What kind of pronouns should we use when we talk about God?
We typically default to the masculine “He,” but should we?
Is there anything wrong with referring to God as “She”?
While the answer might seem obvious, it is worth considering. After all, as Christians, we want to speak of God in a way that is pleasing to Him.
So, here are a few things to keep in mind when considering how to talk when we talk about God:
1. God is not a man but is spirit (Numbers 23:19a; John 4:24).
Simply, human gender does not apply to God. God is neither male nor female.
God is spirit, and we are wise to remember this, even as we hold to the necessary tension of things like the eternal sonship of Jesus as the second member of the Trinity.
2. God uses masculine and feminine terms and attributes when describing Himself.
God is likened to:
a “dread warrior” (Jer. 20:11)
a faithful and long-suffering husband (Hosea—all of it!)
a “mighty man” and a “woman in labor” (Isaiah 42:13-14).
Wisdom is personified in female form (Proverbs 1:20-21). Jesus even emphasizes the feminine when He laments over Jerusalem, “How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:27; Luke 13:34).
Without being too reductionistic, God is quite comfortable referring to Himself using or inspiring the use of both feminine and masculine characteristics, even if it makes some of us uncomfortable.