The Bands Of Love




This generation is enraged against God and the Church, and is throwing off the uncomfortable restraints of morality. The lust for freedom from the moral laws, which govern the Universe, stretches credibility. The
anti-God, amoral agenda of our free-wheeling culture defies God with a brazenness that is blasphemous. The pagans of the 20th century are conspiring to break the bands of morality asunder, even as they cast
away the cords of social responsibility. This rage against God is rising in the belly of a civilization, which has rejected God’s standards, decency and order. Restraint is out! Hedonism is in! “If it feels good, do it.” By all means!

One woman wrote to Dear Abby and said, “I am an independent, fun-loving woman. For several years, I drifted from church to church, trying to find one that suited me. One Sunday, I visited a new church,
hoping it was for me. I’d never seen such a mixed congregation. They had a wonderful denominator–their joy at being in a house of worship on Sunday, and welcoming smiles for me. A few weeks later, I was
invited to attend their church picnic in a nearby park. When I saw the minister [a woman] having a beer, I said to myself, ‘My God…she’s human!’ I was greatly impressed that she had the courage to be herself
in front of her congregation. Everyone had a good time, and no one was judging anyone else. I am delighted to have found a church where I can worship and be myself, without fear of condemnation.” Signed, Happy in Denver (Terre Haute Tribune Star/March 1995).

Happy-in-Denver hopped from church to church hoping to find a church that suited her. She was looking for a church that wasn’t uptight about her “independent, fun-loving” ways, a church where the pastor had the courage to guzzle down a beer. Once she broke the bands asunder and cast away the cords, she was ecstatic about finding a church where she could worship and be herself, sans fear of condemnation. Too many of her ilk have insinuated themselves into the so-called Christian church and have taken over lock, stock and barrel.

For some, the bands of personal convictions are too tight for comfort. One ex-Apostolic church member threw off the bands of personal convictions and joined the swelling ranks of the charismatic crowd where “anything goes” is often par for the course. With a ring in one ear, he walked into a night club, ordered a drink, and loudly rejoiced to a backslidden female acquaintance about his new-found liberty in Christ. The backslidden woman was heard to call the fraud by name and say, “The only difference between you and me is that I know I’m lost.”

The bands of marriage are too tight for many. More than half of all marriages in America end in divorce because acceptance of God’s hatred of divorce is seen as narrow provincialism. And more and more
couples are opting to live together without getting all tangled up in the messy cords of marriage. The bands of marriage are thought to put too much pressure on a relationship. Why bother with the farce of a  marriage ceremony–all done up with promises and commitments, and I dos and I wills? If things don’t work out, unmarried couples can simply brush their hands and walk away. As it turns out, the “significant
other” is not really that significant after all.

The standards of separation are too tight for those who want religion without rules. For these free-spirited souls, religion and rules just don’t mix. These freedom-loving libertines embrace a Burger King theology that says, “Have it your way.” What is it that they want? Well, they want to go to dances and proms and picture shows and bars. These people want to be sipping saints and still be considered spiritual. They want to wear what they want to wear, with no regard to Bible standards of modesty in dress. And don’t think for a moment, they are going to be tied to that Old Testament verse about cross-dressing! Get real brother. What century are you living in?

Some young people find parental bands too tight and too restrictive. These young people want all the comforts of home-provided, of course, someone else does all the providing. But they don’t want to be told when to come home at night. Or who they can or cannot date. And, God forbid that someone suggest they get a job by the time they reach their 35th birthday. Some young people feel claustrophobic in their homes with parents breathing down their necks, telling them what to do and generally bossing them around like they own the place. The bands are too tight, and they are ready to cast off the cords of parental restraint. What they don’t know is that when they break asunder those suffocating parental bands, they are going to have to start paying for the soap, the potato chips, the pop, and one or two other things.

For the uncommitted, the bands of responsibility and faithfulness are too tight. These free-wheeling free-loaders are hitchhikers. A hitchhiker buys no gasoline, makes no car payments, pays no insurance
premiums, and never worries about incidentals–minor things like flat tires, broken timing belts, transmission repairs and engine overhauls. The hitchhiker just gets in and rides free. Some hitchhikers have even been known to turn down a ride if the car is not air-conditioned or doesn’t have a radio.

Hitchhikers in church are not a lot different from their kinfolk standing on the side of the road. Mention tithing, and they are ready to run for cover. Suggest that a dollar in the offering has an inflationary value of a few cents, and they start hyperventilating. Preach on involvement, and they duck out. The bands are too tight! Lighten up preacher. Give me some breathing room. All this oppressive verbiage about involvement and soul winning is smothering me.

How does God respond to all this talk about band-breaking? Well, at first He just laughs. Verse 4 of our text says, “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” God’s laugh is the laugh of scorn and disdain. Verse 5 says that after God laughs at the band-breakers, He gets mad at them: “Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.”

God’s bands will seem as soft and gentle as the silky threads of a spider’s web when compared to God’s angry displeasure. Better for you to endure the bands of parental authority than to have God mad at you.
Far better to abide the restrictions of faithfulness than to have God laugh in your face. You’re better off tethered to a less-than-perfect marriage than to have to explain to God why you broke your marriage
vows. It is easier to honor God financially than to stand before Him guilty of robbing Him of tithes and offerings.

God said, “I drew them with…bands of love…” (Hosea 11:4). The bands of personal convictions are bands of love. Parental bands are God’s bands of love. The bands of responsibility and faithfulness are bands of love. The bands of separation from the world are bands of love.

Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

The bands are too tight? What bands? His yoke is easy and His burden his light.