- Genesis 29:20 (NKJV) So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her. [Proverbs 15:17; Romans 5:5]
Dads can drive hard bargains when it comes to a young man wanting the hand of his daughter in marriage. However, I doubt any have topped Laban, the father of Rebekah. He required seven years of hard labor without pay from Jacob! Talk about a tough deal.
Yet, in perhaps one of the most romantic verses in the Bible, those sever years “seemed only a few days to Jacob because of the love he had for her.”
Love is the great reducer and diminisher. Add love to years of hardship and lack and it only seems like a few months. Add love to months of grind and grit and it only seems like a few days. Even with faults and failures to bolsters their case, accusation and criticism become mute and silent in the presence of love. Complaining and griping drop their head in silence in the presence of love.
Yes, love is the great reducer and diminisher.
On the other hand, selfish ambition, greed, hate, unforgiveness—all these will turn a day into a week and a week in a month and months into years and years into hell.
Lay upon a man hardship, sickness, and poverty and add love and he is to be envied far above those who have rank, station, talents, money, comforts, but no love.
- The ONE THING for today: Guard your heart! Fill it with love and do not let anything else in; it will be worth the effort.
Prayer: Have you allowed a root of bitterness or one of its siblings (jealously, envy, and resentment) to gain a foothold in your life? It is costing you. Remember, no one is ever going to measure up to your expectations unless those expectations are tempered by love. Today, confront these issues in your own life. Ask God to strengthen your love for the people in your life…ask God to love them through you.
The Power of Caring: Falling in love is the easy part; loving someone who is “fallen”—now that is another story. Make a short list of those difficult-to-love people in your life and pray for them today and also care for them today by doing something that blesses and encourages them. It will make the time fly.
 I am indebted to the great pastor and preacher: Clarence Edward Macartney (1879-1957) and his sermon: Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel—Love, Courtship, Marriage (Classic Sermons on the Seasons of Life) for the seed thought behind this devotional.