The Mother Heart Of Father God
Dealing With Mother Issues
Our ability to receive and give love is the true test of the depth of our relationship with God. Because we were created for God’s love and created in His image (love), love is totally essential to us as human beings. Nothing should come more natural than our ability to receive love and to express it to others.
Mothers are our first connection to love, bonding, and relationships. During the nine months spent in the womb and throughout the first two years of life, the mother figure is the most important figure in a child’s life, strongly influencing the child by the way she nurtures and expresses affectionate love.
Yet Thou art He who didst bring me forth from the womb; Thou didst make me trust when upon my mother’s breasts. Upon Thee was I cast from birth; Thou hast been my God from my mother’s womb. (Psalm 22:9–10)
Many people are hindered in their ability to have healthy loving relationships because they did not receive the right kind of love from their mothers in their formative years.
The Greeks used the word storge to describe the love that lays a healthy foundation for growth and maturity.
It means strong natural affection. It is also the word that describes family love. It is storge love that speaks of nurturing, empathy, compassion, gentleness, affection and tenderness.
Among humans, just as it is in the animal kingdom, mothers are the primary caregivers and dispensers of storge love in the child’s first two years of life. The father’s primary years of influence are the third through fifth year, but the mother is the one who carries the child in her womb imparting warmth, security and trust. The mother’s storge love imparts faith in the child to trust bonding, to receive love and to give love.
Storge love is demonstrated in three primary ways by mothers:
1. Affectionate Touch
We were created for expressed affection. Doctors have scientifically proven that without a regular daily dose of affectionate touch the body and the emotions become unhealthy. Touching someone says to them that they are important to you; they belong, and they have value. Babies expect affectionate touch and expressed love until their heart is wounded, then something in them begins to close up to bonding and intimacy.
2. Eye Contact
The eyes are the windows of the soul where love is communicated to a child (see Luke 11:34). They drink the love that flows to them from eye contact with their parents. If children don’t see understanding, loving looks in the eyes of their parents, it can leave a wound that remains unhealed all through life. They then may feel awkward, insecure, separate and out of place in their relationships.
3. Tone Of Voice
Babies learn to bond and trust when their parents look them in the eye and speak to them loving words in a encouraging, gentle, tender, empathizing voice. It continues all through the formative years in the child. Loving tones nurture the soul and help children feel acceptance and value so they can walk free from the fear of rejection and failure.
When a mother discerns her baby is in need, she picks him up and her tone, body language and everything about her change. Love, comfort and tenderness begin to flow through her to that child. The baby senses that she is doing everything possible to meet their needs. She is demonstrating storge love, and the child develops a godly belief they will be comforted and that their needs will be met by others. In later years it becomes evident that faith has been developed for relationships with others and with the God who can meet all needs.
Babies learn how to trust life, relationships and even God when they are held, cuddled, fed and nourished at their mother’s breast. And without the mother’s storge love, children may grow up with an inherent fear of intimacy and relationships that can create many problems that may last for a lifetime.
Result Of The Lack Of A Healthy Foundation Of Storge
It is storge love that is foundational to a healthy eros love. Eros is the Greek word for physical and sexual attraction. Those who do not receive healthy amounts of storge as a child often find that eros goes haywire at puberty. They may have unhealthy sexual drives, urges, compulsions, addictions, and uncontrollable fantasies.
Those lacking storge may start focusing their unmet need for storge upon their lovers or fantasy loves. This easily becomes emotional dependency as the boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse becomes their source of life and comfort. They try to get their unhealed need met through eros and sex. It often results in pornography and masturbation addiction, but they are really searching for intimacy, nurture, and comfort that were lost. For example, Al Ells, our counselor and mentor from Leaders That Last Ministries, writes that the man who has not experienced being nursed at his mother’s breast will very likely turn in later life to pornography. He has not rightly learned what the God given purpose of a woman’s breast is for by nursing at his mother’s breast as an infant.
Sexual bondages can make us uncomfortable with ourselves and we can carry unconscious shame and feelings of uncleanness (see 1 Corinthians 6:16-19). If we are uncomfortable with ourselves we are uncomfortable with others and with God. We may stop liking ourselves and begin to believe that we have no value. Until our need for storge is met we are vulnerable to sexual temptation. This can lead to other problems that may follow us for a lifetime.
Because a person is unconsciously wrapped up in getting their unhealed need met, they often lack the ability to care about other’s needs. Therefore they lack the ability to be intimate and caring. They may lack empathy and compassion and value people for what others can do for them. This carries over in their relationships with God as they value Him for what He can do for them, but they have no concept of what intimacy and love is all about.
They may have a deep void that they can never satisfy. It can lead to a cycle of woundedness that may end in feelings of despair and that life is too painful to live. “I just wish Jesus would come back and take me home.”
Healing For The Lack Of Storge
God’s Word and His loving nature have made provision for every need that we have – spirit, soul, and body! We do not have to live life struggling with the hurt and effects of not receiving healthy amounts of storge love in our youth. Here are four simple principles that when applied, can begin the process of restoration and healing.
|1. Realize That No Human Being Can Fully Meet Our Need For Storge Love.|
It is difficult to teach someone how to love until he has experienced it. Love and intimacy have been programmed into your genetic code because “His [God’s] seed abides in him [you]” (1 John 3:9). The Greek word for seed is sperma. In Christ, God has placed His DNA, His genetic code within you. You are created in His image (love)! You cannot help but be conformed to your Father’s attributes! Everything God has created within you has naturally been created for intimate, loving relationships, but you cannot have healthy relationships with others until your need for love has been met in Him. As you allow God to meet the deepest need you have for love and nurturing, it starts becoming more and more natural for you to do what your Father created you to do: to receive His love and to express His love to others.
|2. Realize That You Were Not A Victim Of The Lack of Storge Love.|
Even if you were physically or emotionally wounded as a child, do not take on a victim mentality and believe that you have never been loved. The moment you felt rejection or hurt coming your way, God came to you and sought to meet your need for love. You have never been alone or without love. God has constantly pursued you with love and comfort. The question is – did you choose to receive His love in your time of need or did you harden your heart to love?
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you… I have loved you with an everlasting love (in Hebrew -‘ahab -desire, delight, like, passionate, to be fond of, covet, be beloved); therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness (in Hebrew – ‘ahabah – feminine in gender, a mother’s love)… (Jeremiah 1:5; 31:3 parenthesis added)
For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up… A father of the fatherless… God makes a home for the lonely… I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (Psalm 27:10; 68:5–6; John 14:18)
For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb… How precious also are Thy thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand… By Thee I have been sustained from my birth; Thou art He who took me from my mother’s womb; my praise is continually of Thee. (Psalm 139:13, 17–18; 71:6)
Yet Thou art He who didst bring me forth from the womb; Thou didst make me trust when upon my mother’s breasts. Upon Thee I was cast from birth; Thou hast been my God from my mother’s womb. (Psalm 22:9–10)
|3. Be Willing To Let Go Of Counterfeit Affections And False Loves.|
Perhaps you never received storge love from your mother, and the deep longing that has been left in your heart has influenced you to seek wrong answers for right needs. When you allow God to meet your need for nurture and comfort, you no longer need the false loves anymore. Your mother may have been so wounded that she was not able to be there for you in your times of need, but God has never abandoned or forsaken you. He is not ashamed of you. He will pour storge love into the barren areas of your soul.
Can a woman forget her nursing child, and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands. (Isaiah 49:15–16)
|4. Realize That Father God’s Mother Heart Wants To Bond To You And Meet Your Deepest Needs For Storge Love.|
In God’s nature there is a mother’s heart – the storge love that comforts us in tenderness and compassion and nurture. How could God have created a woman “in His own image” if there is not some aspect of His nature and character that is feminine (see Genesis 1:27)?
That you may nurse and be satisfied with her comforting breasts, that you may suck and be delighted with her bountiful bosom.” For thus says the Lord, “Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall be nursed, you shall be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 66:11-13)
God knew you before you were ever conceived in your mother’s womb. There has never been a moment in time that He has not been reaching out to you and desiring to draw you into His affectionate embrace. It was He who drew you forth from your mother’s womb and has sustained you through life (see Psalm 22:9-10; 71:6). See Father’s mother heart waiting for you with outstretched arms to pull you upon His bosom and to tenderly shower you with the affectionate love for which you have longed. Experience Him taking you upon His knee and comforting you with His loving arms. Father God created you and formed you in your mother’s womb and He takes pleasure in you.
Even if you feel too wounded to come to Him, then He will come to you and not leave you like an orphan. Begin opening your heart to His love by speaking these words out loud.
Mom, I choose to forgive you for all of those times because you did not know what you were doing. You too were hurt and wounded in your youth. I forgive you for not knowing how to express love to me in the way that I needed. I forgive you for not knowing how to take me in your arms and provide that place of safety and comfort. I forgive your inability to open your heart to me in a way that would cause me to believe and trust fully in your love. I forgive you for your inability to provide me with the affectionate touch, the loving eye contact, tender loving words, and the nurturing in your bosom that I so needed.
I release you from any resentment or bitterness, and I speak the blessing of God over you. I honor you as my mother, the woman who gave me life and brought me into this world. Thank you for this gift of life. With God’s help, I commit myself to walk in an attitude of love and forgiveness toward you from this day forward. I release you mom.
God wants to make known His affectionate love to you, especially in the areas where your mother was not able to meet your need. He declares that He will demonstrate His love to you. He desires for you to be at home in His love.
He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him… If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him… For the Father Himself loves you… (John 14:21, 23; 16:27)
Pray out loud:
Father God, I come to You longing to experience Your comforting heart, Your mothering heart. You are the only One who can meet the deepest need for storge love in my life. I bring my earthly mother to the foot of the cross and release her from any wounds and pain she caused in my life. Please forgive me for any resentment or bitterness I may have harbored toward her, and help me to walk in forgiveness and love toward my earthly parents.
I confess that I have turned to counterfeit affections rather than to You to seek the storge love that I needed to fill the void in my heart. Some of the choices that I have made have been wrong, and I repent from any impure thoughts, fantasies or lust that I have allowed to breed in my mind and my spirit. Forgive me for not trusting You to meet all of my needs. I come to You now, and choose to lay my head on Your breast and rest peacefully, knowing that You love and care for me. In Jesus’ name.
Find a quiet place to sit and let gentle loving music play over you. Receive God’s mother heart as He gives you the things that your own mother was not able to give. Receive a mother’s affirmation and acceptance pouring into you. Receive nurture and comfort. Receive Him playing all the games with you that your mother was not able to play. Receive Him taking all the seriousness out and pouring in playfulness and joy and displacing the intensity. Receive Him drawing you into a special place in His heart where you will never be forsaken or forgotten. Enter into His rest as His affectionate love casts out all fear.
My child, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours… I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you. (Luke 15:31; Hebrews 13:5)
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me. (Psalm 131:2)
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear… We love, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:18–19)
(The contents of this article are taken largely from the teaching notes of Father’s Heart School of Ministry and are used with permission from the late Jack Frost. It is with deep appreciation to Jack for his teaching that I have learned a great life lesson…how to receive and give away the Mother Heart of Father God. Gerri Taylor)