Week 1 – What is Better
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World
Ch. 1: A Tale of Two Sisters & Ch. 2: “Lord, Don’t You Care?”
Before we begin our study, let’s take a good look at the passage that the book is based on. It’s amazing that an entire book can be written about just 5 verses of scripture, but this isn’t just any piece of scripture. This passage speaks to the very nature of a woman’s psyche and, next to Proverbs 31, it is probably one of the most quoted and debated passages in woman’s circles.
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 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.”
Which sister do you relate to in this scenario? Are you a proverbial Mary or Martha? I am most definitely a Martha, and since you’re joining me for this study – or at the very least, reading this post – I’d guess that you are too. More than anything else in the first two chapters of this book, I hope you come away with the understanding that there is hope for all of us “Martha’s.”
Joanna points out that Jesus didn’t say “Why can’t you be more like your sister, Mary?” In that pivotal moment in biblical history, Jesus shows his unending grace and understanding of human nature. Just like each of us is very different, He knew that these two sisters were as well. There would be no point in simply telling Martha that she needed to be “more like Mary” when He created her to be different because she had her own, very distinct role to play in God’s greater plan.
For me, this was a very comforting realization to come to. It is so easy to get caught in the comparison game. I’d be embarrassed to tell you how often I compare myself to other women of God – even my closest friends – and think “If I could only be more like her.” God has created each and every one of us to fulfill a different purpose in His plan. He has given us each strengths and talents that others lack.
This book is not a how to manual for transforming yourself from a Martha to a Mary. Instead, it is meant to teach us how to find what is better just as Mary did that day. What exactly is “better” you might ask – it is as simple as finding intimacy with Jesus just as Mary did that fateful day 2,000 years ago.
Martha struggled to see the importance of spending time with her house guest since there were so many preparations to be made. What brings out your inner Martha? What is it that stands in the way of your intimacy with Jesus?
Kristin is a wife and mother of two fur babies, who lives in Wheeling, WV. She has a passion for Jesus and reading, which she put together to found the Biblical Wives Book Club. She seeks to encourage other young wives to maintain strong, Christ-centered marriages through a community of women who support each other as women of God.