When You’re a Leah

(Image source)

(Bible reading: Genesis 29)

I’ve always been pro-Rachel. Fact is, if I would be totally honest, I knew I had secretly felt some kind of disdain towards Leah (or women in similar plight). I thought that the one who’s loved is always the heroine and the one to be admired. (I know there are dark crevices in my heart but I’m depending on the Lord’s light that it can penetrate even through them). Until I read a precious comment from one of my blog followers, one beloved Joanne Potter.

Her comment, though short, penetrated to those dark crevices in my heart (that I wasn’t aware I had, in particular, concerning Rachel and Leah’s story) and it got me thinking deeply. It haunted me for weeks, until I knew I had to write about it. She said in her comment that Leah is her favorite Bible hero.

I always knew that I was my husband’s Rachel, and that is true. But I have also known how to be hurt by my Jacob. A kind of pain and confusion that finds no solutions but to seek sanctuary in God. And this is the thing that followed me for weeks ever since I read that comment. What if being a Leah didn’t only mean that her Jacob had a much beloved Rachel, but that she didn’t feel loved by him? What if a wife were the only woman in her husband’s life but she lived in painfulness more than in love and happiness? Wouldn’t that be like being in Leah’s predicament – hoping and waiting for love that soothes, inspires, nurtures and heals?

Leah lived longer than Rachel. When I read this part the first time, I wished Rachel didn’t die young. My eyes were always on her. But that is exactly the difference between God and man, He sees what we do not see. And when Jacob, and most women in this present-day who read their story, had only his eyes on and affections for Rachel, God’s eyes were on Leah.

God’s compassionate heart wanted to comfort her so He gave her sons and a daughter. When Rachel was gone, did Jacob love Leah then? I believe not. And nowhere in the Bible tells it so.

When you feel like you are a Leah, unloved and hurt, know that there is One who loves you with an everlasting love. Everlasting means He has loved you even before the foundation of the world, and will always love you. You cannot make someone love you, just like Leah didn’t succeed in making Jacob love her, even if she gave him children. But there is One who loves you just the way you are, and you don’t have to do anything to make Him love you or love you even more. His love is constant.

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” 
(Jer. 31:3)

The Lord Jesus Christ is not only our Savior, but our Bridegroom whom we eagerly await. We are His beloved Bride and He is coming back for us and we’ll be married to Him: the marriage of the Lamb and His Bride (Rev. 19).

For your Maker is your husband,
The Lord of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth. 
(Is. 54:5)

If in this life, we hunger for love, acceptance, and nurturing, we know we have a refuge in the Lord Jesus Christ. We can run to Him and we know He will always love and uphold us, just as He loved and upheld Leah. And His love is enough to sustain us until the day that we will be united forever with Him.

Related: First Love

(If you haven’t received the Lord Jesus Christ in your life and are not sure if you are saved and heir of eternal life, know the keys of salvation here).

Titus 2sday, Domestically Divine, Teach Me Tuesday, Encouragement in Trials, Women Living Well, Winsome Wednesday, Proverbs 31 Thursday, Faith Filled Friday, Spiritual Sundays, Sharing His BeautyA Wise Woman Builds Her Home

14 comments on “When You’re a Leah

  1. You hit right on it, Rina. Our lives, or our moments, as Leah drive us to our eternal husband, our sweet Lord. To know her perseverance through so many sad years puts my own inevitable moments of hurt in better perspective. I thank God for Leah’s story of faithfulness to her Father, her Husband.

    • RinaPeru says:

      That’s true, JoAnne, the more we are hurt, the more we cleave to the One who loves us unfailingly. I believe it is when we deeply hurt that we can clearly see and feel the love the Father has for us. And this is how we are strengthened.

      Blessings,
      Rina

  2. Betty says:

    It was Leah’s earthly father who failed her. I do hurt for Leah. However, I hurt for Rachel too.
    Imagine having the man of your dreams sleeping with your sister on the night that should have
    been “your” wedding night. 😦

    Too, always having to share his love and, time with her sister. It was neither of the girls, or
    Jacobs’ fault. Their father clearly wanted to get rid of Leah. He obviously didn’t love Leah
    either. I know God blessed Leah and, rightly so. But, everyone was hurting.

    I believe Jacob had love for Leah. Certainly not the kind of love she desired but, he would
    always be there for her. He did father children with Leah. He could have chosen not
    to sleep with Leah. I think Jacob treated her with compassion. Pitied her.

    • RinaPeru says:

      With great emotion, I read your comments. My heart goes out with both women, but it’s only now that I really focused on Leah’s situation. I believe also that Jacob did his best to provide for both his wives and families. Yes, I believe he did care for Leah.

      It’s true they all had a very complicated, difficult, painful lives, but I believe that were so, as God had planned, to give birth to His nation Israel from where the promised Savior would come. But what we can learn from their bittersweet, endearing lives (lump in the throat) is how they all faithfully played their roles as God would have them do. And I believe we can all learn from Leah’s life, how she held on to her God for true love, happiness, strength, and peace of heart.

      Blessings!
      Rina

  3. Cynthia Swenson says:

    I am definitely a Leah! I can testify with wonder how God’s faithful amazing everlasting love makes every human love unspeakably pale in comparison. Does it really matter if human love fails us when God is absolutely faithful in every area of our lives? I certainly have people in my life who are immense blessings and I am thankful for every one of them. I believe God desires each one of us to fully rely on HIS love & not so much the human love in our lives.Blessings, in Jesus, Cynthia

    • RinaPeru says:

      That’s true, Cynthia. When human love fails, the more we draw near to God and the deeper and more intimate our relationship with Him becomes (which is, as you said, indescribably more rewarding).

      Blessings in Jesus,
      Rina

  4. Pamela says:

    Ah…cannot even imagine being in such a situation with my sweet RB. My heart does ache for Leah–always has. I believe Leah’s name means cow eyes. There are different variations to that such as wild cow, etc. I think her name meant “beloved” to our God.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Pamela, you’re a Rachel alright! 🙂 Cow eyes? I remember a college dorm mate telling me as having cow eyes one time. That hurt, but my beloved husband saw me as his one and only Rachel. And I know that I am always the Lord Jesus’ beloved.

      Blessings,
      Rina

  5. KML says:

    Thank you so much for linking up to my blog last week. I’m mentioning this post as one of my favorites at my link up tomorrow. I never looked at Leah this way before.

    • RinaPeru says:

      It’s an honor to link up with you and with all the other blogs that I regularly link up with. I thank the Lord for this great opportunity, and I thank you, too, for your kind generosity to have me in your blog.

      May the Lord bless you more abundantly!
      Rina

  6. Charlotte says:

    I think I’m a Rachel, but I have always felt sorry for Leah.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

  7. pinkishgal says:

    this made me cry… huhuhu ;'( thanks for sharing po^_^ God bless you more=)

  8. Tina says:

    I wonder if, in God’s grace & mercy, Jacob’s heart didn’t change toward Leah after Rachel’s death. After reading that Jacob had Rachel buried near Bethlehem but when Leah died, she was buried near Abraham & Sarah, Isaac & Rebekah (& Jacob was buried near Leah as well,) I wonder what happened in Jacob’s heart over those last years of Leah’s life. Did he see that God loved Leah, that she was focused on God while Rachel was not?

    • RinaPeru says:

      Hi Tina! These are all very interesting questions that are worth mulling over. I thank you that you brought these up. We will never know whether Jacob’s heart was transformed after Rachel’s death, but probably, Leah gained his deep respect through her endearing personality. I’m thinking, since Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin, Leah most probably was the one who nurtured Rachel’s infant. And all her quiet dedication might not have been gone unnoticed by Jacob.

      We can certainly learn from their lives. We can hope and believe that by exhibiting a meek and quiet spirit and a faithful heart towards God, we will be able to gain our spouse’s honor if not burning love.

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