Are you a Mary or a Martha? Women have been asking themselves that question for a long time. As a woman who doesn’t like labels to define me or boxes to confine me, I would like to think God wants us to be Marthary, a mixture of Mary and Martha.
Martha has been dubbed as sort of a workaholic. I can totally identify. Martha was goal oriented, spoke her mind and was a leader. But so was Jesus. Jesus healed on the Sabbath, fed thousands, taught, led his disciples, washed their feet and healed millions. And before we dismiss Martha as unspiritual, let’s remember she hosted the presence of God, often! This woman provided a home for Jesus and ALL of His disciples where Jesus felt welcomed and comfortable. When her brother died, it was Martha who ran to meet Jesus. I want to be like Martha!
Mary is dubbed as ineffective. However, Mary was a woman of strength who broke barriers. She too refused to be put in a box and conform to societal norms. While everyone expected her to serve in the kitchen she sat at the feet of Jesus. She went where women were forbidden. She sat at the feet of Jesus. She was in touch with her emotional needs and knew she had to withdraw from the busyness of life and be replenished by the Word. But so did Jesus. Jesus often withdrew from the crowds, from the demands of life and spent time with the Father. I want to be like Mary!
Ladies, let’s stop the debate. We are each called to be a Mary – to love Jesus deeply, spend time at His feet, hear His voice, spend time in His Word, women of strength who break barriers. And we are called to e Marthas – women of action who effortlessly can host the presence of God while juggling work, family, church. Women who can multitask but still provide an environment where Jesus feels welcomed. Women, who in our disappointment, to run to Jesus.
You are called to be a Marthary!
She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 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!” “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.” (Luke 10:39-42 NIV)