"Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel." Genesis 29:16
Leah became the wife of Jacob by default. And to Jacob's surprised acknowledgment of this, he made it known that she was not the one he desired. Although Leah may have been at least a willing party in this deception, she could have been merely an obedient eldest daughter to a very deceitful father.
Leah and Rachel was married to Jacob in the same week. Rachel being described as beautiful and Leah having delicate eyes; meaning weak; or lack of sparkle; or maybe even poor eyesight.
Leah's obvious love and devotion for her husband showed throughout their marriage even though her soul must have died a little each day knowing she was the object of Jacob's disappointment and was a tool for her conniving father.
Leah lived with the constant comparison to her sister's beauty that carried on even into her marriage, but don't think her broken heart was hidden from God's compassionate eyes. In His infinite ways He allowed her to give birth while her sister dealt with infertility.
"When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb." (Gen. 29:31)
Leah was honored with giving Jacob his first born son and three more would follow. With each birth she hoped and prayed that her husband would look on her with love. She began her marriage by focusing on what she didn't have but changed her heart and focus on what she had and was determined to praise the Lord.
"And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, "Now I will praise the Lord." Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she stopped bearing." (Gen. 29:35)
Leah felt no hope in a prosperous marriage, always being in the shadow and playing second fiddle, she could have been miserable and lonely but instead chose to allow God to change her heart and focused on praising Him. After the birth of her fourth son, Judah, she began to trust in the Lord. We can rejoice with Leah in her faithfulness.
"The Lion of the tribe of Judah," Jesus the Messiah, came through her offspring Judah, and the priesthood through her son Levi." (Rev. 5:5)
Leah symbolizes for every woman the crucial need to live first for God and to give Him all glory. Though she may have been unattractive in appearance, unloved, unwanted, and even despised, God saw in her an inner beauty and strong determination to stand against the odds that would allow her to carry out His plan. She could not change Jacob's heart toward her but she could change herself and recognize God's hand in her life.
Leah went on to give birth to two more sons and a daughter named Dinah.
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, May I live first for You and give You all glory and honor. Thank You for seeing my inner beauty and may it always be a reflection of You. Help me to always be willing to change at Your command. In Jesus' name. Amen.