Poor Martha. She always gets such a bad rap for “being worried and bothered about many things” (Lk. 10:41). She was a doer, perhaps a slightly Type A personality (though, not all of us Marthas are actually complete Type As).
Though many people skip over it, previous verses indicate that “MARTHA welcomed Him [Jesus] into her home.” (emphasis added) Not “Martha AND Mary welcomed Him.” Just Martha welcomed him. She was the hostess who was presumably doing things like making the meal, setting out the food, filling drinks, keeping up with everyone’s things, cleaning off dirty feet, etc.
We Marthas know that we are worried and bothered by many things. We see the overflowing trash, the mess on the floor, the sink full of dishes, the dirty laundry, the toilet that needs scrubbing, the sticky fingers on kids. We are the ones doing the majority of the chores and keeping the household in order. We take action, get the job done, and our love language is most likely “acts of service.”
We’re also the ones who get stressed out when visitors are coming over to the house – not because we have an “image” to uphold or that we are trying so much to “impress” the guests. But, more because we want everyone to have a pleasant experience. We want the food to satisfy, the seats to be comfortable, the drinks to be cold, and the friends to feel at home.
But, we feel like we get a bad wrap thanks to this particular verse in Luke’s gospel. Read More
I was just so tired. Normally I try to pray before I get out of bed because I know I am just so selfish that if I make it to my feet, I will be all about my crap and ignore God. But I was just so tired, I couldn’t think straight. I decided a nice cool shower would wake me up. After I stepped in and my head cleared, I was reminded of all the people I promised I would pray for. I turned my attention from soap and scrubbies, and turned my mind to God in prayer.
I brought to mind my friend who I said I would pray for. Immediately I was aware that I was naked and praying/thinking about my friend.
My friend wasn’t standing there. I hadn’t really even brought to mind my friend’s face, but just praying for my friend while I was in a “natural” state was way, way strange. I was overcome with weirdness and quickly turned my attention to a more general intention.
Why was this so weird? Two answers come to mind. First, I don’t normally think about other people when I am naked. Usually, I think about becoming un-naked. Second, prayer isn’t the same thing as just thinking about someone. There is a certain intimacy that comes with prayer. When we offer up a friend in prayer, we aren’t just bringing them to our own mind, but we are bringing them to God. Sharing in God is sharing in the total communion of
Hey, if dancing in his birthday suit was good enough for King David… (2 Sam 6:14-22)
the Trinity. If God himself is relationship, when we bring our friends into that relationship, we too get closer to them through God.
Near the end of my shower I realized I probably shouldn’t be so self-conscious about praying naked. God has seen me naked enumerable times. He loves me even when I am drenched and in the buck. Maybe it wasn’t the deepest, most contemplative prayer of my life, but as Peter Kreeft likes to say, “Less-than-perfect prayer is infinitely better than no prayer; more perfect prayer is only finitely better than less perfect prayer.” (Read more from Dr. Kreeft here) If we are going to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17), then sometimes prayer is going to be awkward and maybe even naked.
Note: This is part 1 of a 3 part series on morality in teens – introduction & explanation can be found here.
We want to be independent. Or rather, we think we want to be independent. But in reality, none of us wants true independence – we want others to depend upon us, and we want others to be there for us to depend upon. Though we have this romanticized view of independence, we don’t really want that.
And neither do teens. More than us, probably, they want to feel a part of something – they want to know they’re not going it alone.
More than teens realize, and more than adults know – teens need us. And I don’t mean that we are needed for our money or housing or food or clothing. I’m talking about being that reliable, safe, trustworthy, accountable, old-steady, even-steven sort of partner for a teen.
Teens need at least one adult they can rely upon and trust.