Martha Worked, Mary Listened: A Bible Story Game for elementary kids. This game will teach your kids that like Mary, they have choices to make. Mary made the better choice of spending time with Jesus. Will your kids make right choices?
Martha Worked, Mary Listened: A Bible Story Game uses the classic game of “Telephone” to teach the important story in the Bible of two sisters named Mary and Martha.
I know! I know! I can hear many of you say, “So, what’s wrong with working hard? Is it so bad that Martha wanted to make things nice for Jesus? I think Martha got a bum rap.”
Well, I can sympathize with those thoughts. But if you take a little closer look at the passage, you will see that Jesus did not put Martha down for working hard. He was just pointing out that Mary’s rest at His feet was the better choice to make at that time.
We all have choices to make – even our children are faced with different decisions to make. So, how do we get them to choose what’s best, like Mary did? Maybe the answer can be found in Mary’s devotion to Jesus. Jesus told Martha that she was “worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42) I believe Mary made the better choice, because she was devoted to her Savior. Our children need to learn this same kind of devotion to help them make the best choices for their lives.
In addition to giving you a Bible game to help your kids learn about this great story, I also want to give you access to a Bible story song I wrote about Mary and Martha. This song is from Martha’s point of view and it might bring a few giggles as they realize how hard Martha was working.
And finally, I thought it would be fun to give you a few great Bible pictures of Mary and Martha from the public domain. I always love these vintage pictures and they can add a nice visual component of telling the story.
Bible Activity #1: Martha Worked, Mary Listened: A Bible Story Game
Have your group of children sit in a circle. Read the passage in the Bible as listed above about Mary and Martha. Talk about it for a bit, then say that everyone is going to have the opportunity to be just like Mary who made the better choice of sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to what He had to say. Tell the group that you are going to whisper a statement in the child’s ear sitting next to you. That child will then in turn whisper the same statement in the person’s ear sitting next to her. This will go around the circle. The last person in the circle will say the statement that was told to them and compare it with the original statement. Often, their ends up being funny discrepancies.
After the laughter dies down, say something like this: “The Bible says that Mary made the better choice. Let’s see if (Matthew) can make the best choice now.”
(Matthew) will be the last child in the circle to have said the statement. You will give him one of the scenarios and see if he makes the better choice.
Play the game all over again, but this time start and end with new people.
Choices to Make:
1. Tiffany’s older brother said that Mom and Dad did not want her to go to the picnic with them. Tiffany did not believe her brother and went to her mom to find out if her brother had lied to her. After talking to her mom, Tiffany found out she was right not to believe her brother. Knowing this, which choice is the best for Tiffany to make:
A. NEVER believe anything her brother says from this day forward.
B. Talk to her brother nicely and ask him why he lied to her, then forgive him.
2. Joshua never seemed to be content. He always wanted things he didn’t have. His uncle told him that he should be grateful for the things he does have and not worry about getting what he did not have. Joshua had learned in Sunday School that God wanted His children to be content with what they had, but Joshua was still frustrated and didn’t know what to do. Knowing this, which choice is the best for Joshua to make:
A. Ignore God’s teaching and pout and kick when he doesn’t get what he wants.
B. Pray to God for help in this area of his life and find a family member or friend to share his frustrations with when he gets overwhelmed.
3. Daniel called his cousin a bad name. Aunt Nancy heard what Daniel said and asked him to say that he was sorry for hurting his cousin. Daniel gritted his teeth, looked at his cousin, then quickly said, “I’m sorry!” Aunt Nancy frowned and said, “Daniel, you didn’t sound sorry for what you said. In fact you sound very angry. If you can’t sincerely apologize for what you said to your cousin, I’d like you to take a time-out and think about how you might have caused your cousin pain and pray for God’s help to have a heart of apology.” Knowing this, which choice is the best for Daniel to make:
A. Obey his aunt and do as she asked.
B. Walk away with a grumbling and bitter attitude.
4. Old Mrs. Hubble had a great backyard with an awesome jungle gym that the neighborhood kids liked playing on. Mrs. Hubble also had a strict rule about her backyard: no children were allowed when Mr. Hubble was not home. To help enforce her rule, she hung a little sign in her kitchen window that the children could see. One side of the sign had “Go” written on it, while the other side said, “Stop”. The children knew if the sign said “Go”, they were allowed to play in the yard. But today, there was no sign in the window at all. The kids didn’t know what to do. Knowing this, which choice is the best for the kids to make:
A. Assume that Mrs. Hubble forgot to put the sign in the window and play in the yard anyway.
B. Knock on Mrs. Hubble’s door to see if she is there and ask if they are allowed in her yard. If she doesn’t answer, they should assume that her yard is off limits for today.
5. Kelly and Katy shared a bedroom. Mom and Dad said that they could choose a new color to paint their room if they’d like. The sisters were thrilled! But what color should they pick? Kelly liked bright colors and Katy liked soft, pastel colors. How were they ever going to decide? Knowing this, which choice is the best for the girls to make:
A. Kelly and Katy could agree to take as much time as they need to decide on a color that both of them would like and have a willingness to compromise their tastes in color.
B. Kelly and Katy could choose to be stubborn about their desire of color and make each other feel miserable about each other’s choice.
6. Caleb was shooting some hoops at his neighbor’s basketball court, when suddenly he noticed something shiny sitting on the sidelines. It was 2 quarters stacked one on top of the other. Caleb quickly picked them up and slid them into his pocket. Just then, his neighbor, Logan, came out. He walked right over to where the quarters had been laying. “Did you see my 50 cents lying here, Caleb?” Logan asked. Knowing this, which choice is the best for Caleb to make:
A. Caleb could lie to his friend and say that he didn’t see them.
B. Caleb could reach into his pocket and give the 50 cents to his friend and apologize for taking something that didn’t belong to him and remember that Jesus does not want us to steal.
7. Haley’s little brother was always making some kind of craft to give their mother. Haley’s mom oohed and aahhed over his artwork every time. Haley would just roll her eyes at her mom’s silly appreciation. The truth was, Haley was jealous of her little brother. One day, her brother came in with a picture he had just completed. It was dripping with glue and getting the floor all messy. Knowing this, which choice is the best for Haley to make:
A. Haley could offer to help her brother clean up his picture and the floor so that they both could be a blessing to their mom, who loved them both.
B. Haley could make fun of her brother’s picture and make him feel bad.
8. Every night after school, Ben’s dad would help him with his math. But tonight, Dad was not feeling good. Ben had a math test that he really needed help on. He could ask his older brother to help him, but his brother liked to tease Ben and often made Ben feel like he wasn’t very smart. Knowing this, which choice is the best for Ben to make:
A. Ben should just forget about studying for this math test. He’ll do better on the next one.
B. Ben should ask his brother for help and remember that Jesus would want him to try his best. If his brother teases him, Ben can tell his brother to stop and explain that his taunting makes him feel bad.
9. In Sunday School last week, Emma learned that God hears everything that we say and even think. This bothered Emma a lot because lately she had been thinking a lot of hurtful things about her dad. Emma’s parents were divorced and her dad always seemed to be too busy to come and get her on their weekends together. Emma loved her dad, but right now she was really angry with him. Knowing this, which choice is the best for Emma to make:
A. Emma could pray to God to help her deal with her anger and she could be honest and tell her dad how she really feels. If he won’t listen, she could speak to her mom or someone she feels comfortable talking to, to help her get rid of her angry thoughts and feelings.
B. Emma could ignore the angry thoughts in her mind and tell herself that it doesn’t really matter how her dad acts.
10. Jennifer’s dad just lost his job. Everyone in her family was very worried. Her older sister was worried how her college bill was going to be paid. Her older brother worried that Mom and Dad wouldn’t be able to give him that new skateboard he had been asking for. Jennifer was worried that they might lose their house like her friend’s family did last year. Knowing this, which choice is the best for Jennifer to make:
A. Jennifer could just keep on worrying and forget about all the lessons she had learned about trusting in God.
B. Jennifer could set an example for her family by praying that God would give her family peace as well as a new job for her dad.
Bible Activity #2: Martha is Busy: A Bible Story Song
If you like this song and would like access to the downloadable version of this video, then click HERE to purchase the video for only $2.49.
Bible Activity #3: Bible Story Pictures for Mary and Martha
Here are four Bible story pictures found in the public domain that you can use to share the story of Mary and Martha. Just click on each link for the picture.
Bible Story Picture One
Bible Story Picture Two
Bible Story Picture Three
Bible Story Picture Four
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