I mainly want to mention the story of Leah, wife of Jacob, because she was not loved by her husband.
We hear a lot about Rachel.....but not so much about Leah?
You see..........Jacob was tricked into marrying her!
Jacob had worked 7 years for his wife to be....... Rachel.....(probably because he could not give her father Laban anything.... as he was a refugee, so to speak, so work was the only thing he could give) so, he had to work another 7 years to actually “pay” for the love of his life!
It must have been very hard for Leah, the Bible doesn't say whether Leah was involved in the decision to trick Jacob and marry him or not, but in the morning after they got married, he exclaimed to his father-in-law "What is this you have done to me?" (Genesis 29:25).
After their week-long honeymoon, Jacob married her sister Rachel, the one that he really loved.
Although Jacob didn't really love her, Leah started having children, and.....with every child, she hoped that it would make Jacob love her.
She named her first son Reuben, meaning "see, a son!"
When Reuben didn't make Jacob love her, she named her second son Simeon, meaning "heard".
Leah thought that God had heard her and given her a second son, hoping that Jacob would then love her.
After she had her third son, Leah named him Levi, meaning "attached".
After three sons, perhaps her husband would be attached to her.
but.......that was not to be the case.
Then....when Esau comes to meet them, and Jacob places Rachel and her son Joseph right at the back for safety, he put Leah and the handmaidens in the front...not quite as safe.....that must have been a blow to Leah.....again Jacob showed how he felt about her.
.....But.....Leah Learns to be Content!
After a while, Leah figured that Jacob would never love her the way that he loved her sister. She decided to name her fourth son Judah, meaning "praise".
Despite her circumstances, Leah decided that she would praise the Lord anyway (Genesis 29:35). Although Leah wasn't living the life of her dreams, she had received blessings.
She learned to be content and to praise God.
We should also keep in mind that these arranged marriages lasted.......no matter how hard it was....there was no talk of separating! Like there is today!
As we see “Leah decided she would praise the Lord anyway and “learned to be content and praise God!”
We can learn several things about Leah's life.
First, we can learn that we shouldn't look to anybody else for our happiness.
People can disappoint us............and our life might not turn out the way that we dream.
We can learn that we shouldn't compare our lives to that of others.
II Corinthians 10:12 says that those that "compare themselves among themselves, are not wise."
Although Leah envied her sister Rachel, because Jacob loved her more................ Rachel envied Leah, because she had more children.
Nobody has the perfect life. Even the people that we think have it all...................... have troubles.
If we learn from Leah and learn to praise God anyway, we will find more contentedness in God... than with the things of the world.
And God blessed her too for her faithfulness......
Rachel died on the way in the dessert.......and was buried near Bethlehem.......Leah is buried with her husband in the cave of Machpelah with the Patriarchs!