Since I had my revelatory paradigm shift about Leah (see my post Tender Eyes (Genesis 29:17)), I’ve spent much time pondering her and this new perspective and I feel like there’s a blessing of encouragement embedded in her story for the women who consider themselves unloved wives (and the same would hold true for unloved husbands or singles too).
If you’ve read my marriage testimony, you’ll know I’ve been this woman so I don’t talk about this place from a remote theoretical standpoint, but from one of intimate understanding. I know the pain of it only too well. And I know how deeply it cuts. But I believe in Leah’s story we see hope for our Heavenly Bridegroom to fill that place in our hearts. And ultimately, unloved or loved, human husbands will always let us down sometimes (just as we will them) because we’re all human and therefore imperfect.
The key here is in Leah’s focus. Let’s watch where her heart is as she has her first four sons.
Genesis 29:32-35 (VOICE, emphasis mine) Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and she named him Reuben. Leah: Because the Eternal One has been compassionate to me in my painful predicament, allowing me to bear this child, surely now my husband will love me. In time, she conceived again and gave birth to another son. Leah: Because the Eternal One has heard I am unloved, He has given me this son too. So Leah named the second son Simeon. Then she conceived for the third time and gave birth to her third son. Leah: Surely now my husband will be more attached to me, because I have given him three sons. Leah named the third son Levi. And once again, she conceived and gave birth to her fourth son. Leah: This time I will praise the Eternal One! So Leah named this son Judah. After Judah, Leah didn’t have any more children for a while.
Her heart finally shifts from longing for her husband to fulfillment with the Eternal One. He is the only one who can truly fill the longing in our hearts anyway. I believe we put weighty expectations on our husbands because of all the happily ever after books and movies (etc) we ingest. I’m not knocking the stories (I’m an avid reader!), but I think we set expectations for our spouses they can’t help but fall short of.
As we remove expectations from our human husbands and refocus those expectations on God, I believe He will meet us there. And not in some theoretical pie in the sky pat answer way. I mean literally, His love will meet us in our point of need.
After years of knowing this in theory and experiencing it in part, I’ve recently begun to experience it in its fullness and can assure you it’s real and possible (Silk: Embraced in His Love – marked the beginning for me). And more than that He LONGS for you to look to Him to fulfill you like that and will happily overwhelm you with His love.
Father, I just ask that for each person who feels unloved to be wrapped in Your embrace. Help them to know how to open themselves to receive from You and to allow You to overtake them and fill them with Your love. May it be a deep manifestation – not “just enough” love they don’t hurt so much, but rather so much that it completely overwhelms them and changes them, transforming them like a caterpillar transforming to a beautiful butterfly – may Your love radiate from their countenance for nothing is so beautiful as a person who is deeply loved! May it not just fill them to overflowing, but may others around them be so aware of something “different” about them that THEY would be hungry for it too. May we change the world simply by being vessels of Your love – both to receive it and to share it. We thank You, Father, for the depths of Your love for us and that You pour it out on us so freely and without reserve. Who are we that You should love us so ardently, and yet You do! So we gratefully receive and suck it up like parched, dry land absorbs the fall of rain until it overflows with goodness and the flowery, verdant fruit of it bursts forth. May our lives reflect this beautiful gift and bring You glory.