Women of the Bible

Leah the Loved: Women of Faith

Women of Faith: Leah the Loved
Women of Faith: Leah the Loved

The story of Leah is a beautiful, overlooked tale in the Bible. She was unwanted and unattractive.

Her husband, Jacob, loved her sister Rachel, his other wife, but not Leah. By her husband, her sister and even society in general, Leah was hated and God noticed. Because of this, he gave Leah the ability to have children and left Rachel barren.

While we don’t get much info on Leah or her life, the little bit we do see is very telling. Leah’s firstborn is named Reuben. To Leah, Reuben was hope. Finally, now Jacob would love her too. He would have to since she gave him a son, Leah thought. Except he didn’t. Then again with Simeon and Levi, Leah saw them as hope that Jacob would notice her although she does lower expectations. With Reuben, she used named him after the word “love” but when Levi comes along, Leah is only hoping for “attachment.” Still, no love comes from her husband.

At this point, I’m imagining Leah hits rock bottom and realizes that if Jacob won’t love her for having three sons, she will never be able to earn his love. Leah will always be second best to her sister Rachel. Somewhere between being rejected once again by Jacob and having her fourth son, Leah comes to a life changing revelation. It reminds me of when Job says, “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Leah bases the name for her 4th son, Judah, on her attitude change because now she was simply going to praise the LORD.

Leah is unloved and forgotten by her husband but not by the LORD. He wooed her and comforted her. After Leah reaches contentment, she ceases having children. To me, this says that Leah was truly content with the LORD and no longer worried about pleasing Jacob.

You are loved by God. He is enough. He is all you need. Sometimes he uses methods that we mere mortals don’t understand. However, everything in the universe and everything that happens to you- that is God proclaiming his love for you. He is telling you that you are good enough. His love is enough. You don’t need anything else. Nothing else will satisfy you. So, do you know which of Jacob’s 12 sons were in the line of Jesus? It was Judah. Leah’s son named for her praise of God. Seriously? The literature nerd in me is going crazy. Can you get more perfectly cute than that?

Leah does have more sons later on and I don’t know if she stayed content in the LORD all her life. But that’s not really the point of Leah’s story. Growing up, I remember thinking Rachel has it so much better and if I had to be one, I’d wanna be Rach. But I don’t wanna be Rachel anymore. She’s portrayed as somewhat petty. She worships her family’s household gods and steals from and then subsequently lies to her father. Leah’s not perfect. But that’s kind of the point. She’s real. She has problems and she grows and understands life better. Leah is unattractive but she is wooed by the creator of the universe.

I am Leah not Rachel. I am fighting to be loved and noticed and appreciated. All the while, I forget the most important truth of all: Jesus died to save me from eternal damnation and to give me life abundant. The entire Bible and the short story of Leah can be summarized the exact same way: The creator of the universe loves you more deeply than you can imagine and he wants you to know that. He wants you to love him back and realize that the meaning of life is to seek and find contentment in him.

I hope we all realize that though we feel unloved like Leah, we are loved; truly, madly, deeply (I wanna stand with you on a mountain).

Also, please excuse the Savage Garden reference. It's 2014 for goodness sake!

Read about Anna, another woman of faith who inspired me too!

If you like it, please click share! I'd love to hear what you thought about this!

Anna: Faithful for 84 years|Women of Faith

Women of Faith: Anna the Faithful
Women of Faith: Anna the Faithful

Anna The story of Anna is found in Luke 2:25-40.

Anna was widowed after only seven years of marriage. It’s bad enough to lose your husband after such a short period of time. It’s worse when you live in a culture where your worth and livelihood all depend on your husband and you earn respect through having children.

Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.

Isaiah 54:4-5

Anna should be an inspiration to single women, both those who are widowed and those who are unmarried. The Bible says that Anna never left the temple because she was fasting day and night. After she was widowed she completely and wholeheartedly gave herself over to the Lord. Her maker was her husband like listed in Isaiah 54. That blows my mind.

I worry about what would happen if I never get married or don’t get married within the next 5 or so years because I have placed my future into the hands of a guy I either haven’t met yet or just haven’t connected with yet. I have made the future and my future husband an idol. There are so many problems with this.

  1. Think about what this says to my Creator, the one I have supposedly put my faith and future and my whole life in. It says, “I want one of your creations more than I want you.”
  2. Nowhere in the Bible does it say “And for every girl who loves Jesus there shall be a husband who is at least six inches taller than you with a smoking hot bod who loves Jesus, is athletic and musical, and will be loved by your friends and family alike.” No, this is not promised in the Bible. In fact, in many places, we are essentially promised the opposite. In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, Jesus and God command followers to leave everything they have to follow him. We like to look at the rich young ruler as an example of this but there are good examples of people with follow through too. The 12 disciples. Abraham. Paul. Ruth. This may be material goods or it may be family and it some cases, both. Either way, the message is clear. Following Jesus is about your love and devotion for him. It’s not about a get out of jail free card that also comes with a magic genie.
  3. It takes away from the sovereignty of God. I am inadvertently saying I place my future on the wishes of someone other than God. I probably covered this in points 1 and 2 but seriously this is ludicrous and an insult to God.
  4. Can we talk about the fact that it’s the 21st century? Girls no longer seriously go to college to find a nice doctor or lawyer and get that diamond diploma and MRS degree (Pronounced M R S Degree. Definition: a girl who is in college only to get married). Also, the median age of girls getting married is now 27 and its 29 for guys. So the average of when most girls get married is two years later than the end of the spectrum for when I think I deserve to be and should be married. My perceptions are so skewed. First, I shouldn’t expect to get married at a certain age especially since I am currently unattached. Second, I think I am so entitled when in reality I don’t deserve anything. God doesn’t owe me anything and he certainly didn’t promise if you become a Christian at age 7 you’ll live happily ever after with the Christian version of prince charming. Oh wait, he kind of did. That’s Jesus Christ and the Church is his princess bride. But do you (meaning me) specifically get your own Prince Charming? No! He. Owes. Me. NOTHING.

Back to Anna, she is a model of what single women should be doing. Looking for a new husband? No. Lamenting and grieving over their misfortune? No. Serving the Lord day and night? Yes! So today as you walk through your day, consider Anna and worship the Lord not his creation. My resolution is to fall in love with Jesus and let the rest fall away.

Read about Leah's struggles to be loved in another Women of Faith article.

powered by TinyLetter