If I were to ask you, “Why do you get up in the morning?” or “What determines your goals for the day?” or “What occupies your thoughts most of the time?” Where would your relationship with God fall on the list? Would Bible study, memorizing scripture, and prayer be a part of your answer?
Homemakers often get wrapped up in the practical, everyday needs of their families. They provide nourishing meals, keep the house clean, help their husbands, educate their children, and so much more. However, as important as these are, they are not to be the primary focus of the Christian woman.
Maybe we focus on these things because we feel it is our job, as homemakers to do so. While God does use us to meet the needs of our family, He expressly tells us to not allow our responsibilities to consume us.
Jesus issued this command, then followed up with a comforting and reassuring statement. “For your heavenly Father knoweth ye have need of all these things.” We can trust God to not only make provision for our family but to also order our steps as He uses us to do it.
MARTHA – NO TIME FOR A QUIET TIME
Do you remember the account of Martha and Mary? No doubt, Martha would have been known as “Proficient Homemaker of the Year.” She even seemed to judge Mary, who didn’t seem to be concerned about the things Martha felt were all-important.
The account in Luke 10:40-42 tells us: “Martha was cumbered about much serving.” Isn’t the word ‘cumbered’ a perfect description of Martha’s condition? She was cumbered, burdened, weighed down by the very things God had created her to do. However, in the midst of overwhelm, she knew where to turn.
As we read on, we see that Martha “came to [Jesus].” She knew He could relieve her of her current stress. However, she had already decided how He needed to do this: “[She] said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she come help me.” Isn’t this just like us? We have a burden, we turn to Jesus, and we then proceed to tell Him how he can relieve the burden we are bearing.
Rather than grant her request, Jesus identified the source of her struggle: “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things. . .” Furthermore, He gave her the solution: “but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
I find it interesting, and convicting that only “one thing is needful,” and that Mary had chosen “that good part.” What exactly was this one thing had Mary chosen to do?
MARY – MADE THE TIME FOR a quiet time
Mary had learned the importance of spending time with Jesus, listening to His word. Today, we would call this her “Quiet Time.” In contrast, Martha was troubled about the house and the food. Her focus on serving Jesus disquieted her and prevented her from doing what was needful, and that was to sit at Jesus’ feet.
I wonder how often we get so wrapped up in serving our families that we neglect the one thing that is needful? I know I have often been guilty of diving into the day’s tasks before taking the time to seek God’s direction for the day. Before I know it, I’m “cumbered about with serving.” This makes it difficult to find quiet time to sit at Jesus’ feet.
To be a truly proficient homemaker, we must spend time in God’s Word, seeking His will and direction for each day.
DAILY QUIET TIME
Our quiet time is the time we spend reaching out to God through Bible Study and prayer and listening for His answer. It is a time of refreshing and strengthening, a time to discern His will for the day. If possible, our daily quiet time should be the first item on our To-Do List. When we neglect spending time with God, we easily become entangled in the cares of our world and become weighed down with the demands of life. No matter what we’re going through in our lives, there is rest at the feet of Jesus.
It is during our daily quiet time that we get to know our Savior better. It can include Bible reading, prayer, meditation, Bible memory, devotional readings, singing hymns, and more. There’s no one “right way.”
To begin with, every believer should read God’s Word daily. How else are we to know God’s heart? Whether the goal is to read through the Bible in a year, or to simply read a little bit each day, there are several Bible reading plans available. If you need help knowing where to start, the “Back to the Bible” website is a great source for Bible reading plans.
Bible study requires more than simply reading a chapter or two, it also requires action. The Bible is “God’s Instruction Book for Life.” There are lessons within its pages for every situation we will face. When we apply these lessons to our lives, we gain wisdom to help us grow as Christians. James encourages us to “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers [readers] only” (James 1:22). When we fail to apply what we have read, we deceive ourselves into thinking all is well when it is not.
Another component of a daily quiet time is Scripture memorization. This helps us to remember what we have read in God’s Word. When we commit a passage to memory, it is ingrained into our hearts. This makes it is easily accessible to the Holy Spirit. He can then bring it to our remembrance when it is needed (John 14:26). In addition to this, hiding God’s Word in our hearts:
- Will keep us from sin (Psalm 119:11)
- Is profitable (1 Timothy 3:16)
- Corrects us, reproves us, and teaches us (1 Timothy 3:16-17)
- Lights our way and gives guidance (Psalm 119:105)
These are just a few of the many benefits of Scripture memory. To learn more, check out 20 Amazing Benefits of Memorizing Scripture, by Paul Chapman.
Meditation goes a step beyond reading and memorizing Bible verses. When we meditate on Scripture, think about what it says, what it means, how it applies to our lives. Meditation and memorization go hand in hand. As we repeat our memory verses, it gives us time to really think about the underlying message.
SINGING PSALMS, HYMNS, AND SPIRITUAL SONGS
Singing is yet another element of a daily quiet time. I wonder how many people sing during their time alone with God. God inhabits the praise of His people. While praise can be offered up without a melody, Scripture often speaks of voices being lifted in song. In fact, the word “sing” appears in Scripture more than 100 times. Mostly, it is in reference to God’s people singing praises unto the Lord.
Not only is singing a way to offer praises unto God, but it is also evidence of a Spirit-filled life. In Ephesians 5:18-19, we read, “be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (emphasis mine).
Last, but not least, is prayer. Since there is no set pattern for a Quiet Time, we can begin or end with prayer. We can also we can pray spontaneously throughout our time alone with God. Eventually, we learn to “pray without ceasing” as we open our hearts to God, listen for His still, small voice as we read His Word, and respond to what we hear.
So now we’ve come full circle. The demands of home and family make it difficult to find a “quiet time” to dig into God’s Word. Yet, a quiet time is essential to our success as a homemaker. This leaves us with a choice. We can continue to walk through life “cumbered about with service,” like Martha, or we can choose to “sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His word.” If we “choose the good part,” as Mary did, we will have a purpose for getting up in the morning. It will be to spend time with God and to learn of Him. In addition, we will have a definite goal in life – to obey God and bring glory to His name. Finally, as we learn to study, memorize and meditate on His Word, our thoughts will constantly turn towards God.
What about you? Are you a Martha or a Mary?
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