Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A revelation (of sorts)

I've spent some time being a bit troubled/ confused/ frustrated by the story of Martha and Mary in the Bible.  Go here for the King James Version but for the lazy among us I'll give you the Tic- Tac version.  Jesus was in the home of Mary and Martha teaching.  Martha was working to get the home ready for the guests that were sure to come while Mary sat and listened. 

I've always identified with Martha.  After all elves don't exist (don't tell my kids) so someone has to cook the food and clean the house and and and...

After Martha complained to Jesus about her "lazy" sister, He told her that Mary had chosen the better part.  What?!  Now those of you that are more spiritually mature than me are shaking your heads but I just didn't get it.  All I could see was Martha being chastised.

Until now.  I get it.  Finally.  Let me lay it out for you (disclaimer:  I'm not a scholar, just a woman trying to make sense of life).  Martha was doing what needed to be done and that's okay but sometimes there is a better choice.  Mary knew that the Savior wouldn't always be there to teach and she was soaking up the time she had, to sit at his feet and learn.

Sometimes I am so busy taking care of my family and doing the things that I want to do that I forget to savor the moments.  My children won't always be under my roof (cross your fingers) so shouldn't I take a few minutes here and there to listen to and enjoy them?  I love my husband, I like being around him and okay, I sorta lust after him but do I tell him that?  Not always.  I'm usually too busy keeping all the spinning plates going because heaven forbid I go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink or put my book down before I finish!

So there you go.  Finally after years of cringing when reading those verses or trying to pick a fight with the Marys of the world (mature, I know) I finally get it.  My family is the better part.  They come first.

I choose them.


  1. An excellent revelation! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. You did not ask for this in any way, but one of my favorite interpretations or observations about the Mary and Martha story is by Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer of the seventy:

    "We may often find ourselves making quick judgments about people, which can change or redefine our relationships with them. Often incorrect judgments are made because of limited information or because we do not see beyond that which is immediately in front of us.

    By way of illustration, the story is often told of the time when Jesus visited the home of Mary and Martha, who lived in Bethany with their brother, Lazarus. It was a welcome place for the Master, where He could rest and enjoy the surroundings of a righteous home. During one of His visits, Martha was busy preparing a meal and Mary elected to sit at the Master’s feet to receive His instruction.

    “But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? …

    “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

    “But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

    Many Sunday lessons have been taught using this story which have cast Martha in a lesser position in terms of her faith. Yet there is another story of this great woman, Martha, which gives us a deeper view of her understanding and testimony. It happened when the Savior arrived to raise her brother, Lazarus, from the dead. On this occasion it was Martha whom we find going to Jesus “as soon as she heard” He was coming. As she meets Him, she says that she knows that “whatsoever [He would] ask of God, God [would] give [Him].”

    Christ then shared with Martha the great doctrine of the resurrection, saying:

    “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

    “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”

    She responded with her powerful testimony: “Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”

    How often has Martha been misjudged as being a person who cared more for the deeds of doing than for the Spirit? However, her testimony in the trial of her brother’s death clearly shows the depth of her understanding and faith.

    Many a sister has often heard the first story and wondered if she were a Mary or a Martha, yet the truth lies in knowing the whole person and in using good judgment. By knowing more about Martha, we find she was actually a person of deep spiritual character who had a bold and daring testimony of the Savior’s mission and His divine power over life. A misjudgment of Martha may have caused us not to know the true nature of this wonderful woman."

    I think as women we often misjudge ourselves when we catch ourselves in the Martha role, and we forget how often we have chosen the better part and been faithful. You are an amazing and strong woman!


I wanna hear what you have to say, so write. Pretty please.