Love. Real, passionate, unconditional…love. It’s what we all want. And Leah lived her life, desperately trying to earn it from Jacob. How sad.
What goes around comes around. Doesn’t it? Just as Jacob deceived his father, he was also deceived. We could argue that he had it coming. But poor Leah.
Genesis Twenty Nine is an interesting picture of a dutiful, going-through-the-motions kind of marriage. Jacob commits to Leah (as a means to get Rachel). He has children with her. And we can reasonably assume that he treats her respectably, providing a comfortable lifestyle. But it’s a business arrangement; not love.
Okay, Leah wasn’t beautiful like her sister. Maybe she couldn’t cook and her house was a mess and she laughed weird. Who knows. But I’m distracted by thoughts of the first marriage, the one God created in the Garden: one completed the other, they were “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” One flesh. Naked and unashamed. Perfect.
So sin enters the world, and love isn’t so simple anymore.
Hebrews 4:12 says that scripture “judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” As I read Genesis Twenty Nine, questions abound.
I love my husband so much. I’m committed to him and I want the best for him. But does he feel loved…really? Is our marriage more than a business arrangement…really? Am I so consumed, working for other things or people, that he feels second-best? Do I tell him I love him by the way I look at him…talk to him…act when I’m around him?
And the biggest question of all: Am I more focused on the love I give…or the love I get?
I don’t want a dutiful marriage – any more than Leah did. I want Adam-and-Eve oneness. God, show me where I fall short. Flood my heart with love, new and fresh. And help us to serve one another passionately…love one another unconditionally…forgive freely…laugh together often…and value the love in our marriage, far above the to-do list.