“Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself.” (1 Samuel 18:1 NASB)
“Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.” (1 Samuel 18:3 NASB)
The story of David and Jonathan’s relationship reveals the importance of friendship.
Their story was covered in 1 Samuel chapters 18-20 in the Old Testament. Saul, Jonathan’s father, has been stripped of being the King of Israel by God. David was appointed by God to be the new king. Jonathan, being Saul’s son, was next in line to become King of Israel.
However, Jonathan knew that the Lord appointed David to become the next king and did everything he could to help David fulfill God’s plan for him. Moreover, Jonathan knew his place and pledged his life to David.
Reading their story has made me think about friendship. What is friendship?
Why have we taken friendship so casually in our society? We are friends with someone if they can help us advance our careers, increase our bank account, or get us closer to influential people or celebrities. But none of those things really creates real friendship.
Here are 5 keys to a real friendship:
1) You have a genuine interest in them and their well-being and they reciprocate that same interest in you
2) You can confide to one another and it stays within the boundaries of the friendship
3) You can disagree with them on issues (political, religious, or societal) and it doesn’t sever the friendship
4) You challenge each other to become better people
5) You are there for each other when trouble or life’s difficulties arise.
I’ve had to remind myself recently of these 5 keys as well as David and Jonathan’s story in 1 Samuel to realize what friendship truly is.
I hope we all take friendship seriously and know that a friend can be closer to you than your family.