Family, Marriage, Parenting
Week 1: Jacob & Rachel Genesis 29
Dr. Tony Evans, Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and President of The Urban Alternative, believes that God has provided an example or illustration in our daily life for every theological principle in the Bible. Family, marriage, and parenting are the most critical examples God gives us to illustrate our relationship with Him. John The Baptist describes our relationship to Christ in John 3:29, “The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.” We are the bride of Christ, adopted sons and daughters to the Father (Rom. 8:15), and reborn into the family of God upon accepting the gift of grace! This week we are going to look at our relationship with God through Jacob and Rachel in Genesis 29.
CONNECTING AS A GROUP: Share with your group a time in your life where you have experienced with your spouse and then with the entire family a period where “time just flew by.” What made it special & timeless (think about individuals’ (particularly your own) attitudes, motivations, and goals/outcomes)?
STUDYING GOD’S WORD: Read Genesis 29. To truly appreciate Jacob and Rachel’s relationship we must first look at the whole story. Jacob, after receiving his father’s blessing, set out to marry one of his uncle Laban’s daughters. Jacob reaches Paddan Aram where he first encounters Rachel by the well (Gen 29:9). It was love at first sight! Laban receives Jacob into his household and offers him work. In exchange of seven years of work, Jacob would have Rachel (Gen 29:18). But Laban tricks Jacob and gives him Leah instead (Gen 29:23). So Jacob, who is madly in love with Rachel, agrees to work another seven years to have Rachel (Gen. 29:20). The story of Jacob and Rachel illustrate a special love expressed in various ways which kept their spark alive despite all the setbacks! Let’s study the word love and ways of expressing and feeling loved.
The word love in Genesis 29:20 is a verb from the Hebrew Ahab. This is the same love that God shows us in the New Testament. The Greek were clever because they have 4 different words for love while we use one in English. We say, “I love you” and at the same time can say I love hot dogs! Is it the same love? I hope not! In Greek, love can be:
Phileo: brotherly love Eros: erotic or passionate love Storge: affection or parental love Agape: unconditional love God’s love for us is agape love which is unconditional. It is also a verb indicating sacrificial action! This was the love Jacob demonstrated by his willingness to work another seven years. This is the love God is wanting from us as seen in John 21:15. Jesus asks Peter do you truly love (agape) me? And Peter responds, Lord you know I love (phileo) you. Dr. Gary Chapman, known for his book, The Five Love Languages, states this love (agape) is “...based on reason, will, and discipline” for your partner’s emotional well-being. Note the focus of this action is outward and NOT about self! Dr. Chapman defines the five love languages as: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.
MAKING APPLICATION: This week’s study illustrates how God is intentional and persistent with His love for us through the relationship of Jacob and Rachel. Are you just as intentional and persistent with Him? How about your love towards your spouse and/or family? How are you loving (agape vs phileo) God and your family? Dr. Chapman uses the analogy of a car’s gas tank to illustrate our perception of being loved. How full is your partner’s or children’s love tank?
30 Day Challenge: Express your love to your partner and/or children through all 5 love languages each week. 60 Day Challenge: Express your love to your partner and/or children through all 5 love languages each day.
PRAYING FOR EACH OTHER:
Pray for God’s agape love to fill your tank that you may fill your partner’s and children.
Pray that you may pursue God with the same reason, will, and discipline that HE does for you!
MEMORIZE THIS VERSE: “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." John 7:38