1. Most of us struggle with self-worth throughout our lives. Name a single childhood event where you felt devalued. Who was the primary person that caused you to feel less valued? How has that experience impacted your development? Where have you found healing from that wound–or have you?



This may be one of the strangest Bible stories you’ll ever read. It’s filled with deceit, jealousy, polygamy, sex-maids, and more.

Jacob had been sent to his Uncle Laban’s house to find a wife. He immediately fell in love with the youngest daughter Rachel—also Jacob’s cousin, though that was normal in Bible times. He promised to work for seven years if Uncle Laban let him marry her. Uncle Laban agreed. But Uncle Laban (her dad) tricked Jacob, placing his older, “ugly” daughter Leah in the marriage bed on the wedding night, so Jacob woke up “married” to the wrong woman (back then the sex act consummated a marriage). Of course, he was furious but promised to work another seven years if allowed to finally marry Rachel, too. Uncle Laban agreed; Jacob did his seven years.

So, the sister-feud began between the loved wife Rachel and the unloved wife Leah.


God’s Story

Focus on Genesis 29:31—30:24, with one reading the narrator’s portion, one Leah’s words, and another reading Rachel’s words.

Finding My Story in God’s Story

2. If your publisher sent you to interview Jacob’s family for a “reality” novel, who would you interview first? Why? What ONE big piece of information would you want to find out from that person?

3. As you write your novel, where would you focus the most attention—as a theme for your book?


4. What happens to your emotions when you read how both women plead, over and over, for Jacob’s love and attention?

    1. I can hardly stand the pain in this family.
    2. I find I’m getting angry with Jacob.
    3. I just want Rachel and Leah to stop trying so hard.
    4. I can’t imagine being one of the two maids who became sex-slaves.
    5. Other ________________.

5. Re-read Genesis 29:31-35. What do you notice about Leah’s response after her fourth birth, compared to all the other births?

Also, notice the son’s name. If you have any Bible scholars in your group, talk a bit about the son’s name, the tribe named after him, how he became a part of the family line of Jesus (Hebrews 7:14), and that Jesus is called the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5).

6. How do you think Leah’s change of “worship” for God versus “desiring” (or “attaching” herself to) Jacob impacted the course of history?

    1. I’m not sure that it’s significant.
    2. I’ve never seen this amazing passage before.
    3. Everything changed when she focused on God rather than Jacob’s love.
    4. God will get God’s will done, whatever.
    5. Other ________________.


7. Try to remember a time when you were not sensitive to the needs of a spouse, sisters, or other women in your life. How would you summarize the situation?

    1. I was disengaged with what was happening.
    2. You won’t believe how long it took me to recover my relationship.
    3. As soon as I saw that I’d missed the mark, I apologized.
    4. I’m still not sure what I could do differently.
    5. Other _____________.

8. Consider the people devalued in your life. Of those, who (whether a woman or not) can you influence for good? What next step might you take to help them gain a sense of value—as a person, and with God?

    1. I’m caught in the middle and feel conflicted about how to help.
    2. I need to pay better attention to the people neglected around me.
    3. I need to discover my own value as a person.
    4. I’ll commit to focusing on one person, just to get started.
    5. Other ________________.


Our Story

9. Silently look around this group. Who have you heard today? Whose answers to the questions have encouraged you? Write their name here __________________.

    1. Go around the group, one at a time, announcing the name of the person whose name you wrote.
    2. Then, express your gratitude to that person by reciting these sentences to them:
      1. Name, I want to give you the gift of thanksgiving for how you have encouraged me today. May God bless you for your impact on my life.”
    3. Now, the next person announces the name of their person and gives the “gift of thanksgiving.”
    4. Continue until all have had a chance to share.

10. Let the group leader close the meeting with a brief prayer of blessing for the group members.