Summary: This sermon would be useful on the Sunday before Valentine’s Day. It incorporates the story of a couple who fell in love without seeing each other.
"WHAT IS LOVE?"
GENESIS 29:16-30 New King James
Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
 Leah’s eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance.  Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, "I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter."
 And Laban said, "It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me."
 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.
 Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her."
 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a feast.
 Now it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her.
 And Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a maid.
 So it came to pass in the morning, that behold, it was Leah. And he said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why then have you deceived me?"
 And Laban said, "It must not be done so in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.
 Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years."
 Then Jacob did so and fulfilled her week. So he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife also.
 And Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as a maid.
 Then Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served with Laban still another seven years.
In this Bible story, we see a man who loved a woman.
And we see what he was willing to do to get her love.
This story reminds me of another true love story.
John Blanchard stood up from the bench straightened his Army uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn’t, the girl with the rose.
His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida library. Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin.
The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind. In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner’s name, Miss Hollis Maynell. With time and effort he located her address. She lived in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World War II.
During the next year and one month the two grew to know each other through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart.
John and Hollis were learning something about the way of love.
AS WE MAKE AN INVESTMENT:
Verses 20, 30:
So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her. [30 Then Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served with Laban still another seven years.
Jacob is willing to invest 14 years of his life
Working hard for his father-in-law…
to have the woman he loved.
He is not intimidated by the tricks of Laban.
He still made the needed investment.
He did not say, "Well, if you’re going to treat me like that,
you can just keep your daughter!"
Jacob paid the price he had to pay
to have the woman he cherished.
That’s the way of love:
If you want somebody to love you more than they do,
make an investment.
Loves comes back when it is first given out.
They may never love you, but invest anyhow.
Sometimes, We think that love can only grow if others invest in us.
We think like this:
"I’ll love you if…you love me,
you do what I want you to do,
you treat me as I want to be treated."
"I’ll love you if you make an investment!"
And then we wonder why it doesn’t work!
We think like this:
"I love you because you are nice to me,
let me do whatever I want."
"I love you because you invest in me."
NO, friends…that’s not it!