In Genesis we read that God created heaven and earth by his word. He spoke and it came into being. We attribute creation to the Father because he is also the origin of the Son and Spirit which CO-created with him as we read,
"Let your every creature serve you; for you spoke, and they were made. You sent forth your spirit, and it created them...." (Judith 16:14)
Unlike the human father, he creates from nothing and he is separate from his creation in the sense that the Father does not need creatures to exist, the reverse is true, they need Him to continue in being. Likewise, the human father does not need his sons and daughter to exist and ultimately they become independent from the father. But, we cannot live independently from our heavenly Father.
We speak the earth as mother because the creatures that come from the Father are generated on earth. Since each creature reflects aspects of the Father such as life, goodness, truth, beauty, etc., He is immanent in a limited way. The Father can only be immanent in each creature within the limits of each creature. He transcends or is above the limitations of creatures because the Father has infinite life, goodness, beauty and wisdom. We have indicated that a human father also has a transcendent aspect in his separation from his creation at conception because God the Father is transcendent. "Traditional theology allows us to associate creation with the Father in a special way because of a similarity between the act of creation and the fact that the Father is the Unoriginated Origin of the Son and the Holy Spirit."
Michael Azkoul has made this observation, "The fact that the man Adam was created before the woman Eve suggests that God, in His actions (i.e., the Uncreated Energies), is masculine rather than feminine." (Orthodox Research Institute)