So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her. (Genesis 29:20)
What Love Can Do
The story of Jacob and Rachel is a powerful story of the enduring nature of love. After deceiving his father to receive the family birthright, Jacob had fled to Padan Aram to take for himself a wife from Rebekah’s family. Arriving in the land of the East, his first encounter with his mother’s family was when he met Rachel at a well. Soon he pledged himself to work seven years for Rachel the younger daughter of his uncle Laban. She was beautiful in form and appearance. Jacob had been smitten with this beautiful woman and fallen in love with her. Laban had selfish motives in his arrangement with Jacob but waiting seven years to wed his beauty was only like a few days for the son of Isaac. Jacob loved Rachel. Every day passed with the joy of knowing one day she would be his. They would be together and seven years passed as quickly as a few days.
True love is devoted love. It is the measure of a heart that is not bound by time and distance. Often love is defined by the silly feelings of a weak heart seeking gratification in some momentary expression of the flesh. Love that is a deep and caring emotion and longing for another person will not be bound by the physical attractions that can be deceiving. Jacob’s love was not based on outward beauty alone. Rachel was a beautiful woman but there was more to Jacob’s love than what he could see with his eyes. In the first month he spent in Laban’s home, a change came over his feelings for Rachel as he watched her. She was beautiful deep inside. Jacob’s heart changed to have a love for Rachel that would take away the labor of seven years. His love was not measured by time but his feelings toward Rachel were the true nature of love.
There is a wonderful lesson in the story of Jacob and Rachel. Love is defined in many ways but the purest form of love is found when it is seen through the eyes of God. When the Lord created man and woman He brought them together to be one and to love one another for life. Sin marred the relationship and put a wedge between the man and woman that would define the story of love for generations. Men tried to find love outside the bounds of marriage but found only misery. Complete love would come when the heart was first attached to God and then to show that love to the spouse. God’s love was sacrificial in giving His only begotten Son. Love between a man and woman must be sacrificial. Marital love is not about the “me” person seeking its own gratification. Devoted love comes from giving the other person a love that makes the years seem like days. Selfish love comes from a heart that can only be happy when the other person is giving all. True love comes when love is not about me but my spouse. There is no mine or yours but ours. Husbands who love their wives like Christ loved the church will show a sacrificial love every day. Wives who submit to their husbands in the Biblical pattern will find a greater love for their husbands. Together the love a couple has for one another will make the years seem like days.
True love is not a myth. It is not something belonging to fairy tales or fictional romance stories. Learning to love the Lord will all the heart, soul, and mind will develop a true love for a husband and wife that will grow deeper with each passing year. One of the main reasons people fall out of love with one another is they fail to love God. He hates divorce and one reason is how divorce destroys the love God intended the man and woman to share in life. Building upon the love of God marriages become stronger and more deeply rooted in the spiritual foundation of the Lord’s design for the home. Jacob loved Rachel in such a way that years passed like days. That is not a fable. It can be done today if the heart is willing.