LOVE LESSONS FROM JACOB: ‘Now Jacob loved Rachel……’

 (Gen 29: 18a) – Part 6a

Hurray! Jacob has finally crossed the first hurdle and is now married to his sweet heart Rachel and is beginning to settle into his role as husband to the two sisters. However, his troubles are not yet over. Being married to one woman that you love has its challenges but to divide one’s affection between two women now that is difficult and the friction between the sisters was beginning to manifest.

Gen 30:1 reads 

‘Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die!”

ENVY is a feeling of discontent created by witnessing or hearing of the advantage, benefit, prosperity, gain or success of others and a symptom of a lack of appreciation of one’s own uniqueness and self-worth.

Leah, Rachel’s elder sister had started having children for Jacob not long after she had married him; one after the other they just kept popping out while Rachel looked on as the years rolled by, the Bible states that she was barren. By the time Leah had her fourth son, Rachel had seen enough and was at breaking point, so she turned to her husband Jacob and took out her frustrations on him. She was so full of envy that she literally wanted to commit suicide if according to her statement Jacob did not man up and perform his duty by giving her a child.
This was definitely not the kind of response Jacob expected from the woman he loved; to be accused of stopping Rachel from having children, now that is hitting way below the belt.

Jacob was like any normal guy, he had feelings; he could be happy, sad, upset, disappointed and even angry as he showed in this situation when Rachel said those words to him.

’ And Jacob’s anger was aroused against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” (Gen 30:2)

There is this saying about love I once heard that said; ‘Love means never having to say you’re sorry’ which seemed to imply that one would always get things right and therefore an apology became unnecessary in a relationship where there was love ,there will be no arguments or disagreements and that was seen as a good indication of knowing one had met the right person. However, I have learnt that just because you love someone does not mean that they will never upset you and will always agree to everything you say and do. Jacob loved Rachel, but he still got angry when he was accused of something he believed he had no control over and he sure did not hide his disagreement when he responded to Rachel.

One thing however struck me as I was studying this passage and that was how Jacob responded to Rachel in his anger. This is a woman that had just said she would kill herself if Jacob did not give her children. I want you to think about that for a moment; What would be your answer if a woman you love said that to you?

 Jacobs reply to Rachel’s aggression said a lot about his character and perspective as a husband as he did not respond in the same manner as Rachel in his anger.  A typical answer for this situation would be for Jacob to lash back at Rachel and say “Well Leah is your sister and yet she has given me four children. Are you both not from the same family? So, if she can give me children why can’t you? Don’t you see that you are the one with the problem here not me, please do not let me hear you accuse me of something without thinking about your part in the problem. Maybe you might need to go check yourself! “Now that might sound like a fair answer or in other words a Tit for tat response but if he said that I am certain the outcome from this dialogue between them would have been different who knows maybe Rachel would have harmed herself considering her state of mind .

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11 months

True love.