Valentine Day has just passed for another year. It is the day that cards, flowers and candy are sent to someone special as an Expression of Love.
For the most part, an expression of love has three components: To be accepted, to be appreciated, to feel that your needs are being met physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Being the hopeless romantics that most of us women are, it is our built in nature to want these 3 expressions of love all year long, not just one day out of the year!
Join me today in looking at a woman who, not only was overlooked on Valentine Day, but would you believe, the morning after her wedding night? Leah was her name. You can find her story in Genesis 29.
Leah heard voices outside of her tent, which she recognized as being her new husband, Jacob and her father, Laban. As she listened intently, she heard the most chilling words a bride could hear coming from her husband’s mouth: “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachael that I served you? Why then have you deceived me and given me Leah and not Rachael?”
You see, Jacob had bargained with Laban for Leah’s gorgeous sister, Rachael. He had even endured seven years of hard labor in exchange to marry her. As was the custom in those days, he waited in the dark tent after the ceremony for his bride to be delivered to him. What a shock to awake the next morning and find that plain-looking Leah had been substituted for gorgeous Rachel.
It’s easy to get caught up feeling sorry for Jacob. After all, a bargain is a bargain. But, put yourself in Leah’s position as she heard her husband and father discussing the situation. Here you see a picture of a father who was supposed to show affirmation, appreciation, unconditional love, and who was supposed to represent the very image of God to her, but had instead presented Leah as the “loser’s prize.” How would you feel about your new groom who was intimate with you, took what he wanted, but didn’t even recognize who you were until the morning after?
As Leah continued to listen to the two men talking, she heard them cut another deal. Jacob could marry Rachael, too, if he agreed to work for Laban another seven years. And so it was, one week after Leah’s wedding night, Rachael moved in. Can you imagine sharing your husband with your sister? Leah became the unloved and undesired wife.
Good news! “When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb; but Rachael was barren.” (Genesis 29:31)
The key words in that verse are The Lord Saw. He saw that Leah was not loved for the beautiful woman she was, so He compensated her with one of the greatest joys a woman could have - Motherhood.
In fact, the story continues with Leah producing 4 children for her dear old husband, Jacob. Sadly, all her efforts to gain Jacob’s love were fruitless. Jacob still had eyes only for Rachel.
Just like Leah, many women in our society go to great lengths to win or keep the love of a spouse or boyfriend, only to have their hopes fall by the wayside. Many children spend a lifetime trying to win the love and approval of their parents to no avail. It’s easy to become disillusioned about a relationship we desire to have, but not quite within our reach. We plot and scheme in order to achieve it, but just like Leah, it doesn’t work.
And so, if Valentine Day passed you by and you were left feeling unloved, unaccepted, and unappreciated by people in your life, The Lord Saw.
Today, God has a Post-Valentine message just for you.
You were made in my image.
I knew you before you were conceived.
I knitted you together in your Mother’s womb.
I am familiar with all your ways.
My thoughts of you are more in number than the sand.
I know when you sit down and rise up.
You are my treasured possession.
My plan for your future is filled with hope.
I am also your father and I love you as I do my son, Jesus.
I am your husband and best friend.
For in Jesus my love for you is revealed.
He came to demonstrate that I am for you not against you.
My son’s death was the ultimate expression of my love for you.
I gave up everything I loved so that I might gain your love.
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me.
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again.
And may I add, there is no amount of chocolate candy or flowers
that can top that.
You go girl!