Tuesday, March 1, 2011

God Wants to Breastfeed His People

Images like Virgin and Child, by Joovs van Cleve, painted in 1525, have fallen out of favour in recent centuries
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1028888/Vatican-plea-uncover-Virgin-Mary-breast-feeding-baby-Jesus.html#ixzz1JqK8l55G

© 2011 Bess Bedell (Her notes are in italics.)

Psalms 22:9:
"Yet you are He who took me out of the womb; You made me hope and trust when I was on my mother’s breasts."

Luke 11:27 (New Living Translation):
“As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!” 

We can see here that Jesus was breastfed and there was no shame about it.  It was openly discussed in public, in front of others. Shame about breastfeeding and being hush-hush is an American attitude that does not originate from the Bible.

Isaiah 66:10-13:
"Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn over her; That ye may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breasts; that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance and brightness of her glory. For this is what the Lord says: I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees.  As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."

I Thessalonians. 2:7-8:
"But we behaved gently when we were among you, like a devoted mother nursing and cherishing her own children. So, being thus tenderly and affectionately desirous of you, we continued to share with you not only God’s good news (the Gospel) but also our own lives as well, for you had become so very dear to us."

Song of Solomon 7:8:
"Let your breasts be as clusters of the grapevine, and the scent of your breath like apples…I resolve I will climb the palm tree, I will grasp its branches. "

Hosea 1:8:
"Now when [Gomer] had weaned Loruhamah, she became pregnant again and bore a son."

"....give them wombs that miscarry and breast that are dry."

The inability to produce milk was considered a curse.

Genesis 49:25:
"By the God of your father Who will help you, and by the Almighty Who will bless you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings lying in the deep beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb."

It is a blessing to be able to breastfeed, an amazing gift of nourishment for our children.

I Samuel 1:21-23:
"And Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. But Hannah did not go, for she said to her husband, I will not go until the child is weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord, and remain there as long as he lives. Elkanah her husband said to her, Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only, may the Lord establish His word. So Hannah remained and nursed her son until she weaned him." 

Hannah's priority of nursing her child should be an example to all of us!  She did not wean him until he was around three to five years of age. This nursing duration was common during this time and is still common in most of the world. Moms can reap many benefits today by not thinking of nursing in terms of weeks or months, but instead, nursing for several years! The physical, emotional and spiritual benefits are astounding!

Isaiah 40:11:
"He will feed His flock like a shepherd, He will gather the lambs in His arm, He will carry them in His bosom, and will gently lead those that have their young."

God is not just supportive, but is the ultimate breastfeeding (and babywearing- "he will carry them in his bosom") advocate! 

"Even the jackals draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones, but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness (that desert their young)." The tongue of the nursing babe cleaves to the roof of its mouth for thirst; the young children beg for food, but no one gives it to them."

 Anti- Cry it out? Even animals respond to their babies when they cry and give them milk. But people are ignoring their babies when they cry and feeding them milk from another animal, when God gave us the milk that was meant for our babies.

Genesis 49:25:
“Because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the skies above, blessings of the deep springs below, blessings of the breast and womb.”

Job 3:12:
“Why were there knees to receive me and breasts that I might be nursed?”

Proverbs 5:19 (New International Version):
“A loving doe, a graceful deer— 
   may her breasts satisfy you always, 
   may you ever be intoxicated with her love.”

Song of Solomon 8:1:
“If only you were to me like a brother, who was nursed at my mother’s breasts! Then, if I found you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me.”

Isaiah 28:9:
“Who is it he is trying to teach? To whom is he explaining his message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast?”

Isaiah 49:15:
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”

Isaiah 60:16:
“You will drink the milk of nations and be nursed at royal breasts. Then you will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Isaiah 66:11 (New International Version):
“For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; 
you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance.”

Lamentations 4:3:
“Even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but my people have become heartless like ostriches in the desert.”

Joel 2:16:
“Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.”

The Bible has a passage where nursing children are being told to attend a public event by God! Here, God obviously doesn’t have a problem with public breastfeeding when you see Him requesting all the people AND the breast fed babes to attend an event together.

Luke 23:29:
“For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!”

Isaiah 66:11-13 (New International Version):
For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance.” For this is what the LORD says: “I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”

Psalm 22:10 (The Message):
And to think you were midwife at my birth, setting me at my mother's breasts! When I left the womb you cradled me; since the moment of birth you've been my God.

God created us to breastfeed our young. He is not ashamed, embarrassed or shy about breastfeeding. He calls it a blessing and describes it as nurturing, beautiful, pure, natural. Nothing about breastfeeding is sexual, immodest, indecent or inappropriate. He created us to breastfeed our young and to do it wherever they need. He does not want us to let them cry, but to respond to them when they cry. He also invited us out to events with breast fed babies. So, He does not have a problem with a baby nursing publicly. Breastfeeding is a form of nurturing that He relates to an image of how He nurtures us, His children. Is God's image of nurture and love ever immodest? Never.

Bess Bedell peacefully nursing her little one.

Related Reading:

Christopher West talks about the pornographic culture and its impact on breastfeeding in public:

Is breastfeeding obscene?

Vatican wants to uncover Mary breastfeeding Jesus:


  1. Thank you Guggie for sharing. Since this is a subject (if ever brought up) rarely discussed within the church, there is a lot of confusion amongst Christians about the appropriateness of breastfeeding, especially in a public setting. What we find, though, is God created it and it is perfect, as he is and the only sin or immodesty is in the minds of those who warp it into something else.

  2. Love this post! Thank you so much!

  3. Love it , great post, People should understand the benefits of Breastfeeding and encourage others to follow it.

  4. I love this! I am ashamed that I am a Christian and have not paid closer attention to the positive light that God shines on nursing. I sat here thinking, "Well, duh. Of course, He speaks so highly of it. He made it!"


  5. Best. Post. Ever! Thank you for sharing this!!!