Martha Isn’t a Villain, Mary isn’t Perfect, and We Need Them Both


If there’s many biblical women that Christian women like to talk about, it’s Mary and Martha.

Can you even count the number of books, studies, articles, podcast episodes, and every other form of media that you’ve seen and heard and read about these two women?

Those sit along a spectrum with some being wonderful, some being extremely problematic, and most existing in between. 

What we so often do to Mary and Martha in our examination isn’t so much *inaccurate* as it is *reductionist*.

We tend to villainize Martha, when Christ Himself was instead discipline her.

What we have in Scripture is a brief, limited snapshot of Christ’s relationship with two of His friends, and an exhortation for Martha for that moment.

We take that very limited, intimate snapshot and we caricaturize Martha into a busy body who never has “quiet time” or rests and Mary into someone who sits lovingly at Christ’s feet and never gets distracted

This couldn’t possibly have been the fullness of reality for these women, because humans are more than singular moments in their lives.

We *can* deduce a lot about their personalities from this moment, however, and because it was Martha who “welcomed Him into her home”, we know that she was hospitable, hard working, diligent, a good steward, and service oriented. 

Christ does not, in His exhortation, ask her to no longer be any of those things.

He, instead, encourages her to choose to commune with Him *in this moment*.

He is asking her to learn when to work and when to rest. When to serve and when to sit. When to host and when to fellowship.

And He asks us to do the same.

We know from all of the rest of His life and ministry and teachings that He expects us to work….Hard.

He expects us to diligently serve and to “welcome others into our homes” (and lives and businesses and ministries).

From Mary, Martha could learn to know when to put down the tools and look into the face of Christ…

And from Martha, Mary could learn when to get up from her beholding of Him and start reflecting Him…

He who worked, and served, and gave it all.

And, we can learn much from them both ❤

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