Continued from the previous post
So far, Jacob’s love for his wife, Rachel demonstrates to us that love can exist even in a dysfunctional marriage. This man did some unexpected things for his wife.
Application for husbands:
Husbands, love your wives.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, – Ephesians 5:25
You can love your wife even when she is complicated to deal with. Rachel was not easy to love. She seemed to want everything and then some; never content.
Your wife is designed and wired to receive your love. She has that as a basic need. Love is not an emotion, but an act of the will. You must be captivated by something deeper than just the physical attributes of your wife – something about her character, inner beauty and the decision you made to love her – that is how Christ loves the church. He valued us to the extent that He was willing to die for our sake – and He did! Your love will lead you to treat your wife as something valuable and precious to you. Your love will direct you to invest in and pay a price for her.
How much are you willing to spend on her?
How much time are you willing to spend with her?
Jacob’s love for Rachel was so patient that it didn’t consider her complexity
One would think that Rachel was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside, but that is far from true. She is not the best example of a wife. In addition to being a thief and a liar , she was an envious woman. Rachel had everything that a woman would want – great physical appearance, married from wealth into wealth, and husband’s love. Can you imagine, the man wept for her, but she was never satisfied. She had what her sister didn’t have and she wanted what her sister had. Greed!
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!” – Genesis 30:1
A spirit of discontentment can lead one to live a miserable life – always grumbling and complaining. So, to fulfill her own desires, on two occasions she gave Bilhah, her maid, to Jacob to have children with. She named the second son Naphtali because she wrestled with Leah.
3 So she said, “Here is my maid Bilhah; go in to her, and she will bear a child on my knees, that I also may have children by her.” 4 Then she gave him Bilhah her maid as wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5 And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6 Then Rachel said, “God has judged my case; and He has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan. 7 And Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8 Then Rachel said, “With great wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and indeed I have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali. – Genesis 30:3-8
Rachel wants even what Leah’s 4-year-old child had collected. When Leah questions her behavior, Rachel puts a ‘payment’ on it. She was aware that Leah was empty of her husband’s love.
14 Now Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15 But she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?”
And Rachel said, “Therefore he will lie with you tonight for your son’s mandrakes.” – Genesis 30:14-15
Calculating and conniving woman?
Eventually, Rachel conceives and bears a son. She names her first son Joseph, which means God will add me another (Genesis 30:24). One would think she would be so grateful that her problems would cease.
Discontentment is a spirit
The spirit of discontentment can cut short one’s life. It led to Rachel’s death when she was bearing a second son. She was so dissatisfied that she wanted even what her father had. Remember we mentioned earlier that Rachel stole from her father (without Jacob’s knowledge). The idols she stole were the equivalent of the title deeds of the possessions of Laban. As they left Laban’s home he pursued them to recover his idols and this offended Jacob, who unknowingly placed a curse on his wife, saying, “With whomever you find your gods, do not let him live” . (Genesis 31:33-35).
Discontentment or dissatisfaction is an issue of the heart. It has nothing to do with what you have or don’t have in your life. Believe it or not, contentment is not about the amount of money you have in the bank or how educated you are or how many children you have.
How is your contentment level as a wife?
Are you a satisfied woman?
Are you always murmuring and complaining?
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, – Philippians 2:14
After their release from bondage, the children of Israel allowed the spirit of discontentment to creep in among them. They complained.
That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” – Numbers 14:1-3
Are you always comparing yourself with others and have to always be #1?
This is a killer of most marriages today: competing with others and comparing yourself with them.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. – 1Timothy 6:6
May God bless your heart so that you will be content and save your marriage.