God's Church Is Like a Loving Mother
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The Scriptures describe the characteristics that set apart God's Church as unlike any other. Part of its uniqueness comes from the unconditional love of God present in its members: "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35).
God's love is like a mother's love for her children, but God's love goes much deeper. God's true Church conducts herself as a caring mother toward her children.
Old Testament Israel was thought of as a mother and her citizens as her children. The Bible uses the term mother to illustrate the love of God for His sons and daughters (2 Corinthians 6:18). "As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you ..." (Isaiah 66:13). Describing the way he and other elders had served the Church, Paul wrote, "But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children" (1 Thessalonians 2:7).
Paul symbolically characterized the Church of God as a mother (Galatians 4:26). In Revelation 19:7 the Church is seen as the betrothed bride of Christ. Clearly God, through His merciful, loving instructions, has provided His children with a nurturing environment through the Church.
The Church of God has the caring characteristics of a loving mother. A mother has an innate desire to nurture and protect. However, those nurturing and protective abilities are limited by the fact that she is human, made of flesh. Members of the Church of God know and understand, however, that God is the source of the Church's spiritual love. The apostle John equates God with love: "For God is love" (1 John 4:8). He defines what God's love is: "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3).
The Ten Commandments, recorded in Exodus 20:1-26 and Deuteronomy 5:1-33, summarize how we are to love God and our fellowman. Jesus distilled them into two great commandments: "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (Matthew 22:37-39). These two great commandments embody the love of God. They are exercised in an outgoing and protective way. Members of the Church of God strive to practice this godly love.
The Church's members follow the example set by their Savior, Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:38-48). They are concerned with two great priorities: placing God first in their lives and loving their neighbor as they do their own lives (Matthew 22:36-40). Though not perfect, members of the Church of God live by and reflect the love of the Eternal God. They teach the love of God—His outgoing concern for others—embodied within the gospel of Christ.
We eagerly await the time when all human beings will experience the love of God in this way. Until that day, the day God's Kingdom comes to earth, we encourage and welcome you to share with us the love of God as expressed by and in His Church.