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Miranda Writes: The Price of Love, Part 2




by Omar Miranda



Last week we looked at what happens when teens go looking for love and belonging through the wrong kinds of relationships—specifically ending up as teen parents. You know, the Bible has a very interesting story of two sisters who were competing for the love of their husband (yes, they both had the same husband). The problem was that the husband truly loved only one of those sisters, and it didn’t matter what the other sister did to try to gain her husband’s love, attention, and belonging; it didn’t work. Read it for yourself. It’s found in Genesis 29–30:24.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the story of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel? Here’s the summary: Jacob cheats his older twin brother, Esau, out of his father’s blessing (basically it meant a larger share of everything: spiritual blessing, power and authority, money, animals, land, etc.). His older brother is naturally really angry and vows to kill him. Jacob runs away. He ends up connecting with a relative of his, Laban, and Laban has two daughters. Jacob is sweet on the younger one, Rachel, so he agrees to work seven years in order to marry her. Laban, though, pulls the old daughter switcheroo on Jacob, and Jacob instead marries Rachel’s older sister, Leah. Needless to say that when Jacob finds out, he’s really angry! To make a long story short, he agrees to work another seven years in order to marry his first wife choice, Rachel.

You’re probably asking yourself right about now, “Self, what does this story have to do with getting pregnant for the wrong reasons?” Well, read Genesis 29:31–30:24. (Really—grab a Bible and read this now.)

So what does this story teach us? Other than that Jacob and his family were in dire need of boatloads of counseling? Well, it teaches us that you can’t look to your kids, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend—or anybody else—to give you the healthy self-esteem, love, belonging, and significance that we all crave. The only relationship that will bring you the true love that you desire is a personal, day-by-day love relationship with God, through the acceptance of His Son, Jesus Christ.

I want to point out several interesting things about this story and the culture of the time:

1. This culture was very patriarchal, meaning that women had less worth and significance than livestock—unless they were able to have children . . . and they had even more importance if they had male children! In fact, today this is still a reality in many parts of the world. So it is safe to say that a woman in this culture was objectified (big fancy term for the fact that women were seen as objects to be used for someone else to get what they wanted). H’mmm, starting to sound more and more like our culture, isn’t it?

2. Parents gave their kids names that were incredibly meaningful, and many times those names would describe an almost self-fulfilling prophecy for what and who those parents hoped their kids would do and be.

3. Leah never gave up hope of getting Jacob to love her. In fact, with every successive child she had, she named them something significantly related to her lack of love from Jacob. Take a look at her attempts to win her husband’s love through all her children:

• Son no. 1: Reuben—Leah said, “The Lord has taken away my sorrow. Now my husband will love me more than he does Rachel” (Genesis 29:32).*

• Son no. 2: Simeon—“The Lord has heard that my husband doesn’t love me” (verse 33).

• Son no. 3: Levi—“Now my husband will hold me close” (verse 34). And so on and so forth. Just imagine the therapy that one of these children would need every time somebody said their names. After all, they were living testaments to how their mother didn’t feel loved!

4. The childbearing didn’t stop with Leah, either. Bilhah, Rachel’s servant; Rachel herself; and Zilpah, Leah’s servant, all jumped into the mix and bore children for Jacob!

So what does this story ultimately have to teach us? The kind of love, belonging, and significance that will ultimately satisfy our hearts will be found only when we connect with Jesus!

So how do we connect with Jesus? Well, if you’re a disciple of Christ, you’ve already got access to the ultimate satisfaction He brings to hearts, but if you’re not a Christ-follower, you can become one right now! How? First, you have to realize that you’re a sinner and you’ve broken God’s perfect standard of perfection (holiness) and the only way to make it right is to accept Jesus and the death He took that you deserved to give you the life that He deserved (justification). Just talk to Him right now (it’s called prayer) and admit to Him that you’re a knucklehead, there’s nothing you can do to save yourself, and that you want to accept Him and the wonderful life and love (salvation) that He’s offered to you—no strings attached! As a follower of Christ, you automatically receive a lifetime membership (again free) as a part of God’s larger family: the church. You’ll find God’s love there as well through the relationships you’ll form with your Christian “brothers and sisters.” Confused? The apostle Paul says it like this: “You are citizens with everyone else who belongs to the family of God. You are like a building with the apostles and prophets as the foundation and with Christ as the most important stone. Christ is the one who holds the building together and makes it grow into a holy temple for the Lord. And you are part of that building Christ has built as a place for God’s own Spirit to live” (Ephesians 2:19-22).

Maybe you’re already involved in inappropriate relationships, looking to them for love. Maybe you’ve already made the choice to be involved sexually and you’re already pregnant or already have a child. Well, there’s great news for you: you can make a decision today—right now, in fact—to ask for God’s forgiveness for when you’ve messed up and for help to stop sinning (repentance). The apostle John wrote this about living in sin and asking for forgiveness: “If we say that we share in life with God and keep on living in the dark, we are lying and are not living by the truth. But if we live in the light, as God does, we share in life with each other. And the blood of his Son Jesus washes all our sins away. If we say that we have not sinned, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth isn’t in our hearts. But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away” (1 John 1:6-9).
Don’t go another day without the forgiveness that God has for you; the forgiveness that you don’t deserve and is a free gift of eternal life; the forgiveness that Jesus died to give you so you could have an abundant life only in and through Him (John 10:10)! You don’t have to look for love in all the wrong places. You know where to find it now—in Jesus. Don’t wait; connect with Jesus today.

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

*Scripture quotations in this article are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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