Second Rate

When I was in high school, I only dated one person. It wasn’t very serious, and it didn’t last long at all. When the boy broke up with me, it was through e-mail and he told me the only reason he was breaking up with me was so that he could date another girl. To add insult to injury, he told me if it didn’t work out with her he would come back and date me again.

It all seems so petty now, but that was a real blow. I understood completely that in his eyes, I was second rate. He had eyes for someone else instead of me.

Fast forward to my marriage, and this same scenario played itself on repeat. Multiple affairs and one night stands reaffirmed that my husband always wanted someone other than me. I found myself coming in second place over and over again.

When faced with this sort of rejection, two things typically happen within a person. First, they begin looking for flaws. They try to justify being snubbed by pulling out every insecurity, every fault, and every blemish. They say, “Of course I’m unworthy of love because I have all of these shortcomings.”

The next thing that happens is that the person comes to believe that they are essentially unlovable because of their findings. They accept coming in second because they don’t believe they are worth first place.

In scripture, we can see this heartbreaking scenario unfold in the story of Rachel and Leah.

Rachel and Leah were sisters, and their relationship was blown apart because of a man. When Jacob came to work for their father Laban, he made it known that he was in love with Rachel. He worked seven years to buy her as his wife.

On their wedding night, Laban sent Leah in to sleep with Jacob instead of Rachel. In the morning, Jacob was horrified to discover that his beloved Rachel was not lying beside him. He had been deceived and he slept with the other sister.

He was so upset that he went straight to Laban and demanded Rachel be given to him. He didn’t want Leah. Laban agreed to give him Rachel the next week if he worked another seven years. He agreed to the terms and he got his prize. He married the one he loved.

How awful for Leah to be caught up in this. As the older sister, she was first in line to be married, but her appearance was not appealing enough for Jacob to love her. He only had eyes for Rachel. Can you imagine how painful it was for her to be publicly rejected and humiliated by her husband the morning after she was with him?

I’ve known this story for as long as I can remember, but I never looked at Leah’s perspective until recently. I am floored by the amount of grief she must have suffered. In my empathy for her, I have discovered a truth.

God doesn’t have favorites. He doesn’t love anyone more than He loves me. I will never be second rate in His eyes. Leah wasn’t second rate with him either.

How refreshing to understand that! Jesus died for me. He loved me enough to give everything away. He has forgiven me, and He loves me unconditionally.

He doesn’t see my flaws and look for someone better to invest His time in. He loves me in spite of them, and He works with me to overcome them. He truly is the lover of my soul. He has eyes only for me.

Let that truth wash over you today. Let it soak into your consciousness, and come to a full understanding that there is not a single person on this planet, or in all of history that God would choose to love more than you.

And then walk in praise.

 

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