Women of the '90s: Martha and Mary

Much has been said about the contemporary woman's multiple roles—wife, mother, homemaker, employer or employee, and volunteer. To identify womanhood in terms of quantity of roles, size of family, income, or physical characteristics ignores the real essence of womanhood. So what does it mean to be a woman?

Two women among the friends of Christ Jesus are helpful to consider. Martha and Mary were sisters, and their brother was Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from death four days after he had been buried. At a different time, when Jesus came to their home to visit, Martha complained because Mary was not helping her prepare the meal. Mary had stopped to listen to Jesus teach. Jesus' response was particularly surprising, given the customs and expectations of women at that time. He said, "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:41, 42).

The fruits of the Spirit
April 7, 1997

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