Recently my pastor was sharing the account of Mary and Martha and how it can be applied to our lives. I’ve heard this account and messages similar to this one many times in my life. I’d like to think I’m more like Mary, but I know that I’m more like Martha. I know… I know…I need to work on this. I’d listen to messages on these women and then I would always just go on with life. Never did it hit me like it did this particular Sunday. See if you can relate to me on this one.
After hearing this particular message, I reflected more and more throughout the week. So I want my house to be clean when people show up. What’s wrong with that? My house is never spotless. I have four kids, two very hairy dogs and an even hairier cat. I’m OK with people seeing a bit of a mess. I also LOVE cooking/baking for people. Though I do tend to freak out a little if things don’t come out right. I am definitely not a perfectionist…(cue the eye rolling). So am I really like Martha? I visit with my guests. I take time out for them.
What’s that God? My children? What about them? Are you suggesting that I spend more time on cleaning, stressing about cleaning, frustrated that our chore system isn’t working, etc., than I do investing in my children?
OUCH!!!! That’s when I realized that I am an everyday Martha. I spend so much time worrying about and planning everything from menus, chore charts, researching the healthiest foods for my family, behavior issues vs. food , etc. I pin a lot of ideas about studying the Bible and teaching the Bible to my kids. But I find myself focusing on all of these other things ABOVE what is really the most important thing. What exactly is this most important thing? TEACHING MY CHILDREN TO SIT IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD. SHOWING THEM WHAT IT MEANS TO HUNGER FOR HIM, TO SEEK HIM, TO KNOW HIM.
Wow! Now I’m not saying there isn’t some room for Martha. I’m not going to stop menu planning. It saves me money and my sanity. I won’t stop fine tuning our chore system when needed ( I will share what we’re doing in a later post). I won’t stop researching food and health topics. I am passionate about those things. There is a time and a need for these things. But these things should not hold precedence over teaching my children about God. Not only that, instead of seeing me perusing social media in the morning, what if they see me reading the Bible? I should be modeling a relationship with God as well.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
“…these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
Please don’t take this as a judgmental post. This is an area where God has recently convicted me big time and I wanted to share it with you as I suspect some of you might be in the same situation? As I move into this, I realize that not everyday will be perfect. Far from it! There are going to be those days that I just stress or worry. Then I’ll stress over the fact that I’m stressing in front of my children! Ugh!! But really, the more important thing that I can show my kids is how I handle or recover from the stress. Also, I do know, that as I lay this in God’s hands and make movement in the right direction, God will bless my feeble attempts and cover the imperfect days in His perfect grace. What a comfort! All of my imperfections are covered in His perfection!
So, even though I tend to be Martha most days, I’m working on incorporating more of Mary. Balance is key, right? Ha! How do you balance all of these things? Do you have any tidbits of wisdom? Please share!