I just have to laugh writing this article. See what you don’t know is this is probably my 5th or 6th attempt at this. But now I know it’s God’s timing. He likes to wake me up in the middle of the night with ideas and I had put off writing this post after the last attempt. I knew I would eventually write it one day but after my last attempt I was not going to try to force it again. It’s been one my heart to write this for the past year or so but I would almost finish and I just knew it wasn’t right. So then, the next few weeks I would go back and write a completely different version and the same thing would happen. Because, like a Martha, I was trying to do it all in my own time and my own strength instead of God’s. The last time I finally took it to God and I kind of realized I was still struggling too much with it. My victories with it had been huge to me but as I’ve discovered since then, they were only the tip of the iceberg. As I sit here now in the wee hours, I know I will continue grow and evolve in this process of letting go of my Martha and embracing my Mary.
After my last failed attempt, it kind of clued me in that I wasn’t quite ready so I started digging in and listening to sermons non-stop. And one day several months ago, I was listening to one of my favorite new preachers, Lisa Bevere. She talks a lot about how women were the answer to the very first problem in the Garden… it is not good for man to be alone (then she jokes “The Bible never says however it’s not good for women to be alone… just look at the spa, it is GOOD for women to be alone”, lol). Anyway, she goes on to explain how from there women were created to be answers and multipliers. Men who are married live ten years longer so we multiply life span and we obviously multiply decedents and so on. But then, in one of her sermons I heard the game changer… She said “But when women who are broken come into the equation, they don’t multiply. They divide!” I stopped and rewound that several times as it dawned on me that I was the broken one, not my husband. Wow what a bummer to be set outside of the situation for a moment to see that you have been the problem the whole time instead of the answer you were created to be and THAT is why things were difficult, not because your husband was the problem as you had originally thought. I’ve always been a little bit of a Martha but as I got married and really, when I had a child and the responsibilities went from little to huge, is when she really came out and strangled out any Mary I had in me. I took on the full load of doing everything and though I said (and I really thought) I asked for help, looking back, it was not asking in a way where anyone would want to help me. It was more like I tried to be super mom in my own strength and do it all and got overwhelmed and then I would bark at everyone else for not taking the initiative to help me. LOL, “Oh Martha, Martha, Martha!”
See, that’s the problem with Marthas: they think everyone else is the problem and it stops them from being the answer they were created to be. They cause division instead of fruitfulness. Don’t get me wrong Marthas aren’t all bad. They are efficient, effective, and they get things done honey! But that’s also what makes them think they are right! I would think “Well thank God I’m here, if I step out for a night this place goes to hell in a hand-basket. Kids are going to bed without brushed teeth, and there’s no diaper changes. Ugh, I just have to do everything around here. My work is never done!”. I even remember reading the Bible and always thinking, “How could Jesus be telling Martha she is wrong? She’s just trying to help and make sure everything gets done?!” LOL, you know you have a problem when you’re thinking the Son of God may be in the wrong.
So, I knew I was a Martha and I MIGHT be a little wrong in my thinking and attitude (by a little I mean a lot), now what? I continued to press in and seek healing and change my ways. I pushed aside Facebook and things that were taking my time and attention away and really used that time instead to seek God to show me how to be the answer he created me to be. I read books, I listened to Lisa Bever and Joyce Meyer on YouTube and I prayed out loud and made conscious decisions to change daily. Within a couple months my husband told me what a change and a difference he had noticed in me. That difference had inspired him to help out more and more around the house. As I was letting go of the control, Eric was picking up the slack. Isn’t God cool! All my years of backhanded comments, complaining, and digs didn’t do a thing to make him want to help out more around the house (in fact, it had the opposite effect). But when I laid myself aside and did things God’s way he naturally wanted to help. And all those years I thought if I didn’t keep everything in order and make sure everything was done right myself it wouldn’t get done. In reality, I was keeping anyone from helping me because I wanted to do everything myself so I could have the control and be the martyr (and the Martha). And it wasn’t just that, as I did things Gods way I began to receive a joy from doing the things I used to complain about having to do. I feel like God made it easier for me do not only do them but helped me to enjoy doing them and he blessed my time so that I could get more done and still have time to enjoy my family instead of feeling like their slave (as I used to see it. I know that sounds bad but I’m just being totally honest). Eric and I are a team now working seamlessly together, not divided.
I know other’s struggle with this, I’ve complained with them and they’ve complained with me. Marthas’ truly believe and intend to be doing the best for their family but they’re doing it the hard way. They’ve lost their joy and it’s become work. It can be so much easier and more natural if you let go of the control and do it God’s way. Submit to Him and lean on His strength and you will get so much more done and enjoy doing it! I promise you! But God can’t fix what you won’t let go of. You first need to come to the realization that you are in the wrong, not anyone else or any circumstance. And you need to make a conscious effort to change and do it God’s way. I really hope this helps anyone struggling with this because it robs your joy and it is not what God intended for you.
Lots of love,