Then Leah said, “God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun. Genesis 30:20 (NIV)
Can you imagine knowing that you were married to someone who didn’t want you but wanted your sister? I have had the privilege of having coffee with a few women who have trusted me enough to share their hurts with me. It breaks my heart when I hear a woman say, “He said he doesn’t love me” or “I just want someone to love me”. It just doesn’t seem right at that moment for me to say, “Well, God loves you”. I know these women have heard that God loves them, but they are waiting for the words “I love you” from someone other than God (even though the only One who can truly love completely is God). If you want to know how desperate a woman can be to get the attention of a guy, watch the show The Bachelor. You will find yourself wanting to call each girl on the phone to say, “You are so much more than this! Stop acting so desperate!” But, women are desperate to be loved. This desire is something God created in us because we are created in His image. He desires for us to love and be loved.
It breaks my heart when I read the story of Leah. Leah and Rachel were sisters and the daughters of Laban. Jacob fell in love with Rachel and struck a deal with Laban: “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel” (Genesis 29:18, NIV). Laban accepted Jacob’s agreement. But, when the time came for Jacob to marry Rachel, Laban deceived Jacob and gave him Leah instead of Rachel. Leah knew from the beginning she was not the woman Jacob loved, but she wanted his love. God showed mercy to Leah by allowing her to have children, and in her culture, children were a blessing straight from God. Bearing children allowed a man to continue his genealogy and it was considered an extra blessing if you had sons. Even though Leah did not have Jacob’s heart, she was able to give Jacob six sons. In her mind she thought this would certainly make Jacob love her. With each son, she chose a name that expressed her longing to be loved by Jacob. The problem is that you cannot make someone love you. Even God chose not to make us love Him. He desires for us to love Him, but He decided in the beginning, He would allow us to choose to love Him.
Not only did Leah not win the heart of Jacob, she never had a feeling of self-worth. Her self-worth depended on how many children she could have and whether Jacob loved her. When we look for other things to validate our self-worth, we might as well try to hold the wind in our hands; it is impossible. Our self-worth has to come from the value that was placed on us at the cross. Jesus considered you worthy enough to die for you! He gave everything He had for you! The world tells us to find our self-worth in how we look, what we own, and the people who love us; but none of these will ever bring a feeling of love or self-worth because things are always changing and people come and go. The only way to know we are loved is to look to the cross and see the price Jesus paid for us. That is the beginning of our journey in finding true self-worth. When we try to find our self-worth based on the opinions or actions of others, we are walking on eggshells, and at any minute, that foundation will crack.
You see, Leah was not Rachel. And the more she tried to be something she wasn’t, the more miserable she became. Leah died knowing Jacob always loved Rachel. No matter how many sons she bore him, Jacob’s heart was for Rachel.
We cannot change people. We cannot make someone love us. We cannot find our self-worth in how we look, what we do, or what we have.
Your self-worth must be based on the truth that you are a child of God. The only love that brings happiness and contentment is the love of God. It may not be where you have been looking for love, but I can promise you this from personal experience, nothing else but the love of God will satisfy you.
God makes it abundantly clear in Scripture that there is nothing we can do to make Him love us more or love us less. God loves us because He is love. He loves us because He created us for Him. There’s not a guy in this world that is able to give you a sense of worth or the peace of truly being loved unconditionally. This kind of love comes only from God. He is love and you are loved!
Further Reading Genesis
Want a companion devo for this blog? Sign up for The Sip, a midweek devotional delivered to your inbox.
[gravityform id="2" title="false" description="false" ajax="true"]