The moment I say the word ‘love’, the very first vision that immediately comes to your mind is of a romantic relationship, isn’t it? Love, romance, infatuation, relationship whatever one chooses to call it but it has never failed to be in the mainstream focus. Since time immemorial we have been listening to some of the most renowned and impactful love stories of world history, Romeo and Juliet, Cleopatra and Mark Anthony, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the list is unending. These stories are indeed immortal. We have all grown up listening to them and all of them have spoken volumes about how an ordinary human can go deep down to shocking fathoms in order to be one with their soulmate. Some of them do make it successfully to their destiny but some unfortunately, lose the wrestle against the excruciating odds that the world often offers.
We are surrounded by a superfluity of examples around us of relationships, marriages, commitments. In fact, every second Bollywood movie that we watch has love at its core. Innumerable novels and poems have been written across the globe by very famous writers featuring love at its centre which undoubtedly has inspired zillions of people to set out on their journey to their chosen ones. Yet, in today’s modern times, love or rather, unconditional love is assumed by many something very rare and difficult to achieve. We humans often get tangled in our own usual emotional cyclones which makes it difficult to understand the genuine definition of love. Hence, making it one of the primary reasons that most of the humans remain deprived of true unconditional love all along their lives.
The question we all often ask ourself is what exactly it must be feeling to be in eternal love with somebody? Is it a garden of roses or violins being played in background or is it the heaven where one does not breathe normal air instead breaths actual pure love? We all dream of a Prince Charming who would come as the knight in the shining armour and rescue us from our daily boring, monotonous life. The long wait for our Mr./ Ms. Perfect which starts early is fuelled by our rock-solid faith and hope. Isn’t it?
Now, let’s have a look at what the Bible has to say about this concept of love. The Lord God said: It’s not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” [Genesis 2: 18]. Peter 4:8 says “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” Love has always been something that the bible stresses upon. Do you guys remember, I mentioned in my last podcast that the bible is not an account of sinless humans and their pure deeds but rather a revelation of how human beings are innately flawed creation. Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, we have a plethora of examples to explore in biblical history. But the least discussed one and of course the trickiest one till date is that of Jacob, Rachel and Leah. This is one of the oldest love triangles in history.
This is the original love triangle of the bible which is unlike any other classic, cliched love story. A major chunk of genesis has been covered by this story which you will realise further that why is it so. One thing that I can assure you readers is that each one of you will take away something very peculiar with you after your read today. The story is found in the old testament. The story starts with Jacob, the younger son of Isaac and Rebekah. Jacob manages to deceive his elder brother Esau by getting hold of his possessions and property that he was supposed to inherit from Isaac. As a result, Esau is furious to kill Jacob but their mother intervenes and asks Jacob to flee away to a far land of Haran and be with Laban, her brother. She manages to convince Isaac and Esau that Jacob has gone to find himself a suitable spouse.
Now Jacob reaches Haran, meets Laban, his uncle and the moment he sees Rachel, Laban’s younger daughter, he immediately falls head over heels for her. Rachael was heavenly beautiful; it was very obvious for any man to immediately get attracted to her. Jacob so loved Rachel that he decided to get married to her. Rachel too loved him unconditionally and wanted to spend her life with him. Back then the man had to pay something to the to be brides’ family as per the societal norm. So, Jacob agreed to work for Laban for a long span of 7 years and Laban in return promised to get Rachel married to him. Jacob worked tirelessly for those 7 years with great perseverance. Those 7 years were fuelled by their eternal love they had for each other which made those 7 years seem like 7 days to Jacob. Here, take a pause for a minute and ponder over how selfless and patient Jacob’s love for Rachel was that he instantly agreed to work for almost a decade without any preoccupied thoughts or conditions. Isn’t it rare to find such a level of commitment and patience? Do not forget about Rachel, she too was waiting patiently for 7 whole years with unshakable faith in her heart that finally one day they would have an eternal reunion after all those years of hardships. Beyond any questions, the obedience here towards each other is something that is very rare to find not only in today’s modern evolved world but even in the oldest pages of history.
Think, would you wait with such patience, without getting deviated for 7 years from your special one? Well, most of us already know the real answers deep in our hearts. After all those years of pain, finally Jacob did get married in a very grand successful way. But fate had something unexpected for them in store. Jacob woke up the later morning only to discover that he was deceived by Laban. He got Jacob married to Leah. Jacob was obviously devastated and he questioned Laban about the reason he had cheated him. Laban told Jacob that it was against the tradition to get the younger daughter married before the elder one. Laban offered him to work for 7 more years and get Rachel in return. Now, again Jacob had a choice to leave everything aside and say that he was fed up especially after being cheated he was all drained up. He could have said that he does not want to serve Laban anymore besides now he also had Leah to led a normal family life with. Also, don’t forget about Rachel who had to pay double the price being a silent sufferer and Leah who felt dejected and ignored. But Jacob chose to work for Laban for another 7 years with the same amount of perseverance and loved Rachel with the same amount of authenticity which shows his loyalty towards Rachel.
Rachel now had to wait for the entire 14 years. Meanwhile, Jacob produced 6 kids with Leah. God did compensate for her deprivation of love. Now, Rachel had a choice to back out as Jacob seemed to be a complete family man by now. She would have easily found another Jacob as she was extremely beautiful, but she chose not to and decided to stick by her love for Jacob. This clearly teaches us that if you are committed to your partner with that loyalty and intensity then one must definitely trust God’s plan and stand firm irrespective of what storm you face. And yes, we are clearly not trying to promote any sort of polygamy here, we are just using this as an example to convey our message loud and clear. Coming back to the story, finally Rachel got married to Jacob but only to dismay, she realised that her womb has been closed and she would not be able to bear for certain years. Imagine the pain she must have gone through. She underwent countless tests which she didn’t even deserve. Yet, she kept her faith un wavered in the Lord and as the bible aptly states that even if you have faith as small as a grain of mustard, yet you will move mountains and overcome the biggest of the difficulties. Finally, her faith paid off, she bore 2 children, Joseph and Benjamin.
What does one conclude from this non-traditional incident? There are so many cases around us, in our lives, we get impatient, elope, run away. Fact of the matter is if it is meant for you by God’s will and you have complete faith in your commitment, then can’t we take inspiration from this particular incident and develop a bit of patience. With that level of commitment to our partner, can’t we ask God for a good convincing power. As Christians, faith is the king ingredient of our life. God has never failed to answer our prayer nor has He broken His promise ever.
So, next time any such thought crosses your mind, spare a moment and recollect this particular story from the bible and the lesson it taught you. Hopefully, this one must have given you a long-lasting impact on your thought process.
Remember, Christianity is all about hope and faith is the key to the destiny’s door.