Do you know what it feels like to be married to a man who doesn’t love you? Maybe you do. Maybe your marriage is the result of parental matchmaking gone wrong. Or maybe you were just dating and getting to know each other and you fell pregnant. Now you’ve “trapped” him with pregnancy and he believes he would not have gone to the altar with you otherwise. Or maybe he did marry you willingly, but only because he couldn’t get the woman he really wanted. Whatever may have happened, you’re in a marriage with a man who doesn’t love you, and probably loves someone else.
Or maybe, you’re not yet married and are considering marrying a man who doesn’t love you — for money, security, babies, or whatever reason. Let’s look at a few things Leah came to know only too well.
- Marriage without love can mess up your psyche
Nobody knows this better than Leah. Genesis 29:15-35 tells the story of a woman who, though she was the first wife, had to live in the shadow of her beautiful sister Rachael, Jacob’s second wife.
For the wife who doesn’t know her husband’s heart belongs to someone else, this life may be bearable. But Leah knew. Jacob thought it was his beloved Rachael he had married, and having desired her from the first time he laid eyes on her, one can only imagine the passion with which he made love to his bride. Leah felt that. She also felt the way he had sex with her from then on, having discovered he was tricked. He made love to her, and he also had sex with her. They are not the same thing, and a woman knows it.
Why would you deliberately yoke yourself with someone who will merely tolerate you instead of celebrating you? Why spend your time and effort on someone who isn’t capable of recognizing and appreciating the God’s gift in you? Instead of finding someone who is starving for what you have to offer, who wants who you are and what you give, would you rather waste your life trying to get the attention and affection of a husband or wife who doesn’t really see you? Are you thinking you can make him or her love you after the wedding?
- You cannot make someone love you
Apparently, Leah thought that bearing a son would make Jacob love her. In Gen 29:32 she said,
“The LORD has surely looked upon my affliction. Now, therefore, my husband will love me.”
Err, not so.
Yet, Leah still had Jacob in mind when she had her second son Simeon. Gen 29:33,
“And she conceived again and bore a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called him Simeon.”
And she was still hopeful by the time Levi came along. Gen 29:34,
“And she conceived again and bore a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.”
Leah’s personal campaign to win Jacob’s love by bearing children didn’t work out as planned. She bore sons, but she couldn’t get Jacob to love her. Sex with Leah was her right as a wife, and Jacob fulfilled his conjugal duties, but the love just didn’t happen. What was even more painful? Rachael could not bear him any children, and yet Jacob still loved her, not Leah. The more she tried, the more she opened herself up to rejection and pain.
If you’re trying to worm your way into her heart by buying her expensive gifts and showering her with money, or trying to win his love by cooking delicious meals or wearing makeup 24/7, stop wasting your time.
- Only God Can Complete You
For the diehard romantic, this may sound like an empty line. I’ve got news for you. If you’re struggling with the fact that someone you love doesn’t love you, and you’re waiting for them to come and “complete” you with their love, you’re looking in the wrong direction.
If there is something lacking, or broken in your life, no human being can fix it. Only God’s love can.
How do you embrace God’s love? By living a life of praise!
Leah got tired of trying to get Jacob’s attention with her sons; she turned her eyes to God. She had her 4th son Judah, and Gen 29:35 says,
“And she conceived again, and bore a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah, and left childbearing.”
Did you see that? She left childbearing. She rested from her struggle and turned to God. She chose to praise. Amazingly, even though he was not the eldest, out of the tribe of Judah, that child of praise, came The Lion, the ruler of God’s people.
The more you praise God, the less concerned you are about who is or isn’t loving or appreciating you. When you praise God, your identity and self-esteem are restored. He will give you all you need (trust me, He knows) and make something beautiful and amazing of your life. The greatest thing you can do to find fulfillment in life is to praise Jehovah!