And now we meet Leah. Leah was not a strong beautiful woman like her sister Rachel. When Jacob the grandson of Abraham meets the two sisters he is instantly attracted to Rachel. Their father Laban told Jacob that if he worked for him for seven years he could claim his beautiful daughter’s hand in marriage. He doesn’t know until the seven years are up that his bride-to-be is Leah, not her beautiful sister Rachel that he desired. You can imagine Jacob’s disappointment.
Laban tells Jacob that he can marry Rachel in another seven year but in the meantime would have to act as a husband to Leah. Just so he can marry Rachel later, he does as Laban requested and marries Leah. Leah knew from the very beginning that Jacob did not love her but but felt she had little choice and would never be disobedient to her father. She still proved to be a dutiful wife. With each day of marriage she became more depressed and longed for someone to love her. God was not happy that Leah was still unloved. He opened up her barren womb and enabled her to conceive while her sister Rachel remained barren.
Leah joyfully bears four children by Jacob. Since the birth of her firstborn, Leah as a mother becomes stronger. She pours her whole heart into raising her children and devoting herself to serving God. It is he she knows who has filled her heart with joy.
What did we learn from this story?
Beauty is not always the path to love or righteousness.
A woman full of self doubt can become a strong woman.
The desires of our own heart may not always be within God’s plan for us but if you are devoted to him your cup will be overflowing.
Leah did not let the fact that her husband did not love her lead her down a path of darkness, instead she concentrated on her relationship with her God and her children. As much as God commanded us to be a helpmate to man, it does not mean women are slaves to man. A strong bond between a man and a woman is a beautiful thing but when there is no love there God steps in and will help you to find that love whether it is love of a child or just finding love of self.
Leah who had little self-worth in the beginning became a strong woman happy as a mother and a child of God. The fulfillment of self is often ignored. Find your faith and find true happiness.