ADVICE TO WOMEN
I enjoy reading and the various lessons that i learn as i do.I bumped into this article a while back and the message was amazing.Today i thought i would share it on my blog to inspire and encourage all women who need to read and hear this.
How many women have lived their lives for “that man” and regretted it later? As Christian women, you are to expect only from God, not from any man. There is a woman in the Old Testament (Genesis 29) who eventually came to this knowledge. Her story inspires me every time I read it.
Remember Leah? She was the older sister of the exquisitely beautiful Rachael. Their father, Laban, was somehow related, maybe distantly, to Jacob. Jacob sought out Laban and once he found him, he met Laban’s daughter, Rachael, at the well. Jacob fell head-over-hills in love with Rachael the minute he saw her. And he made no secret of his passion! He was truly inspired to stick around.
During that time period, it was customary for the oldest daughter to be married first, then the next oldest. They were very “organized” in their traditions!
Old Laban gives Jacob a home and a job. Then about a month later, Laban says – my version here – Hey, Jake. Just because we’re related doesn’t mean you should work for free. What do you think is a fair price for your labor?
Jacob says, I want Rachael! Let me marry Rachael! I’ll work seven years for her!
Old Laban, knowing the tradition, says, OK, kid. It’s a deal! Now Laban secretly intended to deceive Jacob, and maybe Jacob even deserved to be tricked. He had done his share of deceiving, himself. Even Jacob’s name means deceiver. Jacob is encouraged and works seven years, twice the usual time, in return for being given Rachael as his wife.
Seven years later, a big wedding takes place. The bride stands secreted in a thick veil over her face, and is not allowed to speak because of the sacredness of the event. Then the married couple goes to the secret darkness of the tent and consummates the marriage. In case you’re wondering how it was that Jacob didn’t know he had been swindled, remember: bride’s face covered with a thick veil, and she’s not allowed to speak because the moment is sacred.
I imagine many men have been shocked the morning after, as they see what their bride really looks like. But not like Jacob! And he does not hide his displeasure when he sees Leah in his bed. He makes it double-dog clear that he has been swindled, that he loves her sister, wanted her sister, and will always love her sister, Rachael.
God looks down on this poor rejected Leah, and feels her pain. He opens up her womb. Now remember, during that time the way a woman earned her worth was by bearing children, especially sons. So Leah says, Now Jacob will finally love me. Wrong!
For at least the next four years, Leah keeps bearing him sons. She gives him Reuben, Simeon, and then Levi. But Jacob’s interests are directed towards how much of the next seven years are left. Oh, he has Rachael as his wife, but she is barren! Imagine the tension between those two sisters during those years. After every son, Leah has been encouraged, has been sure this new son will cause Jacob to change his heart and love her.
Then Leah bears the fourth son and names him Judah. Jacob still shows no affection for her; but this time, Leah gets it right. Instead of saying, This son will cause Jacob to become attached to me and love me, she says, This time I will praise the Lord!
It took Leah several years to understand that God, alone, was her hope and inspiration. It was God, alone, who could encourage her in her deepest rejection. It wasn’t sons, it wasn’t a man. It was God. And at that point, she stopped having children. Rachael’s womb was opened, and she began bearing Jacob sons, one of which was Joseph.
But the cool part of this story is that it is Leah’s son, Judah,is listed in the genealogy of Jesus. Rachael’s son, Joseph, is not listed in that genealogy. Judah means praise and it was through his line that our Savior came.
Girls, it doesn’t matter why you have been rejected, and it doesn’t matter if you’re divorced, or never-been-married. What matters is that you “get it” — invest yourself, your expectations, and your joy in Jesus! It is God, alone, who sees your heart’s secret chambers. It is God, alone, who has the power to satisfy your deepest longings. And if He wants to, He can, at any time, send a man into your life that will have the ability to love you for who you are. He will be a man who loves the Lord as much as you do, and it will have been worth the former rejection.