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!|
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?
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