Mary Mother vs. Martha Mother

Since I’ve become a mother, God has used this season of my life to really show me new ways to understand His Word. Perhaps some of these only are meaningful to me; to anyone who might read this blog, they might think, “This woman is crazy. What on Earth is she talking about and where did she come up with this stuff?”

But, this is just another thing that I feel God has revealed to me through motherhood. and it just might be for me, but I need to share it here. Maybe one day I’ll write “Wacky Devotionals for Moms” or something like that. I’ll include My Big Ten one, as well as this one. This one is still being developed in my brain and this is only a first draft of what I really want to say about the topic.

Are you a Mary Mother or a Martha Mother?

Luke 10:38-42 (New International Version)
Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Having grown up in church, I’ve heard this story a million times it seems. Some preachers have made Martha out to be a really bad person for working. Others are a bit more gentle with her, but the moral of this story is still the same… Martha missed the forest for the trees. Christ Jesus was right in her home, and she had a marvelous opportunity to learn from him. Yet, she was too busy finishing up the cookies in the oven and making the coffee for the small group. And it’s told to us because human nature hasn’t changed since day one… We too often get caught up in the minutia of daily life and forget the important things.

Sometimes I feel that as a mother (and especially as a stay at home mom), I fall into that same trap. So many things to do and so few hours to do them. So the other day I’m doing some chores in the kitchen, K was watching cartoons, J was playing on the floor. And K needed me. Just as I was putting dishes in the dishwasher and about to start a load of laundry… oh, and then sort mail… and then fold a load of laundry… and then wipe the kitchen counter… and then make the tea. Well, you get the point. I had a million things I wanted to get done. And K is asking me to get something for her. And I mindlessly fulfill her request and try to go to the next task. And K again calls for me. And I think she wanted me to sit down with her. And I start to tell her I’m busy and to wait a bit.

Next thing I know I hear a little voice in my head. “Mandi, don’t be Martha.” K calls for me again. Wanting to get on the floor with her and J. Again, I tell her jsut a minute. Little voice again – “Mandi. Stop. You are concerned about so many little things. Choose what is better. Be Mary.”

At that point I realized that all too often I’m a Martha Mother. And this is probably a trap that a lot of us stay at home moms (heck, any mom really…) fall into. Is the house clean, is the food cooked on time, do we have clean clothes, are the bills paid, is the dog fed, etc. None of those things are wrong in and of themself. Just like nothing was wrong with Martha being a good hostess. In fact, in the passage above Martha is commended for opening up her home to the Lord and his disciples. But Martha didn’t make the Main Thing, well, the Main Thing. Honestly, the cookies and coffee could have waited. Jesus pointed out that out to Martha.

So, I’m going to strive to “Choose what is better” and realize that if something doesn’t get done right away, it’s not the end of the world. What matters is being a good mommy to my two little ones. Perhaps if I am more of a Mary Mother, I’ll be more Merry, too. Less stress – who wants to be worried and upset like Martha? I know my kids don’t need Mommy that way.

And there you have it. Be a Mary Mother.

3 responses to “Mary Mother vs. Martha Mother

  1. Excellent! As you know, I tend most of the time to be a “Martha”. But, when it comes to children, you need to be a “Mary”. Time is fleeting & you don't want to have regrets when they are grown. Sure, there are things that *have to be done* but they always seem to get done at some point. I'm so proud of you!!

  2. YEAH! I didn't realize that you had a blog. I had to comment to let you know that this is the best post ever. I have never thought of it that way (in a Biblical sense) but I have been a huge advocate on the, “I am a stay at home mom so I can be a mom not so I can have a clean home” movement. Okay, so maybe it is not a movement but it should be. I cannot WAIT to use this next time someone comments on my dirty house πŸ™‚

    I would love a clean home and everything to be perfect but if things don't get done, I don't fret. More and more I realize that I need to be a mommy and not a maid!

    Hugs to you…I can't wait to see your photos from tonight. Oh, I tutor out of my home so I like the downstairs to be clean…sometimes it is not. I apologized about my dirty house to a parent that came to pick his son up and he shared some of the best advice ever…if someone complains, then hand them a broom and tell them to get busy if it bothers them enough to comment on it πŸ™‚ See you Thurs.

  3. What a great post! I have never really thought of it that way. I tend to be a cluttered homemaker because I'd much rather go to the park, etc…. I usually end up feeling guilty about the state of things, but I think you've helped put it in perspective for me. Thanks for sharing what God has shown to you. Love you!

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