“So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.”
So there’s a lot to this story in Genesis chapter 29 as Jacob comes into Laban’s land and ends up wanting his daughter, Rachel as his wife. Laban giving him first Leah and then this verse talks about how Jacob served Laban for seven years so that Rachel could be his wife. But this verse says, it seemed to him, those seven years were like a few days, because of the love he had for her.
Now, there’s a lot of things we could talk about in this chapter. But when I read this verse I just picture this love and affection that Jacob had for Rachel, and I can’t help but think that this is God’s design for marriage, that marriage would be marked by that kind of zeal, that kind of emotional affection and love. Not that we always feel the exact same way every day and every month and every year in marriage, but that there is intended by God a delight in marriage in one’s spouse, a love that makes even really hard circumstances seem a lot lighter because of who we’re sharing them with.
At the same time I read this verse, I know that there is a tendency in many marriages for love to grow cold, for affection to diminish, and that’s not God’s design. It’s not that things are always easy and the circumstances we walk through in marriage are always even simple, like there’s all kinds of challenges and complications and trials, but God has designed in the middle of all of those for us to experience in a spouse, if we’re married, in our husband or wife, like a love and affection that grows and increases over time.
I was listening at Billy Graham’s funeral to one of his children talk about how when his wife, Ruth was still alive, Billy Graham would just walk into her room, she was sick, she was laying on her side in the bed, and Billy Graham would just walk in, sit on the bed next to his wife. They couldn’t even talk to each other. They would just look at each other in the eyes with affection, without saying a word, for like hours. I thought, what a pure love that grows over time.
It is intended by God for spouses to delight in one another with love.
So I just want to pray for that, for all who are married, that we would experience that. Because I know that’s not always reality for everyone in marriage. So, God, I pray, I pray for this in my own marriage. God, I praise you for my wife. I praise you for the love and affection we share. God, I pray that it would grow. I know that there are so many forces at work in this world, the adversary is wanting to keep us from experiencing love and affection like you’ve designed.
God, I pray that you would guard our love and affection for one another. I pray for that in my marriage, and I pray for that in other marriages. I pray for that in the marriages of people who are listening to this right now. God, I pray that they would experience growing love and affection. I pray that if that’s been lost, that it would be restored, God, by your grace, that you would bring about a restoration of affection and love in marriages, that that would grow, God, that as our marriages increase in years, so would our longing for one another, so would our affection for one another in marriage. God, please may this be so, in a world that constantly tries to pull marriages apart, we pray for this kind of love and affection to be our realities in marriage. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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