Monday, September 29, 2008

The Ultimate Biblical Steparents

There are two biblical steparents that I personally think are the absolute bomb! First and foremost , Joseph the stepfather of Jesus. Can you imagine "God" being the "other parent"? What an humbling and odd place to be in for Joseph. The other stepparent is "Leah", the wife of Jacob and stepmom of Joseph and Benjamin. I am going to share my thoughts on Leah...and maybe one day I can plead with my husband to share thoughts about Joseph.

Leah was not ever really wanted. She was the "booby prize" if you will. Jacob's desire was for Rachel. He settled for Leah, but he wanted and pursued Rachel all along. I told my husband about the 2nd wife syndrome of feeling like "the best of what's left". He dislikes the analogy, but it was the only way I could describe what it was like sometimes. This is especially true of the 2nd wife of a widower. Because of course, 9 times out of 10 the widowers preference would have been to be with their 1st wife/husband. The true desire is that they would not have died. That in essence, they would be with them instead of you. They choose you and settle in to having you...accept the acceptable will of God if you will...but where is their heart and the true desire? Its a constant battle sometimes of not really knowing.

Leah was unloved by her husband. He basically used her to bare children. Which means he used her body for his benefit (to produce heirs) but his intimacy (and lack thereof)was not about his love for her. There were times that he probably dreamed of Rachel even when he was with Leah. Rachel initially could not bear children so since she was not available for Jacob's breeding purposes he used Leah continously for that purpose.

Then Rachel got pregnant finally but died in bitterness giving birth to Benjamin. She was buried by the side of the road. Leah probably felt like a ton of bricks had fallen on her. Leah was left with being an "aunt" and stepmother to Joseph and Benjamin. Leah raised them and Jacob finally revered her and proclaimed her as their mother (Genesis 37:10). What a icky place for Leah to be in. Raising the children of her sister who competed with her for the affection of her husband for years. Now that she is gone however...Leah is left with all the children, with a husband that has been distant and a user for years, and with all the work. Above all, she is left to deal with the feeling that her husband settles for her yet again since "Rachel" is now gone.

However...when it all came out in the wash....Rachel was buried by the side of the road and Jacob moved on. Leah was buried like a princess in the tomb with Abraham, Sarah& Issac (Genesis 49:31). You don't see Jacob even mentioning Rachel anymore. Leah is no longer compared to her, competing with her or placed beneath her. In the end, It was Leah's fruit (child) that catapulted the world into an opportunity for eternal life. It was her son Judah that brought forth the lineage of Christ.

God made sure that when it mattered, Stepmom Leah was honored appropriately. She handled her role as a wife and Stepmom with such dignity-Jacob obviously and eventually gained a level of respect for her and maybe a repented spirit for how he had treated her. He may have even loved her when it was all said and done. In the end, God gave her the ultimate honor by placing her in the role of being Jesus' great grandmother.

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