Are You a Mary or Martha in Your Relationships?

 

Are you struggling with Christian codependency? Answering these questions will help you determine whether you are a Mary or Martha in your relationships. In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus and his disciples were guests in the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet enjoying his company while Martha worked to make all the preparations to take care of the guests. When Martha complained, Jesus responded by saying, “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” (verses 41-42, NIV). Mary enjoyed her relationships. She could give and receive freely. She wasn’t compulsively focused on taking care of people. There would obviously be a time that the work would need to be done to feed and care for the guests, but from Jesus’ answer, it was apparent that Martha could only focus on the things she “had to do,” while Mary was able to let go. Answer these questions to figure out if you are a Mary or Martha in your relationships:

  1. Do you take care of people more than you enjoy your relationship with them?

  2. Are you focused on fixing people and solving their problems?

  3. Do you ignore your own needs in your close relationships by putting others’ needs before yours?

  4. Do you find yourself resentful toward others because you do so much for them?

  5. Are you burned out and tired from over-giving?

If you answered yes to these questions, you are a Martha. Jesus’ admonition to you is to step back and let others take care of themselves and begin to focus on your own needs. Stop being so worried about fixing everything and everyone. If you answered no to these questions, then you might be a Mary.

  1. Do you enjoy your relationships?

  2. Are you able to care for people while allowing them to take care of themselves and their problems?

  3. Do you take care of your own needs while also caring for others in a balanced way?

  4. Do you take responsibility for your choices without feeling resentful toward others?

  5. Are you rested and rejuvenated by your choices?

If you answered yes to these questions, you are a Mary. Jesus’ admonition to you is to continue caring for yourself while caring for others. You understand the need to enjoy your relationships while balancing your own needs. Christian codependency starts with the false belief that we need to always put others before ourselves and that we are responsible to take care of others. Are you a Mary or Martha in your relationships? Your answer determines whether you need to continue doing what is healthy in your relationships or begin to make changes.

 

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