Sunday, February 7, 2016

Not My Spouse

Not My Spouse
February 8, 2016
Genesis 29:25  "And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, 'What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?'"

Jacob fell in love with Rachel and wanted to marry her.  He asked her parents' permission and Rachel's dad thought it was a solid idea.  In exchange for Rachel's hand in marriage, Jacob had to work for seven years to pay for the opportunity.  He was excited to put his shoulder to the plow in order to earn his beautiful bride.  After the seven years were up it was time for a wedding.  And what a wonderful wedding it was; Jacob was thrilled with anticipation to finally be with his beautiful bride.  But Jacob didn't marry the woman he thought he was marrying.  Rachel's father had switched his daughters during the wedding and married off Leah instead.  Jacob felt so deceived.  His wife was not the woman he thought she would be; the morning after the wedding was not how Jacob had envisioned while he was patiently working for her those seven years.

I cannot imagine how Jacob felt, the moment he realized his wife was not who he had hoped for.  But then again, I talk to so many people who have complaints about their spouse, suggesting the person they married was not who they thought they were marrying.  While I don't know anyone who truly married a person of an alternate name and face, everyone regrets, for a few moments, the person they married (even if they've stayed married for 50 years).   You cannot be married for any length of time without questioning yourself, wondering if you knew the person well enough, or if you've made a mistake.  Even if you've married the person you thought you were supposed to marry, the person identified by God, you will still regret it at some point, thinking you've been deceived, tricked by God into marrying this person.  Or maybe you're not married, thinking this also to be a deception of how your life should and would happen.  Married or not married, you will feel deceived about the identify of the other person at some point, thinking there must have been some horrible mistake, thinking this, THIS, is not how you had envisioned it.

Marriage is possibly the hardest thing in this life, because it is often too easy to walk away from.  It takes you, not just being submitted to the Lord, but being submitted to the other person in an effort to make it work.  Marriage is not magical; it is hard work.  Jacob had to work hard in his marriage to Leah, even though Leah wasn't his first pick, even though it was the marriage of an apparent deception.  Jacob didn't walk away, divorcing Leah, even though it was an option for him.  Jacob didn't quit serving the Lord despite the Lord allowing the marriage in the first place (the Lord could have stopped it).  Jacob made the marriage work despite the regrets of getting there.  I doubt the marriage was full of roses, rainbows, and parades, but they made it work.  Both sides had difficulties.  Leah wasn't Jacob's first choice and the limited love for her was apparent.  Leah was jealous for her husband's affection at times and Jacob had to marry a woman he may not have started out loving at all.

Despite the trickery of Jacob and Leah's marriage, it was apparently blessed by the Lord.  Jacob and Leah's fourth son together was Judah.  Recall that Jesus came from the line of Judah.  Without Jacob's marriage to Leah, would Jesus exist as we understand?  I am not advocating for marrying the wrong person but I will present a point that you need to consider.  Once you are married, you are married.  Make it work.  The Lord doesn't call for divorces; He calls for self sacrifice, humility, and patience.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Gen 25, Matt 19:5-6, Mark 10:8-9, Eph 5:22-23, 1 Cor 13:4-7

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