THE LABOR OF LOVE (GEN. 29:9-35)
One of the best quotes on love I know of comes from Liz Carpenter. She said, “Love is a moment and a lifetime. It is looking at him (a person) across a room and feeling that if I don’t send the rest of my life with him, I’ll have missed the boat.”
More than 66% of adults believe that every person has a perfect match, the perfect Mr. or Ms. Right. The most optimistic groups are those from 18-24 and from 25-34. 85% of those below 25 believe the perfect mate is out there waiting for him or her, and a high 71% of those in the 25-34 bracket agrees that there is someone out there who matches him or her perfectly.
For those who have been fully impacted by the middle age crisis, the 35-44 age group, the romantic notion dips to 60%. However, it regains momentum in the next two age brackets – 67% of those between 45-54 and 63% among those 55-64 still maintain there is a perfect match for every man and woman.
Everything is downhill when you are over 64. Still, 60% of those 65-74 believes in the perfect match theory but only 53% of those over 75 believe so. (“Is there a Mr. or Ms. Perfect?” USA Today 2/14/95)
One of the most bizarre and most fascinating but also the most admirable romance in the Bible is the love of Jacob for his wife Rachel. It is a marriage that triumphed in spite of the odds stacked against it. For all his faults, Jacob survived his meddling in-laws, an unexpected third party, and the infamous seven-year itch. Most people can only sigh at the depth and the determination of Jacob’s unconditional love for Rachel.
So what is love? Is it an aphrodisiac? Is it magic? Is it an obsession?
Love is a Conduct, Not a Conquest
9 While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud. 12 He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father. 13 As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things. 14 Then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.” After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month, 15 Laban said to him, “Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”
A nice girl brings home her fiancé to meet her parents. After dinner, her mother tells her father to find out about the young man. He invites the fiancé to his study for a chat. “So, what are your plans?” the father asks the fiancé. “I am a Biblical scholar,” he replies.
“A Biblical scholar. Admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in, as she’s accustomed to?” “I will study,” the young man replies,