Wednesdays with Words: Thy goodness, like a fetter

We sang ‘Come Thou Fount’ on Sunday.

We sing it rather often, which is wonderful as it’s a favorite of mine.

It has so many beautiful, quotable lines. If you google images for “Bind my Wandering Heart” and “Prone to Wander” there are oodles of them.

(I totally chose oodles to go with google.)

But the line that stood out to me this week was “Let Thy goodness, like a fetter” really caught my heart and soul on Sunday.

We never think about fetters as being good. A fetter is “a chain or manacle used to restrain a prisoner, typically placed around the ankles.” How can that possibly be good? How can goodness be a fetter?

I do want to clearly say, we are free in Christ.

But, we are chained to God’s goodness – his goodness and mercy. It keeps us from wandering – and I am oh so prone to wander. To walk away.

His goodness binds my heart … and keeps my feet from walking away.

Or even from slowly drifting off.

But in Psalm 23, we’re promised that His goodness and mercy shall follow us all of our days.

I do think it interesting that this song talks about binding hearts and feet, yet Jesus talks about a yoke, which goes across the neck and shoulders so we pull with our Lord in His work. That yoke is easy and light.

Head to foot … God’s goodness and mercy and work hold us to Him – hold us close and help us to love Him.

The next hymn we sang in the service?

Great is Thy Faithfulness.

What a powerful combination. He is faithful whilst we are prone to wander.

His his goodness is like a fetter. He is faithful to keep hold of me.

Thank God.



  1. My three year old is completely taken with Come Thou Fount. He hums it all the time 🙂 I was planning on posting about a hymn as well…great minds!

  2. "Come Thou Fount" is one of my all-time favorite hymns. Probably in my Top 3…but don't make me choose. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *