When you were young and in love, what would you have paid for your spouse? What do I mean by that? Well, do you really expect a good wife to come free? Of course you do. One of the curses of the modern world is that we think love is free. A marriage may cost the father of the bride a few thousand dollars, but the bridegroom doesn’t have to bring any great wealth to the table.
In ancient times, it didn’t work that way. To a father, a daughter was an asset. But even more, he wanted to be sure that the man who married his daughter was substantial—that he could take care of his daughter, give her a home, and support their children. They didn’t stand for the kind of things we tolerate so easily today.
One of the great men of the Bible had to work for 14 years to get the woman he wanted. That man was Jacob, grandson of Abraham. He had gone to his father’s homeland to find a wife, and he found a beauty; and a fine woman to boot. But there was a problem. Jacob arrived in the country penniless. We begin this story of love and determination in Genesis, chapter 29.