A Desperate Housewife of Genesis
Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi. She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah Then she stopped having children. Genesis 29:34-35
Oh, Leah. Poor, sweet Leah. Reading her story always breaks my heart at first.
You see, Leah believed the same lie that we all believe somewhere along the way: that if we were only more, if we only measured up or achieved, if we were better women, we would be loved and accepted. Then, we would be enough.
Leah knew she didn’t stand a chance against her beautiful little sister Rachel. Their husband was crazy about Rachel, not Leah. So she started having kids in hopes that her childbearing abilities would woo her husband and garner his love and affection. “Surely my husband will love me now!” she says in Genesis 29:32. Three kids later, and Leah’s still waiting.
These performance-based, results-oriented, conditional ideas of love and value ruin us. We were handmade and knit together by God, but we hold ourselves to impossible standards. We spend hours on Pinterest stocking up great ideas for how we can be the perfect woman. You know the dream: the size 2 woman who cooks pasta and brownies in her immaculate, well-organized, budget-friendly, DIY-but-it-still-looks-like-it-belongs-in-a-magazine kitchen with trendy mint wedges and a hand-sewn tank dress while her children make their own room decor in their super sweet craft area while they remember to say “please” and “thank you” and never say “I’m bored” out of fear that they may have to draw a stick out of the chore jar. Ah, bliss.
Here’s the thing though: If you’re only (yes, only) that woman, you’ll still never feel like you’re enough.
Leah finally starts to understand where true satisfaction and security lie after the birth of Judah, her fourth son, when she announces, “This time I will praise the Lord.”
Over and over again, God met Leah in her despair and in her brokenness. He kept count of the tears she shed and the nights she spent alone, wishing she was as desired as Rachel. God never forgot Leah. He never viewed her as unworthy or unimportant. God saw Leah. God loved Leah. And in the end, God used Leah’s story in an even bigger way than she could ever have imagined. It is through the line of Leah’s son Judah that we eventually see the birth of Christ (Matthew 1:3).
You’re more than a wife and a mother. You’re more than an employee, sister or friend. You’re more than a messy kitchen or a burnt meal or a late birthday card. You’re a precious daughter of the Creator of the world. You’re an important part of an eternal Kingdom. Even when you’re feeling inadequate or unimportant, never forget Leah’s story. Even in your darkness, God can and will usher in deliverance. When the world doesn’t notice, God always does. And when you think about who you are in Him, my friend, you’ll find that you’re more than enough.
~ Whitney Sewell
Father God, You never cease to amaze me with your goodness and love. Thank you for letting me be a part of your Kingdom. Thank you for choosing me, calling me to glorify your name, and working everything out for good. Sometimes, I feel discouraged, but you’re always faithful. Even when I’m faithless, you remain faithful. Help me to lean not on my own understanding, but to trust you entirely. Help me to find my worth and satisfaction completely in you. I love you. Amen.
Other Scriptures to study:
- Jeremiah 1:5
- Joshua 1:9
- 1 John 3:1
- Psalm 145:18
- Zephaniah 3:17