The Full Martha
By Andy Allan
Sometimes I have to say stupid stuff out loud to hear how crazy I am.
“I feel like I’m the only one doing anything around here,” I said to my wife. My pregnant wife.
The moment I’d said it, I wanted to take it all back. I stood there wearing clothes she’d cleaned and folded, standing on the living room rug she’d vacuumed—all done during the third trimester.
Imagine saying something like that, but to Jesus Himself.
“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” Martha scolded—scolded!—the Savior of the world (Luke 10:40 NIV).
I’m actually grateful Martha spoke up. I’m not the only one who’s struggled with feeling unappreciated. Jesus responds to her by showing He understands her issues and invites her to reconsider her priorities. “You are worried and upset about many things,” Jesus chides, “but few things are needed—or indeed only one” (see verses 41-42).
Trying to work for her Lord, Martha missed out on connecting with Him.
Back to me. Why am I fixing, cleaning, serving? Am I attempting to earn a compliment or a kiss? Am I looking to my wife to give me validation that can only come from Jesus?
Ultimately, I need to prioritize connecting with the One who loves me perfectly, so I can serve my wife without expectations. And affirm her for all the things she does for me on the regular.
Jesus sees and knows everything we do—time spent connecting with Him reminds us of His constant love for us. We can read Jesus’ encouragement, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” in Matthew 25:23, and know He appreciates our efforts, too.
So, when our spouses don’t happen to notice our efforts, we won’t go all Martha on them.
The Good Stuff: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24)
Action Steps: Schedule some “appreciation time” with your spouse in which you take turns thanking each other for contributions you notice. Consider asking, “What’s something you did for me or the family this week that you’re proud of?”
Visit the FamilyLife® Website