“Then Jacob said to Laban, ‘give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to be with her.’ . . . the Hebrew expression is unusually bald, graphic, and sexual for ordinarily reticent ancient discourse. Imagine saying to a father even today, ‘I can’t wait to have sex with your daughter. Give her to me now!’ The narrator [of Genesis] is showing us a man overwhelmed with emotional and sexual longing for the woman.
“Why? Jacob’s life was empty. He never had his father’s love, he had lost his beloved mother’s love, and he certainly had no sense of God’s love and care. Then he beheld the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, and he must have said to himself, ‘If I had her, finally, something would be right in my miserable life. If I had her, it would fix things.’ All the longings of his heart for meaning and affirmation were fixed on Rachel.
“We learn that through all of life there runs a ground note of cosmic disappointment. You are never going to lead a wise life until you understand that. Jacob said, ‘If I can just get Rachel, everything will be okay.’ And he goes to bed with the one he thinks is Rachel, and literally, the Hebrew says, ‘in the morning, behold, it was Leah’ (Genesis 29:25). One commentator noted about this verse, ‘This is a miniature of our disillusionment, experienced from Eden onward.’ What does that mean? With all due respect to this woman (from whom we have much to learn), it means that no matter what we put our hopes in, in the morning, it is always Leah, never Rachel.
“If you get married as Jacob did, putting the weight of all your deepest hopes and longings on the person you are marrying, you are going to crush her with your expectations. It will then distort your life and your spouse’s life in a hundred ways. No person, not even the best one, can give your soul all it needs. You are going to think you have gone to bed with Rachel, and you will get up and it will always be Leah. This cosmic disappointment and disillusionment is there in all of life, but we especially feel it in the things upon which we most set our hopes.” (Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods, (from chapter 2, “Love is Not All You Need,” pp. 22-47)