• Heidi J. Smith

Unloved: Lesson from Leah

Photo credit to Jamie Street from Unsplash

Have you ever struggled with feeling unloved?

Maybe you were not the favorite child in your family. You could never be good enough to compete with your siblings. No matter what you did, it was never enough.

Or maybe you feel unloved in your marriage? Your husband lusts after pornography, and you feel betrayed.

Or maybe you are divorced or widowed, and you feel lonely and forgotten. As people rush by, no one seems to notice you.

Or maybe you have been abused? The secret weighs on you, and the bad dreams haunt you at night. You feel used and long to be truly loved.

I have struggled with feeling unloved when my marriage went through a rough patch. I wondered why I wasn't good enough.

What do we do when we feel unloved?

In the Bible Leah struggled with feeling unloved. Even though she was the older sister, her younger sister Rachel received all the attention due to beauty. Maybe it was something like this... (Genesis 29-30)

Leah watched her younger sister Rachel and Jacob longingly. Ever since the couple had met at the town well seven years ago, they had fallen in love, and Jacob had been working to pay the dowry. Now he was almost finished, and they could get married.

Leah wondered, “Will I ever get married? Will someone love me like that?”

Leah always wished that she was beautiful like Rachel. People always noticed how pretty and nicely-put-together Rachel was, but no one ever noticed her.

The wedding night arrived, and Laban tricked Jacob. He brought a veiled Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. In the morning Jacob realized he had been tricked and wanted his rightful wife! He agreed to complete the weekly celebration and got Rachel.

Jacob slept with Rachel also, and indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years” (Genesis 29:30).

In the following months, Leah might have thought, “Why did my father make me marry Jacob? Jacob doesn’t even love me as much as Rachel. I am just the second wife. I am so lonely.”

Even though Leah was unloved by Jacob, the Lord saw her and blessed her with children (Genesis 29:31).

After the birth of each one, Leah hoped it would be enough for Jacob to love her, but it was never enough. She wondered, “Is he just using me to produce children and to carry on the family name? Why can’t he love me for me? Why am I not good enough?”

But Leah prayed and God heard her prayers. (Genesis 29:33, 35; 30:17).

Day in and day out she raised his children, but he didn’t notice her. She wanted him to treasure her for who she was, but she couldn't compete with her sister. He loved Rachel, not her.

Leah took her burdens to the Lord, and we can too.

When we feel unloved, we can take comfort that God sees us and hears us no matter where we are. Nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). As we mediate on God's truth, we realize that WE ARE LOVED by the KING OF KINGS and LORD of LORDS.

We need to mediate on God's TRUTH versus our FEELINGS.

We need to remember God sees us, hears us, and loves us. We are daughters of the King. We are LOVED!

Lord, please help us to focus on truth versus feelings. May we know that we are loved by You.


There is not much more recorded about Leah’s life, but the Bible does give two more interesting facts. First, Leah’s son Judah is the chosen, royal line of Christ! What an honor! (Matthew 1:2) Out of Jacob’s twelve sons, the Lord choose Leah’s Judah.

Second, Jacob is buried with Leah in the cave at Mamre with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Rebekah (Genesis 49:31). Rachel is buried somewhere else. Leah was the one chosen to be buried with her husband.

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Heidi J. Smith