Rachel, her sister, had always had something she didn’t. Rachel had beauty, Leah didn’t. Rachel had Jacob’s heart, Leah didn’t. However, with the birth of her first child, she finally had something Rachel didn’t: a son.
“Surely my husband will love me now,” she recalled thinking after Reuben was born. What she desperately wanted would finally belong to her and her alone. She had bargaining power, and she planned to use it.
This is the way that Leah considered each of her children. They served as a strange sort of currency, each one “buying” her a certain level of emotional security and social standing. However, whatever dividends she gained depreciated all too quickly. She had to have another baby, and another, to keep her emotional security afloat.
Unsettled in her own skin for most of her life, Leah longed to feel comfortable around other women. She would never be the prettiest. Never the smartest. Not even the wealthiest. She knew that. But a baby gave women reason to envy. “The women will call me happy,” she recalled fantasizing at the time of yet another son’s birth. She thought every eye would be on her. The odds would finally be in her favor.
After five strapping sons and with one on the way, she imagined herself becoming a queen among her princes. As she contemplated the next birth, she thought that surely her husband would finally look at her with eyes of love. This time, her peers would approve of her. This time, she would earn everyone’s respect.
The last time hadn’t worked out like she’d hoped. And the time before that, well . . . the rewards had been short-lived at best. Every “last time” was, after all, last time. She needed something new in order to feel good about herself today. As she looked up and saw her husband coming in from the fields, she absently stroked her pregnant belly. This time . . .
Taken from NIV Women’s Devotional Bible