When a Man Loves a Woman

Published July 22, 2013 by Dawn

He looked up from his work to wipe the sweat from his brow. The heat was unbearable and the long hours in it very taxing on his body. Too long of a pause and he’d never be able to regain the strength of his muscles to finish off the day. How long had it been? How many weeks? How many months? How many years? He could hardly remember any more. He had it written down, to the letter, somewhere inside his tent, but he knew he wasn’t finished yet. Sometimes he wondered if he could make it. Could he finish what he started? Would it be worth it? And then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw her. Turning his head, he let his eyes drink in her beauty. He imagined the feel of her hair on his face, the warmth of her breath as she kissed him. His body ached for her, and his determination was renewed again. He would make it. Seven years for her seemed like nothing as he felt himself drawn to her. She threw him a passing smile and his heart leapt. He was captivated by her beauty. She was so delicate and graceful. She was so sweet. She was going to be all his. Seven years, dear Rachel. Seven years.

And indeed, seven years were like nothing to him. And when his uncle tricked him and threw in Leah too, he vowed another seven years for Rachel. She was the one he wanted. She was the prize for his labor. She was worth the time and effort. What’s another seven years to be able to lay in her embrace?

The strength and voracity of love is a mystery to me. What compels a man to work fourteen years in the grueling heat doing hard labor for a woman? It’s unimaginable to me. What was it about Rachel that so captivated Jacob that he hardly noticed the passing of fourteen years of his life? He was not building a home for himself or his family. He was laboring to pay a dowry. He was hardly more than Laban’s servant, slaving away for a bride. His only aim was her heart. What manner of love is this?

Jacob’s labor of love was a foreshadowing of Christ’s love for His bride. His only aim was our hearts. His only desire to pour out his love for us, and to be loved in return. In one of the most intimate moments of Jesus’ ministry, he looked out over the city of Jerusalem and wept. His bride. If only we knew how much we meant to him. Did Rachel understand her place inside Jacob’s heart? Did she value the sacrifice of years that he spent working to secure her hand? In like manner, do we understand and value the price of our relationship with the Lord?

What manner of love is this, that compels a man to put aside any other purpose in life, and pursue with such fervency the love of a bride he knows may not accept his hand? Jesus did that for us! He lived under intense spiritual attack, hatred and persecution from his peers, and eventually hung on a cross, all for the heart of mankind. Did he notice the passing time? Was he aware of the life he forfeited? If Jacob’s story is any indication, he did not. Love does crazy things inside a man, it seems. He lived out the course of his heart, not the course of his mind. What seemed crazy to every one else was pure delight to him. Did his flesh suffer? Of course. As did Jacob’s, day after day for fourteen years. But in the end, the time did not matter. The prize had been attained. Luckily for Jacob, Rachel turned out to be all that he imagined and more. He remained completely and utterly in love with her until the end. He had won her heart and she gave it to him with reckless abandon. For Christ, I intend to do the same. What else can I give to the man who went to such great lengths to win my heart?

Lord,
All of me. That’s what you labored and died for, and that is what I give to you. I don’t know where this marriage goes from here, but I know it will be glorious. You are deeply romantic to have pursued my heart to such great lengths. I give you nothing less than all of me. I love you more than words can adequately express. You are my treasure.

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