The Connection Between Love and the Law
"Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold."
"Because disobedience will expand, the love of many will grow cold."
"and many people’s love will grow cold because of increased distance from Torah. "
Various translations of the words of Jesus concerning the last days in Matthew 24:12.While in most cases I don't want the government mandating moral behavior, I am a big proponent of moral behavior. As such, I have been subjected to the usual abuses which go along with taking moral stands. Many of them take some form of accusing me of not being as "loving" as those who are willing to accept, or even celebrate, behavior which scripture describes as sinful. But of course, this is not the case at all. Rather, it's an artifact of being able to see farther and therefore care more about the long term consequences of lawlessness of all types.
I put this together while I played with my son on my lap. It struck me that we have more unwanted children in America now than ever before. The very idea of an "unwanted child" seemed wholly alien to me. "How can children be unwanted?" I thought to myself. It was difficult for me to conceive that even this most natural of human affection could be made to grow cold.
But of course, I am in a good marriage. What if lawlessness reigned instead of virtue? What if my partner was, instead of someone who took responsibility to help me raise these children, a lout who had abandoned them and me? What if they had never been committed to me in the first place, but each of us were just looking for someone to use for a while? What if I had the whole load and every thing about them that reminded me of the other parent was a cause for pain and not joy? These are the circumstances that many young parents are in. Because of the lawlessness they participated in, and the stress they encounter as a result, their love can grow cold.
Would I be a virtuous enough person to keep the love for my children from going cold in such an environment? I can't say that I would be. I don't consider myself better or stronger than such persons, but by the grace of God I made better choices. Respect for the law, of God and Man, protected me from finding myself in a place where my love might grow cold.
The same thing occurs in many ways. Every kind of increase in lawlessness has the effect of making people's love grow cold. Government welfare programs replace private charity, become abused, and those paying for them grow cold toward recipients while those receiving benefits lose their natural gratitude and affection for their benefactors.
I love the Law because I find it to be a trustworthy guidebook for people, and I love people. Respect for and walking according to the law (so much as we can) provides a good life for most who do so, except when some outrageous misfortune occurs.
And finally, this works out on the macro scale as well. The very best defense against big government is a virtuous population. 1st Samuel Chapter 8 reveals, and other places in scripture confirm the lesson, that big government is a judgement of God. When the Kingdom of God comes in its fullness, the only government will be self-government. Virtuous people have no need of masters, government or otherwise. It is the venal and corrupt who get themselves in trouble, and cry out for a political savior to deliver them.
There is a connection between love and the law. We ignore this at our peril.