Mary and Martha in the Bible – Balancing Life with Focus On God

by Funmi // in Faith

Mary and Martha in the Bible were two sisters who were close friends of Jesus. They must have been so excited to meet him in person and be able to talk with him, learn from him and spend time with Him.

Luke 10:38-41 tells of these sisters. One was a woman who focused on Jesus (Mary), while the other had many tasks to do at home (Martha).

The story weaves together two important lessons for our lives today. First, it's important to focus on God so that we can have peace as Mary did.

Second, it's important to find balance in all areas of life, not just with work but also with relationships, so that we can be truly happy like Mary was.

Today, many of us are like Martha in that we're so busy with all the tasks in front of us, but it's important to remember that there's no good life without balance, even for a woman who is focused on God (Mary). 

We must also be mindful of what needs to get done in our lives and work together as people of God to change the world.

Do you feel like your life is out of balance?

mary and martha in the bible

We all need to find a way to live a balanced life. It's essential for our mental health and well-being, but it also helps us be more productive in the long run.

But how do we know when we're living an unbalanced life?

You might not even notice that you're living an unbalanced life until something happens like you get sick or someone close passes away.

And then suddenly, everything feels off-kilter, and nothing seems right anymore. That's why it's so important to take care of yourself first before taking care of others; this will help make sure that you'll be able to take care of yourself and those around you no matter what happens.

In this blog post, we'll discuss how the Bible's story from Mary and Martha can teach us that it's important to focus on God.

We will also discuss how to find balance by helping others out when they need it or even doing something as simple as taking care of your own needs so you can be happy too.

How to apply the story of Mary and Martha in your life today

mary and martha in the bible

Mary and Martha lived in Bethany. Jesus was a frequent visitor to their home, so they were honoured when he would come and eat with them, raise Lazarus from the dead (John 11) or teach people about God's love for us all.

Martha didn't always see things the same way Mary did, and their relationship wasn't perfect, but they had a deep love for each other.

It's easy to see where this chapter was meant for those struggling with balancing work life and their spiritual lives or vice versa. 

With all that we have going on during a day, it can be hard to balance out what needs our most attention.

As time went by, Martha felt herself getting more and more frustrated with her sister because she didn't feel like Mary was helpful, but Jesus said - 

"Martha, Martha," the Lord said, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one." (Luke 11:28) This made Martha realize that God does not need anything from us other than our time listening to Him.

This story can be applied to your life with the idea that you may find yourself in a position where all of these things are going on, and it's hard for you to say what is most important, or maybe you just feel like is anything more important than any other thing at this point.

When we're caught up in the daily life of things, sometimes it can be hard to remember that we are only human and not capable of doing everything.

Remembering the story of Mary and Martha is a way for us to make time in our day for what matters most: God's Word so that He may guide you through everything else you're dealing with. When we listen to God, we can handle what He wants us to do with our lives.

The Importance of Balance in Life

mary and martha in the bible

Building a strong relationship with God is important for balancing life because it can help guide us through difficult times and make the most of happy moments.

When we spend time in prayer, take part in Bible studies, or share our faith with others, we are spending quality time building this relationship and being obedient to what Jesus has told us.

There is nothing that can compare to the peace and comfort of a deep relationship with God.

We can find hope in Him for every situation; we know He will never leave us or forsake us, no matter how hard life gets.

This strong faith gives meaning and purpose to our lives when everything else seems meaningless.

The moment we give control of our lives to Jesus, He begins to shape us into the person He created us to be.

As a Christian, it's important to remember that we are in His hands and not ours.

We have nothing to worry about because God will take care of all things for those who love Him (John 14:27).

There is a balance in life that we need to find. It's between spending time with the Lord and doing what He asks us to do while not forgetting about relationships here on earth for ourselves and others.

Learning how to say no will give space in our schedule for important things but are sometimes forgotten about because of the busyness of life.

Finding Balance 

mary and martha in the bible

Finding a balance between work, family, and other activities you enjoy doing outside of work or home life.

Work-life balance is a term that has become popular in recent years. It's not just an issue for parents, and it can be hard to juggle work and other parts of life too.

You may find yourself thinking about your relationships with friends or family members – how much you see them, who calls whom first when they're feeling down or happy.

You may think about your hobbies – are you doing them as often? Do you have time for those things that make life fulfilling and meaningful to you?

If this sounds like something significant to you, here are a few things worth considering:

This may not be an exhaustive list of work-life balance tips or suggestions, but hopefully, they offer some helpful starting points for you to consider.

Tip 1: Honoring what is most important to you. This is why we need to focus on God first and foremost - because He can give us the strength, peace and wisdom necessary for a balanced life.

Tip 2: Balance may look different for everyone based on their priorities. For some people, it might mean setting aside time each day or week that is work-free. It could also be about creating a work-life balance for your family.

Tip 3: Learn how to say "no" or when you need to delegate tasks appropriately and effectively. You may not be able to do everything that people ask of you, so learn the art of tactfully declining requests without feeling guilty about it.

Tip 4: Consider what might help with a healthier work-life balance. Do you need to be physically active more often? Maybe it's about eating healthier or getting enough sleep at night.

Tip 5: Consider scheduling time for yourself in your schedule – family members, friends and other activities do not have the right to infringe on that time without a conversation with you first.

Tip 6: This is when it's important to be courageous and take a risk. This may mean that you get out of your comfort zone, but the benefits can far outweigh what we know now. Do not let fear cripple you into a life without any growth or change. You are worth more than settling for something less just because it is safer.

Tip 7: You have a destiny that you must fulfil, and the way will not be easy, but it is worth every ounce of effort. Do not allow anyone to deter your progress or discourage you from following what God wants for you. Believe in yourself enough to know that anything is possible if we only follow Jesus' path for our lives.

mary and martha in the bible

Tip 8: Create a plan for what you want to do. Do not be afraid to fail or make mistakes, but also know that it's okay if there are things in life we cannot control. Find peace and comfort by focusing on God first and always!

Tip 9: Humble yourself and know that you are not perfect - we all have flaws, but in surrendering these to Jesus, He can give us a new start with a new purpose and direction.

It is so easy when life gets tough to let ourselves indulge in sin or take our sadness out on others around us; this only leads to a tangled web of problems and no actual resolution.

No matter the mistakes you've made or struggles you are facing, God will love you unconditionally.

His Word is full of hope and peace that we can find when it seems like all else has failed us (Psalm 46:11; Isaiah 26:20a).

When our hearts are filled with God's love, then we will not have any space for selfishness or anger.

We can let go of things that weigh us down and find comfort in Jesus when life gets hard.

Tip 10: When feeling overwhelmed - take time to pray by yourself. Consider asking others from your faith community regularly to pray for you. Seek out a Christian counsellor if need be, and know that it's okay to ask others for help with your struggles.

Tip 11: Jesus, the Son of God, says in Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. I will give you peace.

That's a promise that we can rely on and be comforted by. Look in the mirror. The person looking back at you is capable of dealing with all life has to offer.

Be courageous and take risks - this isn't about being perfect but finding purpose for what God wants to do through you.

Focus on God

mary and martha in the bible

We've all been there. Facing a mountain of tasks and expectations, feeling pulled in every direction to meet the needs or demands from those around us.

Coming up for air is hard when you can barely keep your head above water! We know this story well- it's about Martha and Mary (Luke).

But we're not doomed to a life of stress and anxiety, and we can find balance in our relationships with God just like Mary did. 

And I think it's worth pointing out that she didn't just "sit at Jesus' feet," as if she were merely a passive observer, but also helped prepare food for the family.

She worked alongside Martha, doing what needed to be done. The keyword there is needed to be done.

It was never about comparing who did what, but rather doing our best with the tasks ahead of us.

This is where it's essential to know ourselves and set boundaries to avoid an unhealthy life balance - like Martha being pulled in every direction or not leaving time for herself, family members, friends and other commitments.

We can't control everything, and there will always be things we can't change, but when we are grounded in our relationship with Jesus - like Mary was - then life becomes a little easier for us.

When we know that He has given us the strength to do what needs to be done, fear won't hold us back.

We can't be afraid to fail or make mistakes, but we also know that there are things in life that will always be beyond our control.

We need to remember Him in these moments and find peace and comfort by focusing on God first - like Mary did when she sat at Jesus' feet, listening attentively.

Focusing on God is our key to living life well and finding balance.

A short story...

mary and martha in the bible

There was once a family that had two daughters. They both grew up to be very strong and independent women, with the older sister incredibly talented in art.

The younger sister was content to stay at home and take care of her mother and father while also tending to their garden.

She felt that staying at home with her parents gave her more time to spend with them, talking with them, and preparing meals for them.

Her talent in gardening was the result of years of trial and error. She never thought about herself as being "greedy" because she treasured all the time she spent tending to her parent's needs; God provided as well for her needs by allowing for her caregiving to provide food for the whole family.

On the other hand, the older sister wanted to go out into the world and make her mark. She wanted to join a prestigious art school to become an artist that people would know by name eventually. It was her goal to become better than anyone else.

Both girls were strong and capable women with good intentions, yet they both had different goals in life.

The older sister's desire for success overshadowed the younger daughter's contentment at home. The elder sister gave up so much to get what she wanted- spending time with their parents, time in the garden, and much more.

She spent so much time in art school that she had no time for anything else. It was only when her younger sister reminded her of how much they missed each other, and their family missed them both, that she realized what she had lost to get what she wanted.

The older daughter learned from her younger sister that there are much deeper, more fulfilling things in life than just getting what you want at any cost.

She also realized how lonely she was without anyone to share the small everyday moments with or who would listen when she talked.

Keep these two sisters in mind as you live your life, do what's best for your family and friends while staying close to God too.

You will be able to find the right balance between work and home with more ease than any of the daughters did when they were younger."

The story doesn't suggest you sit at home and not do any work. You have to balance life with both things; you can't sacrifice everything for one thing.

Also, the story doesn't downplay the importance of success and career advancement.

People thrive on feeling a sense of accomplishment, but this story also wants to make sure you don't forget about the importance of what's most important in your life.

Some people might think that it's worth sacrificing anything for success or career advancement, but there are much deeper and more fulfilling things in life other than just getting what you want at any cost.

You should always do what's best for your family and friends while staying close to God too.

Focus on God, but also find balance by helping others out when they need it or even doing something as simple as taking care of your own needs so you can be happy too.

Final Thoughts on Mary and Martha in the Bible

mary and martha in the bible

The story of Mary and Martha teaches us that we should not be stressed and pulled on every side by tasks or expectations as Martha was. Jesus' words from the story - "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

If you needed to learn a life lesson from this story, it would be that we should not worry about the little things in life.

We need to prioritise what is important and take care of our own needs first.

It's easy for us to get so caught up in all the tasks at hand that we forget how much stress they're causing us or others around us.

But it's important to take the time to stop and find some peace with Jesus so we can get back on our feet again.

Jesus, the Son of God, says in Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. I will give you peace."

That's a promise that we can rely on and be comforted by. You can find comfort in your relationship with God for a balanced life as Mary did and know that Jesus will always have your back.

We have Jesus with us through thick and thin - so take a deep breath, put on some music that brings joy into your heart, and focus on God for a balanced life.

Check out more faith based articles here.




About the author 


Funmi is a Certified Functional Health Coach. She is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs transform from Stress and burnout so they can begin to thrive in their body and, by extension, their businesses.

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