I must admit, I can get rather caught up in the hustle and bustle of my homemaking lifestyle. I love decorating and preparing my home for my family to enjoy, planning family activities and learning all that I can about nurturing my marriage.
In addition to my own natural love for creating a haven at home, hospitality seems to be the latest buzz in both the homemaking and Christian community.
Lately, I’ve questioned whether I was a Martha or a Mary kind of a homemaker?
I have wondered if I have “really” stopped to take the time to sit at the feet of My Lord and Savior to truly listen and absorb his word.
Martha Kind-Of Homemaking
With all that goes into homemaking and hospitality, I have known myself to be a Martha kind-of homemaker. Many times busy doing tasks, that while completely essential, come before my consumption of the life-giving Word of God.
Just in case you are wondering what I’m talking about, here is a refresher on this all-important biblical lesson found in Luke 10:39-42:
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all of 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!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed-or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Notice that Martha seems to be the perfect hostess, from a modern standpoint. She welcomes Jesus into her home. She then gets busy making preparations for her guests. I can just see her preparing grains and oils for their evening meal. Making provisions for comfortable lodging for her guests.
All necessary and essential tasks.
However, the Bible tells us that she was “distracted” by all the preparations that she was making in her efforts to be a good hostess.
It’s so easy to begin to feel like we are getting everything done that needs to be taken care of. We are constantly juggling trying to find balance (if there is such a thing) in our roles as wife, mother, homemaker, friend, animal-caregiver, accountant, etc.
We can get so wrapped up in those very necessary roles and tasks that we’re not “choosing what is better” or perhaps not as often we should.
Even though the work of caring for our homes, family, friends, and neighbors is important, we can’t take our eyes off of what is most important. Our presence in the Word of God.
Let’s not get distracted by the everyday tasks that seem to consume us. We must stay vigilant, seeking out God’s Word.
Mary Kind-Of Homemaking
“She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word” Luke 10:39.
What I LOVE about this scripture is that Mary is demonstrating the gift of presence. She seems to be attentive and deeply engaged in listening to Jesus.
I’m sure that Mary helps around the house when Jesus wasn’t there, but when He was, when He was sharing God’s word, she stopped to be present and to give herself fully to Him.
Are we truly present?
How often are we truly present with our husband’s? Our children? Friends and guests?
I can’t tell you how many times my mind has wandered off thinking about one task or another that I need to get too.
An even more descriptive account of Mary’s engagement and presence are found in the book of John.
“So they made him a supper there. Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with him. Mary, therefore, took a pound of ointment of pure nard, very precious, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.” -John 12:2-3
This is a beautiful account of Mary not only being attentive to the word’s of our Lord, but also of presence…fully and completely.
Mary’s lesson for us is that we must know how to prioritize our attention. Yes, we must complete the everyday tasks of life, but we must first give our attention to God. Not only do we learn that where to place our attention but we also learn to give ourselves over to engagement in a full and complete manner.
I like to extend that lesson over to the people in my life. This post is a reminder for me to prioritize and to be present with the people in my life.
How can we be both, Martha and Mary kind of Homemakers?
I think that we can demonstrate both Martha and Mary’s strengths in our homemaking with just a little bit of planning. Here are a few suggestions that I’m going to be improving on and/or implementing in my life.
- Scheduling and prioritizing a designated time for devotion/bible study and prayer.
- Scheduling set blocks of time for chores, errands, and home-related activities.
- Having a cut-off time for daily tasks (consider it your time off work).
- Be fully present when you’re engaged in designated family time or time with loved ones.
- Help your children in prioritizing their bible study, prayers, and devotions.
Martha and Mary provided us with some valuable lessons for our homemaking and lives in general.
For me, It feels good knowing that I can be both, a Mary and a Martha kind of homemaker. I can be efficient and practical in my tasks when it is time for that. I can also be fully present with my family and friends when it is time for that.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” -Ecclesiastes 3:1
However, I can give myself over to God’s word, allowing it to dwell in my heart and exude from my being all of the time.
Do you agree with this conclusion? Do you think you can be both a Martha and a Mary kind-of homemaker, or do you believe it’s best to choose one over the other?
Blessings, and Happy Homemaking!