Leah: Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
(Genesis 29:15- 30:21)
“Surely my husband will love me now.” This is what Leah said to herself after the birth of her first son…and her second…and her third! Leah thought that by giving her husband Jacob heirs though sons, he would become attached to her and finally give her the love she had been longing for, waiting for all of her life. You see Leah, Laban’s oldest daughter, had always lived in the shadow of her younger sister Rachel. While Rachel is described as lovely in form and beautiful, the description of Leah is just a tad bit more austere. Leah is described as having weak eyes...that is all. Imagine living your entire life trying to rise above that cloud. As the oldest daughter she was supposed to live the life of “firsts” and have the favor, but her reality was that she was always second best. Never quite good enough.
When Leah married Jacob, she thought that her life of being second rate would come to an end, but it didn’t. If only she could get him to think she was beautiful, if only he would become attached to her, if only he would prefer her, if only he would love her…then she would be whole. It wasn’t until Leah’s fourth child that she had the revelation of a lifetime. “She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” (Gen. 29:35a)
Leah desperately wanted to feel beautiful and loved by her husband. She wanted to be accepted for who she was. We all have been Leah at some point. Just replace “weak eyes” with our personal struggle of not feeling pure enough, smart enough, pretty enough, healthy enough, domestic enough, good enough, or whatever it may be… And then remove Jacob, and fill in from whom we’re seeking affirmation. Is it an absent or unsupportive parent, spouse, boyfriend, friend, classmates, job, education…ourselves?
Leah finally realized the one thing that all of us women need to know. Hear me loud and clear: We are not defined by our past! We are not validated by our works or the things we accomplish! Our appearance does not create our value! Our worth is not measured by the love we receive from a man, parent, family, friends, or anyone. The moment we accept Christ into our hearts, our only identity is found in Him, and He has some powerful things to say about how very much He loves and adores us. We gain this not by our works, but by His grace. We don’t have to do a single thing to earn His love, His attention, or His validation. We are (fill in the blank with good things here) merely because we are HIS! We simply are to be who He made us to be, fearfully and wonderfully made, and praise Him every step of the way!
We are His Beloved, the apple of His eye, created in His image, His handiwork, fearfully and wonderfully made, chosen, free from condemnation, filled with hope, blessed with peace, unburdened by all yokes! He heals our broken hearts! He set His seal of ownership on us! We are engraved on His Hand! We can never be separated from His love! We are complete in Him!
Challenge: From whom/what are you seeking validation? What are you doing to convince them to love you? STOP! Who loves you with an everlasting love, a love so great that it carried a cross to bear our sin??? What does He say about you? Who does He say you are? Fill in your blank from above: “I am __________, simply because I am His!” Share your thoughts with #WomenOfTheBibleChallenge.
Don’t know where to start?
Psalm 139:14 ~ I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made
I John 3:2 (ESV) ~ Beloved, we are God's children now
Zechariah 2:8b ~ for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye
Genesis 1:27 ~ So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them
Ephesians 2:10 ~ For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do
I Peter 2:9 ~ But you are a chosen [woman], a royal [priestess], a holy [daughter], God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.
(Emphasis taken from Proverbs 31 ministries)
Romans 8:1 ~ Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
Jeremiah 29:11 ~ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Philippians 4:7 ~ And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus
Galatians 5:1 ~ It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery
Psalm 147:3 ~ He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
II Corinthians 1:21b-22 ~ He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come
Isaiah 49:16a ~ See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
Romans 8:39 ~ neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Colossians 2:10a (NASB) ~ And in Him, you have been made complete