Bible

Discipleship: Duty or Delight?

Bible

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Biblical Womanhood series. Be sure to check out the rest of the series here.

I used to hate the question “what are your hobbies?” I don’t enjoying crafting, I don’t know about cool music and independent films, I think cooking is the worst, and I don’t even really wear jewelry, let alone make it. It was embarrassing for me to have to answer that my hobbies are “reading, learning, studying, and writing.” Yes, learning is my hobby. Lame.

Actually, I still hate that question. Because I feel out of place and like I don’t measure up to most of the women I know. * I mean you guys, I had to ask my mother-in-law to come over and give me cooking lessons! *

I have long tried to stuff what God has given me because it didn’t feel right when I compared myself to other women.

Most of the women I know love to cook.

Most of the women I know are mothers.

Most of the women I know think crafting is fun.

Most of the women I know can actually sew on a button.

Most of the women I know would rather meet friends for lunch than stay home and study Romans 9.

The reality is, my gifts and my personality make me more like a church planter than someone who will run the hospitality team. I have long tried to stuff what God has given me because it didn’t feel right when I compared myself to other women.

Even writing this I know that my “post” compared to the others isn’t as sexy or cool. It’s on discipleship for crying out loud, and who cares about that?!

But don’t we all do this? I look at the woman who delights to cook for her family and feel like a failure. She looks at the woman who delights to lead and teach and feels like she doesn’t measure up.

But let us not miss the wonderful privilege and honor that it is to sit at the feet of our Rabbi and learn from him.

I wonder if Mary and Martha ever struggled with comparison? Looking at one another and the way God has made them and felt like they should try and shake their God-given gifts in exchange for the others?

We all know the story of Mary and Martha; the busy one and the abiding one. We all read, feel guilt for being too busy, and take the proverbial slap on the hand to spend more time with Jesus. Maybe it’s played out, but I love this story.

To me, it is God’s way of showing there is more to biblical womanhood than being in the kitchen. What we don’t realize is that Mary, taking the posture of sitting at Jesus’ feet; she is taking the posture of a learner, of a disciple.

“38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)

Martha had the gift of hospitality and the gift of serving. Good gifts, God-given gifts, that she used faithfully to serve Jesus. But her gifts had distracted her and given her anxiety, because she had neglected the most important thing, sitting at the feet of Jesus.

This is such a beautiful picture to me that part of biblical womanhood is being a disciple, a learner, of Jesus. We will serve, yes. We will show hospitality and make meals to the glory of God. But let us not miss the wonderful privilege and honor that it is to sit at the feet of our Rabbi and learn from him.

Stop trying to wish away how God has made you to be more like Martha, but instead continue to choose the good portion.

To be a disciple. Mary recognized this honor, in a time when women are not allowed to learn this way. We live in a time where we as women can do whatever we want and still neglect our call as a disciple first. We

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will always feel that tug-of-war fight to serve over sit, to do rather than be, to hustle rather than learn.

So would we, under the umbrella of “biblical womanhood” recognize our gift and call to be a disciple. And if you’re like me, and consider “learning” a hobby, find comfort in someone like Mary who delighted in this more than anything else too. If you are passionate about biblical literacy or discipleship (again not cool or sexy), would you be comforted in Mary and Jesus’ commendation of her. Stop trying to wish away how God has made you to be more like Martha, but instead continue to choose the good portion.

 

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Melissa Danisi

About

Melissa Danisi is the Co-Founder of Self Talk the Gospel and serves at The Well Community Church, encouraging and equipping women by teaching God’s word and shepherding leaders. Her greatest passion is to see women walk in the freedom of the Gospel and grow in their love of Jesus through the study of Scripture, which led to writing bible studies on Ephesians, Philippians, Sermon on the Mount, Spiritual Disciplines, and most recently Genesis. She recently received her Master’s Degree in “Pastoral Care to Women” from Western Seminary and has been married to her very Italian husband since 2006.


  • Dorina Gilmore

    Great challenge, Melissa! By nature I love hospitality but over the years I have fallen in love with learning God’s Word and sitting at His feet. I even feel this growing passion for teaching women. Thank you for affirming that posture too!

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