Monday, March 18, 2013

The Nature of Love

Posted by Michael

It’s difficult to imagine a woman being placed in a worse relational situation than Leah had been (Genesis 29). Begin with her wedding day, which should have been a day of celebration, only those attending thought they were celebrating her sister Rachel instead of Leah. A day that for most women is filled with excitement and laughter was for Leah a day of embarrassment and fear .What sort of message does it send to a young girl when her father feels that deception is required to find a husband for her? Things only got worse for Leah, rather than waking up on the first day of her married life to the love of her husband, she awakens to his shock and outrage (Not that Jacob can be blamed, he was expecting a completely different person in his bed). Her father Laban seemed to believe it was more important for Leah to be married than to be loved.

In spite of her father’s treachery, Leah appears to have been resilient. She set about making the best of her situation, which was no easy task. God saw her condition and how she was despised and in his mercy blessed her with children. She bore four sons in succession. Each son, she hoped, would win her the love of her husband. The birth of her first son brought no change in her home. After the birth of Reuben came Simeon and with him a renewed hope that this at last would win the love she so desired. It did not. When her next son arrived, she named him Levi, meaning “attached”, hoping this would finally attach Jacob to her. Her marriage remained unchanged.  It is only with the birth of her fourth son that we see a change take place, but not in Jacob or in her circumstances, but in Leah herself. As she named her next son Judah, she exclaimed in both resignation and defiant hope, “This time I will praise the Lord”. Leah discovered one of the most important truths of life: that love can not be earned, only accepted. When she could not win the love of her husband, she turned to God who gave  His love freely to her, and there she was able to find contentment. 

1 comment:

  1. At the risk of sounding like a total weirdo, the story of Leah is my very favorite one in the Jesus Storybook Bible. In terms kids can understand, this concept is highlighted.

    The first time I read it to El Kiddo I literally had to choke back tears as he said, "Mom, that is crazy. Leah was awesome, how could her husband not love her?! I'm so glad God loved her." Thankfully, we read at bedtime so I was able to slip out of the room and have myself a good cry. One of the greatest lessons I've ever learned in my life is "I'm so glad God loves me." Especially on those days when it feels like no one else does.