Monday, May 27, 2013


From Scott Means:
You have probably heard the story of Mary and Martha dozens of times. (If you want to reread the account in Luke 10 click here.) As familiar as this story is, have you ever tried to apply this scripture to your marriage? 
On my blog, Journey to Surrender, I often explore ways in which spiritual truths translate into marital truths. After all, our relationship to Jesus as our bridegroom is a picture of what marriage is designed to be. How excellent is it that we get to be “married” to the one who designed marriage in the first place? 
So back to our story of Mary and Martha. There are two phrases in these verses that strike me as important in applying them to your marriage. 
Distracted with Much Serving
Verse 40 of Luke 10 says that Martha was “distracted with much serving” as she went about making preparations for their guest, Jesus. She was probably cleaning and preparing food and serving it, making sure everything was just right for their dear friend and honored guest. Mary, on the other hand, was satisfied just to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen intently, to share a moment of intimacy and connection with him.
It is so easy to let our crazy-busy lives drive us to distraction. Husbands and wives are busy serving in so many ways. Our children require a great deal of attention and emotional and physical energy. Our jobs are as demanding as ever as companies strive to do more with fewer employees. Church is another place where service, as important as that is, can leave us drained and distracted.  
All of this serving can leave your marriage without the intimacy that comes from simply focusing solely on each other. How often do you give your husband or wife your 100% full attention, without a hundred distractions competing for your thoughts and emotions? How often does your marriage get the leftovers, after you’ve poured yourself into everything else?
One Thing Is Needed
When Martha complains to Jesus that Mary should to get up and do her fair share, Jesus tells her, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.” Then he explains to Martha that “Mary has chosen what is most important.”
Do you regularly make your wife or husband your “one thing” or do you let the “many things” distract you and detract from the intimacy in your marriage? 
Just like focused time with Jesus fuels our intimacy with him, so is focused time with your spouse essential for marital intimacy.
I know there are many things competing for your time, attention and energy. I understand that completely. But you and your spouse are one, and that distinguishes your marriage relationship from everything else in your life. You aren’t one with your kids. You aren’t one with your boss. You aren’t one with your pastor or church. 
A 7-Day Challenge
I want to challenge you to try a “one thing” experiment over the course of the next week. 
During these seven days, I want you to spend some time each day letting your wife or husband be your “one thing.” It doesn’t have to be a long time, but it does need to be daily. You don’t have to sit at his or her feet, but you do need to give each other your completely undivided attention. Make this time all about your spouse and your marriage.
During this time, be sure to connect intimately in multiple dimensions. 
  • Spiritual intimacy can come in the form of praying together, sharing needs, sharing a meaningful verse or scripture, or talking about what God is teaching you in this season. 
  • Emotional Intimacy includes things like talking about your marriage, sharing the day’s best and worst moments with each other. If you need a little help in this area, download the “20 Questions for Romantic Connections” that I shared with you in my previous Marriage Monday post. 
  • Physical Intimacy is often the first thing to go when we are distracted and exhausted. Renew your commitment this week to make sexual intimacy a high priority. Maybe seven days in a row is completely out of reach, so go for 3 or 4. In addition, make sure to include a lot of physical touch, snuggling and kissing in your daily “one thing” time. 
In recent Marriage Monday posts, Brad, Kate and Beth have all made the case for making your marriage a top priority, second only to your relationship with Jesus.  
Today I’m asking you to take action by taking up this 7-Day challenge!
Be purposeful about settings aside time daily to focus exclusively on each other and on the intimacy in your marriage. My guess is that at the end of the week, you won’t want to stop!
Do you have some tips to offer for making a daily “one thing” connection in the spiritual, emotional or physical dimensions of your marriage?  I hope you will stop back by and share your experience with the challenge.


  1. Awesome post, Scott! It is way too easy to let all of the "other" things in life (some good, some not so good) take precedance over our spouse and marriage. We get caught in the Marta mindset. Love the 7 day challenge! Good, good stuff!

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