How to Find Contentment in Marriage

Jacob and Leah were not “in love” by today’s standards. He didn’t bring her flowers, didn’t write her love songs, and didn’t hold her hand. He didn’t ask how her day was, didn’t take her on dates, and didn’t tell her she was beautiful. Jacob was not finding contentment in his marriage. In fact, he didn’t even want to marry her in the first place!

After working hard for 7 years in order to marry the young, beautiful Rachel, Jacob was surprised to find it was Rachel’s older sister Leah laying in his tent that night. Enraged, he called out to the girls’ father in Genesis 29:25, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” (Not the reaction you’re expecting from your husband on the night of your honeymoon).  After the father explained the way their culture calls for the elder sister to be married before the younger, Jacob relented and took Leah as his first wife. He worked seven more years for what he really wanted–Rachel. And everyone knew it, verse 30 tells us that Jacob “loved Rachel more than Leah.”

Though this biblical love story took place thousands of years ago, I’m sure there are some of you that are living similar stories today. Like Leah, you long for affection only to find your emotional needs in marriage are completely neglected time and time again. Though I can’t perfectly identify with Leah and her struggle of finding contentment in marriage, I can assure you that no marriage is perfect because no human can fill the craving we have in our heart for perfect love. {Tweet This}

Leah learned this lesson, but it took her many years and many pregnancies. You see, it was Leah, the unloved wife, who got pregnant year after year, not Rachel. With each and every son she delivered she hoped to win the approval of her husband. Read her desire in the names of her sons:

  1. Leah named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” Gen 29:32
  2. She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon (one who hears). Gen 29:33
  3. Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi (attached). Gen 29:34
  4. She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah (praise). Then she stopped having children. Gen 29:35

Leah learned to turn her desire from her imperfect husband to a perfect God. For He was the only one who could meet the craving of her heart.


We crave it.

God commands it.

No one can find it.

Leah found it. “This time I will praise the Lord.” God loved her–she got it. And did you know what God did? Did you know that it was from Judah’s family that Jesus was born? That is a WOW for me.

Your husband may not be what you wanted but is God? Can you praise Him? Because really He is what you are looking for. You can find contentment in your marriage, your children, your life if you look to God to meet the desires of your heart.

My heart truly breaks over your suffering and my deepest regards go out to you as you fight for your marriage. But at the end of the day, the most important truth to understand is that God led you here into this relationship- and he hasn’t left you here alone! Don’t ever feel that you are fighting for your marriage all by yourself; God will always be fighting right alongside you. 

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  • M

    This didn’t help at al

    • TrustNoOne

      i laughed so hard when I read that. Thank you.
      You have to give away your utopian ideals. Literally. All the crap we got taught growing up is a lie. Watch the first bit of Fight Club. It is all a joke. We were told we could change the world. Well we can, just not in that way. We were told we could have things, and deserved things,. Nah we can’t and we don’t.
      The hard lessons in life is the reality. Sadly the sales pitch sucks and doesn’t get anyone in the door. So the good news was remade. The western world followed false compassion and appeasement theory. Stupid ideology was believed. We thought progress would continue for ever. We believed that we could eat drink and be merry and still do the same tomorrow and forever more. We believed we were special and important.
      WE are only special and important to that person. That’s it. All the attention we are given growing up is about sex or prestige for someone else. Not even ourselves
      The biggest hurdle to get over is the utopian exoticising and self loathing. Then we can imagine the world as it is.

  • LorineO

    THANK YOU for this wonderful insight!! After reading this I was praying that God would draw me closer to Him and the “answer” that came immediately to my heart and mind was “That is why I sent this husband to you.” What a challenge to get out of God’s way so that He can love my husband more fully. If I can simply love and praise God for ALL His gifts (especially those I would not want of my own will) than He can flow through me and touch others with His love, healing, peace, and joy. In fact I think this is the only way that two flawed humans can truly be “united as one” only by God’s grace released to work (without my control/agenda). God bless you for this beautiful ministry that you provide to strengthen marriages and families!!

    • Lorine you have a beautiful heart to be listening to God in such a loving way!

      • LorineO

        Thanks Susan, you are very kind… Now if I could just convert what I hear into action life would be so much nicer! 🙂

        • Oh, I agree with that for myself, too! My intentions are so good, my actions not so much!

          • LorineO

            Darn that human nature! 😉 At least you have this great forum for sharing your great intentions and ideas to encourage others… maybe not fixing yourself but helping fix others and that is a blessing to us all. No doubt most pleasing to our Father. Love and prayers for you and Mark, your ministries, and family. <3

          • It helps to have encouragement–thank you!

  • Barbara Fritcher Vega

    Thank you so much. I love that you related this to us with a biblical story. This touched my broken heart and I am reaching out to god first to help my 24 year marriage last forever.

    • Barbara, so thankful for your faith in God and marriage!