion & Questions.
Logging in is optional but if you do decide to,
all information is confidential and will not be distributed
to anyone or any organization.