Thursday – May She Be My Delight

By Greg Morse, desiring God

   The story of Jacob’s first bride should haunt us. It was plain to all that Jacob “loved Rachel more than Leah” (Genesis 29:30). Rachel was beautiful; Leah possessed “weak eyes” and was less attractive. Jacob labored seven years to win Rachel, and “they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her” (Genesis 29:20); Jacob regretted Leah the moment he realized his uncle tricked him into marrying her instead of her sister. After marrying both, Jacob flew two different banners over each the rest of their lives. And God saw it.

   Leah’s Maker − whose image she bore and whose concern she had − looked at Jacob’s marriages, and what did he see? Rachel, Jacob loved; Leah, he “hated” (Genesis 29:31). God, seeing his daughter so despised, looked upon her affliction and opened her womb instead of her sister’s (Genesis 29:32). Climactically, agonizingly, she birthed child after child, hoping with each new son, “Now my husband will love me. . . . Now this time my husband will be attached to me” (Genesis 29:32, 34). Finally, with the birth of her fourth, Judah, she gives up her hopes of husbandly love and turns to praise the Lord.

   Whatever cautions this story holds in warning young women against idolizing a husband’s love, we shouldn’t overlook the tragedy: Her husband’s banner over her was disdain. Is she automatically an idolater because she longed to be delighted in by her husband? What about women like Leah today? Perhaps her final declaration of divine praise speaks as much indictment on her husband as it does sanctification in Leah.

   The point stands for husbands today: We did not marry Leah. We did not marry the wrong girl. The ring, the covenant, the marriage makes her, at all times, our Rachel. Not to be overlooked. Not to be despised, compared, or assumed. She is flesh of your flesh and bone of your bone. Your lovely deer, your graceful doe. Your lily. Your beautiful one. Your well of desire and spring of delight. And she does not need to bring you children, success in your career, or an airbrushed physique to receive your blush-provoking, grave-protecting love.

   God does not tolerate his church. He does not ignore her. He does not wake up in the morning thinking he married the wrong girl. Familiarity does not dampen his passion. Eternity will seem like a moment to him because of his love for her. She does not scheme to win his embrace. He spent his strength for her in his earthly life and was pierced for her transgressions to stab at the roots of death and shield her from the grave. This is amazing love, a holy love, a love that, to give an earthly analogy, God displays through husbands in our marriages: “As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you” (Isaiah 62:5).

   Our delight in her is about his delight in us; our marriages about his (Ephesians 5:32). We, like Roy, follow our Bridegroom — braving Satan, the flesh, and the world — to plant our flag over her: She Is My Delight. Not, “She is my cook and cleaner.” Not, “She is my children’s mother.” But, “She is my chosen, my favorite, my fairest one.” She seeps into our sentences. Our hearts sing her name. Time and again, let us pray, “Lord, may she increasingly be my delight.”

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