Aug 142018 0 Responses

Love Is the Net

The spotlight shines on the woman perched high above the crowd. With one leap, she jumps from her platform and begins to swing building momentum. At the same time, her partner begins a rhythmic swing of his own. At just the right moment, the woman lets go of the bar, flying in the air, and is caught by her partner.

The swinging trapeze is a mixture of acrobatics, gymnastics, and extreme trust. It is an act of amazing artistry which pushes human beings to our physical and mental limits. At its riskiest, the swinging trapeze is artistic expression performed at the risk of one’s own life. Without a harness or net, the couple puts their lives in the hands of one another.

While it can be performed without a net, skills are never learned in that way. They are first attempted low to the ground and always with a net. It’s only when skills are refined and mastered that the net is removed and the full height experienced. While trapeze is risky, they lower the risk as much as possible by learning skills safely. Without a net, a trapeze artist could never learn new skills, try new things, or grow their routine. The net empowers growth, risk, and adventure.

Life has many of the same demands as the swinging trapeze. It requires risk, adventure, skill, trust, and dependency on others. We can’t just stand on our platforms and experience all we were meant to experience. We must embrace the spotlight, leap from safety, swing with great might, build momentum, and let go of the bar in order to perform, all while trusting that others will do their job with great skill catching us before it is too late.

Courage is demanded from us in this life. Yet our courage is born from self-determination. Our skills aren’t crafted simply because of our bravery. The secret is the net. It empowers us to try new things and learn new skills. It enables us to take risks and test our limits. The net ensures our safety which allows us to craft our skills.

When it comes to life, love is the net. It is what promises to keep us from hitting the ground. Even if our talent fails. Even if our timing is off. As long as the net is below us, we know we have the freedom to try, learn, experiment, and even fail. While we hope for success, the net doesn’t demand us to succeed.

We live in a world that requires courage. Yet courage shouldn’t be the focus. It’s simply a byproduct of something greater. Brave people aren’t stronger than the rest of us, they simply have a safety net which they can trust. They are able to show great courage because they know if all else fails, they will be caught by the net of love.

So this is my task as a husband, father, and friend. My challenge is to love others so that they will feel safe to risk, attempt, learn, try, fail, and try again. They don’t need my orders or commands nearly as much as they need my love. They don’t need my opinions or teachings half as much as they need to know that I am there, loving and supporting them. As they are secure in that love, they are free to push from the platform and swing. They can twirl and flip. They can let go of the bar, hoping they will be caught, but all along knowing that even if everything goes wrong, I’ll still be there.

Love is the net for life.

So when I’m not courageous, it’s not a sign that I’m a coward as much as I’m failing to embrace love. When those I care about fail to take a risk or grow, it doesn’t mean I should push them toward courage. It means I should make them more certain of my love for them. We all have the capacity for courage if we are certain there is a net which will catch us.


Husbands, love your wives in such a way that they are willing to stretch themselves in becoming who God made them to be.

Wives, love your husbands so that they can risk (in godly ways) vulnerability.

Parents, love your children so that they can venture from home with the security that they have a place where they can return.

Teachers, love your students so they can be brave enough to encounter new information and consider new ideas.

Friends, love one another in hopes that you will explore unchartered territories.

Employers, love your employees so they can have the courage to become the best they can be.

Love is the net. It’s what provides the safety which empowers us to try new things, attempt new skills, and test new ideas. Without it, life is too risky. We have to play it safe and stick with what we the know. Yet when love is present, we are free to experiment, attempt, and fail. We are empowered to grow and perform.

Life demands courage. Love is the net which enables courage to grow.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Please enter your name, email and a comment.