Thursday, May 23, 2013

Company Manners

You all know the story of the two sisters, Mary and Martha, from the Bible. Jesus comes to visit and Mary sits at His feet to learn while Martha serves the guests. Martha gripes to Jesus about her sister and asks Him to tell Mary to get up and help. Jesus rebukes Martha about all her worries. (Pssst...from firsthand experience I can tell you, it's a trust and control issue she's got going on there.)

Because of this story we have named the confused fretfulness that sets in before company arrives as Martha Syndrome. Though some Martha Syndromes have been known to persist through dessert, it usually is sublimated into what's known as Company Manners at the arrival of the first guest.

Pre-party Martha Syndrome

The guest have arrived!
Transformation complete!
Company Manners are those special manners we only use when people are over that we want to impress. We smile more, we certainly don't yell at the kids, and we tend to other people's needs quickly and graciously.

I hate Martha. She shows up and tries to ruin every party, but I'll tolerate her so that my family and I can enjoy the fruits of company and of Company Manners.

My in-laws were out visiting from Virginia for over a week and we kept our Company Manners up the entire time. It was amazing how smoothly everything went. There were no squabbles over chores, no fights among the siblings, no clamoring for attention. It was as if the house ran itself.

It made me wonder if most of my problems in keeping the family functioning were due to my everyday manners, the not-so-special ones I pull out only in front of my family. You know, the manners that allow a bit of impatience to show when a needy family member interrupts me. The set of manners that allows mom to yell, "THERE WILL BE NO MORE YELLING IN THIS HOUSE!!"

If I know that a big part of the reason I enjoy company so much is the Company Manners, if I love the check on everyone's behavior that comes from having company, and if having a beloved guest brings out the best in me, why, oh why won't I treat Christ as my beloved guest every day? He is here, watching every little fall and stumble from grace. I have personally invited Him into my life and yet, while He's here, I treat my family (His very children), as if He weren't even there. Christ and my family deserve my Company Manners every day.

Would you please pray for me that I treat Him at least as well as I treat my Mother-in-Law?


This has been a Wifey Wednesday post. For an even more Wifey Wednesday click on over to To Love Honor and Vacuum!

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