Genesis: Day 18

Rachel & Leah

by

Today's Text: Genesis 29:1-35, Genesis 30:1-43

Text: Genesis 29:1-35, Genesis 30:1-43

I sincerely hope that by the time you’re reading this, we’ve all recovered from the awkwardness of the 2015 Miss Universe pageant. It’s going to take me a long time, you guys.

As if the annually televised Parade Of All The Things I’ll Never Be isn’t devastating enough, it was even more painful this year. For those of you who avoided the spectacle, I’ll recap:

The winner is announced and her evening gown glistens with each step as she makes her way toward the crown. She cups her hands in a gasp-turned-princess wave as the tiara is placed on her head. This is her moment! Her country’s flag is raised high, waving proudly, as I pick up the remote to change the channel. But just when her pride has risen as high as my jealousy, something shifts and the emcee returns to the stage.

“Folks,” he says. (You know something is wrong when someone starts a sentence with the word folks.) “I have to apologize.” He then admits to confusing the awards of the first place winner and her first runner-up. The wrongly-crowned beauty queen must now give up her crown and sash, watching as her country’s flag drops. The former runner-up then takes her first step as Miss Universe, her gown sparkling in the light. One hand waves rapidly while the other touches the tiara that now sits atop her head, and our eyes move frantically back and forth between the woman who was chosen and the one who was not.

Rachel and Leah both knew what it was like to be labeled the runner-up. They were familiar with the cycle of feeling wanted, unwanted, and eventually forgotten.

Rachel was wanted by Jacob, but his union with her “ordinary-eyed” sister Leah made her feel confused and unwanted. Once Jacob worked seven more years for her hand in marriage, Rachel was unable to bear children the way Leah could, leaving her feeling forgotten.

Leah was unwanted by any potential husbands, so her father tricked Jacob into marrying her. She was wanted for the child-bearing abilities her sister lacked, but when she had to share a husband who didn’t love her, she was eventually forgotten.

Whether lamenting from lack or watching someone else be crowned with abundance, it’s easy for me to slip into the same cycle of questioning my worth.

Like us, these sisters were living in the inexplicable tension of blessing and suffering. In seasons of feeling wanted, I wonder if they waited for the other shoe to drop, for their circumstances to swing back into forgotten territory. In times of being passed by, I imagine they questioned whether relief would ever come, watching blessing overflow everywhere except their own cup.

Leah tried to create her own relief through her children:

She named her first son Reuben—meaning “I’m seen”—but remained invisible.
She named her second son Simeon—meaning “I’m heard”—but appeared silent.
She named her third son Levi—meaning “I’m attached”—but stayed isolated.

Through her sister’s eyes and the world’s standards, Leah was wanted. But by her husband’s affection, she was forgotten.

This story makes me squirm for many reasons, but mainly because it is mine. It’s ours.

It’s the empty seat at my family dinner table, and the newborn down the street.
It’s the lost job in your friend circle, and the wedding photos on social media.
It’s our not-knowing-what-to-say silence and our oblivious too-close-to-home remarks.

It is the very real tension of blessing and suffering. It is our chance to enter into the mess of humanity and receive the hope of the Gospel.

This story doesn’t inspire us to be like Rachel or Leah, or even give us a piece of advice during our wanting and waiting. Instead, it pulls us into a mess, similar to the ones in our heads and on our hearts, and shows us the only true resolve is Christ.

God loves the unloved by giving her a forever bridegroom (Isaiah 54:5).
He crowns us with the title of Beloved (Romans 9:25).

Leah’s story wasn’t neatly wrapped with pithy takeaways and easy solutions, but the name of her fourth son, Judah, tells us everything we need to know. It means “This time, I will praise the Lord.”

May we, the beloved of the Lord, do the same. Amen.

SRT-Genesis-Instagram18s

  • I lived many, many years longing for acceptance and love, by doing and serving in all my relationships. Through a crushing experience in my marriage, I now know of God’s acceptance and faithful love. Your statement this time I will praise the Lord spoke to me because I am reminded of how God pursues me and is calling me out of that fear of rejection, to be the Beloved.

  • RT Kendall has a wonderful video on youtube entitled The Unloved Woman. It is a super message and reflects on this biblical story! May it bless you… if I knew how to list the link I would- my apologies!

    • Michelle

      Thank you for the link. I watched it and wept when I realized Jacob requested to be buried with Leah. Gods plan A might be our plan B . He loves you and works all to your good.

  • Kasey Summers

    So overwhelmed that I am HIS. I am THE Beloveds’ beloved. I am His bride. He chose me. He grabbed me out of the pit. I am so thankful that know matter what happens I am His. Sometimes I get anxieties about the “What ifs” in life. I get scared about what could happen in the future and this robs me from the joy that Jesus purchased for me on the cross. The Lord keeps bringing up Philippians 4:6-7 to me. To move my worrying into prayer and then prayer will give me His peace that is unwavering I am His child and I will rest knowing that He has a fire set around me- protecting me (Zechariah 2:4-5). If ________, then God. He has always got me. Always has and always will. He is the anchor of my soul and I can be confident that He is a Good Good Father. I have to remind myself of these truths all the time. He is more than enough.

    • Amy

      Thank you, Kasey! I too suffer from the What If’s… Brilliant… If ______, then God! He has me… Thank you for such an applicable reminder! :)

  • Oh boy. This really is OUR story too. Such a hard one to swallow this morning. I too took matter into my own hands because I was impatient and felt God had forgotten me. At 33 I was still single and feeling like God wasn’t hearing my plea or answering my prayers fast enough (if at all). I decided to “trick” a man who had deep affections for me (even though I did not truly love him at all) into having a child. I wanted to be a mom and I didn’t care who I had to hurt in the process. It’s so shameful and embarrassing to type this even now. Going against everything I knew to be “right”, I got pregnant. I was happy and felt gratified but immediately shut out the father (in Heaven and on Earth). I had a beautiful baby girl, but God made sure HIS plan prevailed. My daughter has severe developmental delays and I was forced to move 4,000 miles back home to live with my parents to have help caring for her. I’m feeling the struggles of Leah and Rachael but I know that God still hears me, still sees me, and still loves me. Now, I prayerfully wait on HIS further instruction. His will be done. Thanks for all your insightful comments.. They really help me feel better!

    • Katie

      Hi Elaine, I can relate to your feelings of being forgotten and I am praying for you and your daughter.

    • Jen

      Elaine, thank you so much for sharing. You’re showing so much trust and love in God’s goodness, forgiveness and redemption.

  • Tamara B

    I’ve noticed that all of the readings the last weeks I mosly think, “why do they do this or that”, “why is’nt God mad at them”, “why is He so forgiving?” Like Abram twice! telling that Sara is his sister. Or Rachel being jealous, or Jacob not loving both as much,…
    Its hard for me to not judge but to look at my own life. Do I make mistakes more than once? Are my faults smaller than theirs? I do write down valuable lessons, but on the other hand it doesnt struck me so hard that I stop judging. Working on it.
    The study is giving me a whole new way of reading trough these passages though. Great work SRT and thanks to everybody who adds value by adding a comment!

  • oyinade

    It’s so wonderful to know that when the sheep gather by the well, d shepherds roll off the well stone and give water to the sheep( Gen 29:1-3) ain’t that wonderful! the Lord knows when i have a NEED and because He is my Shepherd, I shall not Lack… (Psalm 23).

    Leah needed to be married but there was no suitor. God used her father to give her a husband (although deceitfully – Jacob also took Esau’s blessing deceitfully – so i never forget that ‘ what goes around comes around ). Jacob served Laban for seven years to have Rachel which was just like a few days to him – now that’s LOVE). Another seven years again just to get what he wants – PERSISTENCE (Gen 29:20-30)

    However, God saw that Leah was unloved by Jacob so he opened her womb while Rachael was barren. IMPATIENCE made her give her maid to Jacob to bear a child on her behalf. (Gen 30:3-8) Leah thought if Rachael is doing it- i should also do it -since i have ceased child bearing- COMPETITION and so she gave her maid to Jacob also to bear a child by him(Gen 30:9-13)

    One day, Rachel needs mandrakes (brought home by Reuben – Leah’s first son) and Leah asks for something in exchange(Jacob also asked for Esau’s birthright in exchange for his pottage) an AGREEMENT is reached and Jacob gets to sleep in Leah’s room that night. Phew! She conceived and had more children. (six sons and a daughter)

    Then God REMEMBERED Rachel and she conceived and had Joseph. Wow!

    Do you have a NEED?
    Don’t forget you have a SHEPHERD
    Even though it takes some time
    Don’t forget – there’s time for everything
    Be PATIENT !
    Be PERSISTENT – speak it and act it
    But watch your attitude – what goes round comes around
    Envy no one
    LOVE yourself and everyone around you
    Beware of COMPETITION- your ‘ manual ‘ is different from mine
    Never you ‘do it’ because others are ‘doing it’
    Let the Holy Spirit be your guide
    Think deeply before you make AGREEMENTS
    GOD WILL NEVER FORGET YOU!

    HALLELUJAH!

    Thank you SRT.

  • Christine

    I think one of my favorite things about this story is that, ultimately, despite being unloved and unwanted, Leah was the one who was chosen to bear God’s covenant. Rachel’s son was used by God to save his family from death and famine but their ultimate salvation, and ours, came through Leah.

    My entire life has been a story of heartbreak, grief, longing, and learning how to wait with an open hand for God to reveal His purpose in my life. At last, He has done so. Because of “being forgotten” I now understand hurt, pain, and brokenness. I cherish the blessing of joy much more. I look forward to the call and joy to come with a soft, joyful expectation. It is good. Being Leah was hard. Being Rachel was hard. In the end God met and remembered both of them. In the end they were both used to further His kingdom in different ways. I take this lesson and I walk forward knowing that the answer lies in the fullness of His time and that there is always an end to my waiting.

    He does remember. We are not left forsaken. He ensures that we are filled.

  • Kinsley Zehmer

    This is such a beautiful passage and story. I have felt like “the Leah” in my family for years because I compare myself to my twin. I do not feel as smart as her and she has better test scores. This feeling of comparison challenged my faith for years. This past summer I finally was able to completely and totally praise the Lord in every aspect of my life. Now as my sister and I get to this point in our senior year in regards to college acceptances, I am praying that the Lord gives me peace over where we both get accepted and decide to go, because ultimately God’s plan for our lives is more intricate and beautiful than ours can ever be. I am blessed by the life long friendship that God has given me in my twin. :)

    Here is a song that has been on my heart today that relates to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrSJwO5dJXg.

    • A

      May you know that you will never be repeated in this life and He crafted you to give this world only something you can give it. Never forget this… Your sister is a gift in this life and I can only imagine how uniquely beautiful he has created you both- body, mind and soul. Celebrate that you have a sister to navigate this life with- another one of our Beloved’s gifts to you both. Shine on…

  • Michelle

    This post is so sobering because I struggle all the time with not being married. I have been dating my boyfriend for a year and a half and it’s heartbreaking to see many of my friends already married. I have known my boyfriend for seven years and most of my friends are “met and married” in under three years. I am constantly jealous that they can make this decision together when I feel like marriage is so far off it’s barely visible. This passage reminds me that comparing myself to others does NOT win any battles, it just drags them on. I have learned this slowly and painfully but I know that God is working in my life to give me the best He has for me, which is better than anything I can compare it to.

    • A

      Michelle- Trust in God’s provision. Marriage is not without its challenges and to have God’s will done in your life far outweighs a partnership that may not be His will. Finding completeness in Him and awaiting His best can be trying; however, the only path to real fulfillment married or not. We are all wired for some reason to want what we do not have. To center yourself in Him and to ultimately Trust Him is where true peace lies. The story of Leah and Rachel may have been a means for God to reach out to you today so you draw nearer to Him. He has His best in store for you! His love abounds- may you find true contentment there.

    • Christine

      Michelle — My story is so similar to yours but yet still very different. I know the waiting that you speak of. In recent weeks I have been blessed to understand my story. My seasons. This season of waiting is preparing me for the next step of entering into a multicultural marriage and starting a life with this man, in his country, as a missionary. Every moment of waiting, longing, and loneliness is preparing me for this.

      Trust your story to Him. Hold it in an open hand. Like Leah and Rachel’s story, yours too will be met with fullness in God’s time.

  • As I was reading this month, part of me felt like all the men were speedo coal because they took on wives that were beautiful. I just love hat although Leah may not have been known for beauty, her legacy lives on because she was able to praise God ultimately in her disappointment. She found true joy.

  • “For the mess in our heads and hearts, the only true resolve is Christ”. OH how I needed this today! My head and heart have been in separate-yet-intertwined messes all weekend! Living very uncertainly, unsure of our future, managing hurt around me like it’s my job — the only resolve for all of this is Christ. Oh, that we would set our eyes on Him, not swaying to the right or to the left but just keeping our eyes on CHRIST.

    Thank you, SRT, for highlighting the messier stories in the Bible, as I’m sure all of us can find ourselves in each and every character on all the pages of this perfect book full of imperfect people. Thank you.

  • To me, Leah seems like such a real Bible character. I can completely imagine all of the shame, embarrassment, and insecurity she probably felt. But amidst all of this, she set aside the awkwardness that had been her life and determined to praise the Lord, which is exactly what she was created to do. It’s what we are all created to do. In the awkwardness, waiting, and confusion, we can praise Him! And the fact that this child Judah, born out of praise to the Father, was the one whose line the Savior was born out of is just remarkable. I also absolutely love that God chose Leah’s son, not Rachel’s, to be Jesus’ descendent. It is like He was showing Leah, “I see you, I hear you, I am with you.” What love and grace!

    • Tamara B

      Never thought about Judah being Leah’s Son.. Untill now I mostly thought about Joseph in this story, never really looked at the others around him. But although Joseph ‘saves’ his people by bringing them to egypt, he indeed is not the one the Savior was born out..

  • “Rejection is God’s protection.” As a single 33 yr old who has constantly looked for love in all the wrong places, I am profoundly empathetic toward Leah. The sting of someone not returning your deepest feelings can really tear up your insides! I’ve said over and over “I just want to find the great love of my life” and it wasn’t until recently that I finally realized I already have Him! What a revelation. After a number of unavailable men and being treated poorly, I’ve had a man by my side who knows my deepest doubts and dreams and accepts me for who I am. I’ve had the love of this man all along! While I really do want to get married and start a family, I am focusing my energy in seeking Him first. <3

  • Having had issues with self-worth since a very young age, I can relate to Leah. It has taken me years of heartaches and self-destruction to come to the realization that God loves me just the way I am. I am his child and nothing that has happened in my life or that people have told me that can negate this fact. It is so easy to fall into the trap of feeling unworthy or lacking in some way especially in these times of social media where people parade all the wonderful things that are happening in their lives. Yet, I know that I am love by the only one that matters. What a beautiful realization to come to know God as my Lord and Savior! I believe in his promises of a hope and a future and I am waiting on him and no one else or nothing else. Praise God!

  • Maria Baer

    This story, like others we have been reading remind me that everything happens according to God’s timing and plan. How many times have the women in these stories have taken things into their own hands to try to force a blessing only to make things worse. Can’t have a baby? Give my servant to my husband. Let’s be honest– we see today the repercussions of Sarah’s trying to make a promise happen. It really makes me think about the times when I try to control a situation to find “happiness” only to make it worse. In the end it is about realizing that our security and satisfaction comes from God and not another person.

    • Kaela

      Yes! I so identify with this and have been trying to force and control myself out of hard situations for months. That’s why “This time, I will praise the Lord” hit me so hard. The ability to let go and praise God instead.

  • Jessica

    I love that instead of the firstborn, God used the fourth son whose name meant “praise” to be the line that Christ would come from. =)

  • Knowing I am beloved by God is all I need and I will praise Him all the days of my life.

  • Beverly V

    Wholly and perfectly humbled this morning. As I allow these words, “This time, I will praise the Lord” to wash over my heart and fill my mind, I am in awe and wonder of our great God. Of Him who would meet me in my messy, selfish ways. Of Him who would love me unconditionally, and call me His Beloved. Of Him who would send His one and only Son to save me from myself and for eternity with Him. Of Him who would give me full, abundant, lacking-nothing life through and in Christ.
    I am humbled. Because each time I have chosen my own way, He was still with me. Each time I have shamefully surveyed the brokenness I’ve created, He has patiently and lovingly waited for me to turn to Him, to see His face. He is always working for my good and His glory! Each time I enter His presence, draw near to His heart releasing my own control, and choose His ways; He is ever-ready, wanting nothing more than to redeem my heart to Himself, once again.
    His ways are so good, sisters. I am eternally grateful for our faithful, good, just, loving Lord. Grateful He saves me from myself time and again. Praising Him today. And as the sun breaks through on the fresh (unexpected) snow that greeted me this morning, so is His relentless love. Shining through the cloudiness of life, always meeting me in the most unexpected, beautiful ways.
    Praying you all have a blessed day, sweet sisters, praising Him.

  • Reading about Leah and Rachel always makes me wonder how different this whole story would be if Jacob had not tricked his Father and follow God’s plan. God was able to use Jacob to build a nation, but heartache, insecurities, jealousy, bitterness continue to follow this family for more generations. While Leah found contentment in God, her children had witnessed the strife. Just makes me think of my own actions and how they influence my family for generations.

  • Love this!

  • This was such a gorgeous devotional and so important for so many women. As mentioned: the empty seat at the dinner table, the lost job, the wedding photos of another wedding… Something to speak to the times every woman (really, every person) has in some measure been in Leah’s shoes. So grateful this morning for the identity and worth we find in our relationship with God!

  • Incredibly beautiful, B!

  • There was a young woman who fell hard for a young man that did not know Christ. They would speak of Christ, she would share Christ and she would hope, she saw so much good in him and despite his experiences before her, however abused, extensive and wretched, she was convinced God would right his way and his heart, so they married. In no time, the relationship took a turn and over years she became second to everything; job, family, moves, hobbies, women, yes even other women. Her love for this man still persistent, but many a night she spent crying out to God to remove it from her and yet He didn’t. Year after year passed, and with each one, more and more rejection and heartache came with them, but also new hopes came too. There were glimmers of it in those years. Ones that would flicker like a candle in the darkness saying, “I am here. There is hope. Don’t give up.” They were beautiful moments when these two shared a goal of an inspired marriage and the hope of redemption, but the pattern would continue … happiness, peace and apparent contentment would flip into chaos, confusion and desperation in a blink…. this became the norm. It became increasingly obvious that God would need to step in for any of it to change. This pattern was a pattern set when this husband was a wee one. When as a boy he’d sit quietly coloring and enjoying the simples of the day only to hear the footsteps of an angry drunk coming towards him. This wife finally saw what this man’s reality was and it wasn’t about his rejection of her, his disappointments in her, it was about his own personal rejections and pains. God was good enough to tell her that He needed her out of the way because her love of this man complicated the matter and there was great work to be done, so she left. She packed the kids up and moved many states over, confused, hurt and afraid….but it was that season that she learned to look not at her earthly husband but instead her heavenly one. It was then that she genuinely found her identity IN Christ and not her marriage….true hope entered the picture and although there was still pain, for the first time in this relationship she was peaceful in it and that made all the difference.

    “This time, I will praise the Lord.” There are circumstances that cause us to look at ourselves. Ones that bring attention to every insecurity we own, they shine a light like a Hollywood strobe screeching “Right here folks, look at this. Can you believe what you see?”. Making us feel less and less so we work more and more, but it doesn’t change, we continue to feel less and less because like little children with a broken toy, we stand before the great repairer begging for repair but shout our opinions of how the fixing should go, “Do this, fix that, change this. Quicker, quicker, quicker.” … When in all of this, the moment we see that strobe light of insecurity seeking us out we should put on our Armor that is Christ so we hear, “Right here folks. Look at this. Can you believe what you see? A woman made beautiful and secured by Christ!” This is who I want to be, who I daily want to see in the mirror … not the many failings or rejections I have left on the path behind me, the nose I’ve never loved, the new mid-life wrinkles or even the successes of my life … I genuinely just want to see Christ.

    After all those years, that young woman just desires to be that Proverbs 31:21 woman who isn’t afraid of trouble because she knows her household, every single member is covered by the scarlet blood of Christ. She knows that whatever lies in wait will be met by the mighty hands of Christ because He has already provided victory for her and while He did save her husband in an amazing way, He saved her too! So today, tomorrow and in all things …. this time she, I will praise the Lord! ~ B

    • ~Keri

      I love this!!! Thank you for sharing such a touching, personal story of God’s continued work in your life. It’s amazing how He weaves such a beautiful tapestry from even the pain, rejection, and disappointments we experience! May He continue to use your words to share hope and encouragement with this wonderful community of sisters in Christ!

      • ~ B ~

        Yes, a tapestry, so messy on the underside but a masterpiece on the right side. God’s perspective is always better. Thank you Keri.

    • Melea

      Wow. Just wow. That’s all I can muster after reading this amazing story!

    • Beverly V

      Oh friend, your redemption story is so beautiful, so humbling, so hopeful. I’m grateful to have read this piece of your life and heart. Your words are a grace-filled reminder that He is God, and when we let go, surrender, walk away THEN He will work in mighty, only-God-could-redeem-this-situation way. I love how you say: “we stand before the great repairer begging for repair but shout our opinions of how the fixing should go” Only He can do the fixing. Amen, sister.
      Hugs and love to you today, sweet B. Thank you for your continual words of hope pointing back to Him. Your words and your stories inspire me to seek His glory through my own life and story. Grateful for you, friend.

      • ~ B ~

        Beverly … ah, Beverly. Love you my friend. Thank you for your ever kindness over me.

    • Caroline

      Beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

    • Tina

      Totally and utterly amazing…~B..Your story just warms my heart to say with you…”Our will praise the Lord. ..For the love and blessing He has and pray He continues to shower over you and yours…
      I love you friend…But God…He loves you a whole heaped heap more..xxxxx

      • ~ B ~

        I love your words as always T! You are a light in this world and I am so grateful for you here! Love you!

    • K

      This is beautiful & exactly what I needed. This morning I cried my heart to the Lord. My words to Him ‘I’m exhausted’
      I’m tired from the 16 years of emotional abuse from my husband & feeling unloved. He is ‘loving’ me the way he was taught to love as a child. Your story sounds similar to mine, except when God told me to leave 3 years ago I didn’t. The trust you have in God to do what you needed to for your family & your husband is inspiring. Thank you for sharing your words & your heart.
      THIS TIME I WILL PRAISE THE LORD!

      • ~ B ~

        Oh K, my heart aches for you. I will be prayerful over you moving forward. It was 14 years in my life before God changed my husband and there were plenty of times my faith didn’t exactly have me stepping out as I should have. I will be prayerful that God shares clearly what He needs from you so that He may do the work He needs to. Prayerful that your eyes remain on Christ and that your will is submitted to Him. Love and hugs dear sister…you are not alone! ~ B

    • Christy

      That is beautiful!

      • ~ B ~

        Thank you, Christy. I love how God can use anything and He truly can turn ashes to beauty!

    • Ana Brooks

      Just: Completely beautiful. Thank you for your continued presence here. It is a leading.

    • Christine

      Beautiful…

      My own love story echo this so much only I was called to separate before we are allowed to be married. I had seen his soul. I knew his heart. I knew that God would work. I also knew that I had to walk away to allow God the time and space He needed to work in both our hearts. So I packed my bags, moved back to the US from the UAE, and began the conclusion of a spiritual journey that had started almost a decade before. I cried, prayed, grieved, hurt, and hoped. Most of all I hoped and heard a small still voice telling me, against all logic and reason, to wait for God to do His work. Ten months later, on God’s prompting, I returned to the UAE for a visit.

      From the moment I fell into his arms again I knew that the battle was over, that God had won the war, and that this man’s arms were my earthly home.

      And my heart? Well, it had learned the lesson it had struggled to for so many years. It learned how to trust in the fullness of God’s time.

      May God continue to bless you and your story and give you the strength to always walk with Him.

      Amen…

      • ~ B ~

        Love your story, thank you for sharing. So grateful that your marriage began as one for Christ. God’s time is of the utmost! Prayerful tonight that God continues to bless your beautiful marriage for many years to come!

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      Thank you B for sharing your journey……may God continue to bless you and your family. You words touch me and bless me more than I can articulate….thank you!!

      • ~ B ~

        Heather, I hope you are staying warm and still running my friend. Love you greatly sister and I am so thankful for you here. Missing my check-ins with you. Need to catch up! Prayerful over all of your boys and you! :)

    • Kasey Summers

      Thank you so much for sharing! Praise the Lord for His work in your life!! What a glorious and powerful Savior we have!

      • ~ B ~

        Kasey, I am so thankful for the Lord’s amazing work in my life. Continually humbled by His love over us all!

    • Lalo

      B, thank you for your words. They’re so timely. I’ve been struggling with a relationship that I’ve been having on and off for more than a year with a non-believer. He sounds very similar to your husband. He didn’t have a father figure and went through many hardships in his life. I keep hoping and praying God will change his heart and lead him to believe but he’s very resistant. I’m conflicted about what to do. I’m afraid if we get married, we’ll face tremendous difficulty. I’m trying to make a decision about whether I should walk away from this relationship and trust and allow the Lord to work in his life. I really love this man and that love, as you were sharing, seems to be getting in the way of God’s work. I’ve been trying to pray for some peace over a decision. It’s hard when you love someone to willingly walk away from the relationship.

      • ~ B ~

        Oh, Lalo, my heart aches for you. I will be prayerful over you in this season. My love for my husband in our early days blinded me. I was relatively new in my faith and believed so strongly in what God had just done in my life that I wanted it so badly for everyone I met, but I wrongly understood my part in it. Looking back I know God would have worked out my husband’s heart and while I don’t know what that would have looked like or how it would have come, I do believe I got in the way and it took a great deal longer had I just stepped aside. It is so imperative to listen to what God calls you to do, no matter how difficult. The beauty of a marriage between two Christ followers can not be matched. I would not wish what we dealt with in marriage on any couple and will be prayerful that God leads you both in this. Love to you sweet sister!

        • Lalo

          B thank you! I really appreciate all the words of wisdom and encouragement you share with the SRT community. After a lot of thinking and praying, I decided to end the relationship with my boyfriend. It’s with a heavy heart and a lot of sadness that I came to the decision but also peace, knowing that his life belongs to God and the Lord will watch over him and work in his heart. I don’t know what the future will bring but I rest assured that it’s in God’s hands. In the coming days I know I’ll have times of sadness and looking back on our relationship, but I’m also reminded of times I’ve tried to take matters into my own hands and how much heartbreak that inevitably brings. Thanks again for sharing your life and being an encouragement in this hard time!

      • Chelsey

        In going through the same thing. We will be together 2 years in March, had lived together, and just moved separately. I want so badly for him to love me again the way it used to be, but he makes no effort to show me he cares anymore. Like you, I am torn between staying and going. Part of me wants him to be the one to break it off if that’s what is going to happen because I don’t want for it to be on me that the relationship ends. Like you, I want the best for him, but I’ve also found he has started seeking comfort elsewhere and it is heartbreaking. I haven’t texted him since Sunday- trying to give him a chance to miss me, wonder what I am doing…and in the meantime I pray for him and I pray for strength to accept what God has planned and to wait for His timing. I just don’t know how. It’s so hard to let it go when you care about someone so much.

  • I love that Leah named her fourth son “Judah – I will praise the Lord.” Makes you realize she finally reached a place of acceptance and security in God. It takes time, but we get there.

    • Maria Baer

      This was my take away also.

    • Maria Baer

      This story, like others we have been reading remind me that everything happens according to God’s timing and plan. How many times have the women in these stories have taken things into their own hands to try to force a blessing only to make things worse. Can’t have a baby? Give my servant to my husband. Let’s be honest– we see today the repercussions of Sarah’s trying to make a promise happen. It really makes me think about the times when I try to control a situation to find “happiness” only to make it worse. In the end it is about realizing that our security and satisfaction comes from God and not another person.

  • Caroline

    Thank you Lord for never forgetting us! http://Www.In-due-time.com

  • Christie

    It’s very humbling to meet all these characters in the Bible with such real, raw and honest struggles that are in no way downplayed or simply glossed over, but completely exposed for what they are.
    My heart goes out to Leah, in light of what we read a few weeks earlier, how woman’s desire is for her husband’s affection (Genesis 3:16). It’s crazy to think that after having so many children with this man, she still felt so deeply unloved and unappreciated — cleaving to him physically, but not emotionally, because his heart was for Rachel first.
    What I find so relevant to me today is that my true joy can only come from God alone and God first. Three times Leah turned to a weak man for love, but the fourth time she chose to turn to a strong God and give a sacrifice of praise. My hope and expectation and joy cannot be fulfilled by man; in fact it was never meant to be that way! God designed us to be completely and utterly satisfied in Him and Him alone. How apt that this story encourages us to give praise to Him despite all our shortcomings and struggles! He deserves it always; in everything, He is still good.

    • Sandy

      God designed us to be completely and utterly satisfied in Him and Him alone!
      Thank you for this comment, I’ve been struggling in my marriage lately and now I know why, Jesus alone is be my satisfaction, no man can ever be that. Thanks for the reminder of what I already knew!

      • Christie

        Absolutely! God’s been trying to teach me that throughout the whole of last year — when I was constantly looking to my boyfriend as my source of all my approval and security, I realised that I was trying to squeeze from him what only God could give to me superabundantly. Realised that God’s the only one who can fill that vacuum of eternity in our hearts; no man or other person is able to bear the weight of that eternity like He can! Realised that it’s not so much about choosing to look AWAY from our significant other, but choosing to look TO God instead and allowing Him to show us how to view our significant other in his proper status as His equally loved son. Will be praying for your marriage!

        • A

          Wow, Christie- This is so well put. Choosing TO Look Toward our Savior for the love and approval that He uniquely created our hearts to crave. To see our beloved partners as Christ sees them… His beloved too. I think if in all of life’s circumstances we can be resolved like Leah to say- This time I will praise Him – we will find true joy and contentment in the True Bridegroom-lover of our soul. All Praise to Him!

          • andrea

            Love it, Christie. How much better would be able to give grace and love our husband/boyfriend if we would remember that he is a beloved child of God, too!

    • Ana Brooks

      Thank you for this comment, Christie. It really drives
      home to the hope that we have as daughters of God.

    • Kasey Summers

      Amen!! Thank you for sharing!

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