As a child, there was nothing as thrilling as watching the flying trapeze. I’d strain my neck to watch the bejeweled lady release the bar just in time for the arm bulging man to catch her. Holding my breath, I waited to see if her searching fingers would find the safety of his arms. Can you imagine trusting someone enough to let go of the bar or to trust yourself enough to know that you will catch them? Maybe it would be easier to be a clown. But if you are going to experience the thrill of the catch, you have to let go of the bar.
Marriage is a lot like the flying trapeze. Couples can go for years with each person holding tight to their own bar. Their marriage is OK but there’s no risk, no thrills, no real trust. Marriage can sound like:
“OK, go ahead. Let go.”
“ What? I’m not letting go. You let go.”
“ Why would I let go? You don’t look like you’re ready to catch me.”
“ I’ll get ready to catch you as soon as you let go.”
“ You’re kidding, right?”
You can see the problem.
God knew marriage would be as scary as a flying trapeze act so He put some specific marriage instructions in Ephesians 5. First, God tells wives to submit to their husbands. (Ephesians 5:22) No one likes submitting. Yet submitting is the ultimate act of trust, the epitome of letting go of the trapeze bar. You have to let go of believing that you are the only one that knows what’s best. Letting go of the bar is trusting that even in his mistakes, your husband never wants to see you fall.
God’s second piece of instruction is to tell husbands to love their wives as their own bodies. (Ephesians 5:28) This means that husbands must not only live each day ready to catch your wife but that saving your wife is more important than saving yourself. Loving your wife is being there to catch her, when she’s too scared to let go of the bar or even when she’s pulling away from you with all her might.
You can see why being married is really hard. That’s where Jesus comes in. Jesus is the net. He knows you’re going to fall sometimes. That’s why He saves you then bounces you back to try again.
Ask yourself, why do they do it? Why do trapeze artists risk missing the catch, becoming injured or being publicly embarrassed? Wouldn’t it be safer to take the clown job with the big red nose and the funny car? Well, they do it for the sweetness of the catch. When searching hands find strong arms, suddenly a marriage sounds like:
“I can’t believe she let go.”
“ I can’t believe he caught me.”
When both partners trust enough to risk falling and find themselves safely in each other’s arms, marriage stops looking like a wall of fears and begins to look like an ocean of possibilities. Keep reaching out and soon you’ll be able to think of nothing but the next great catch.